EM-Power Europe: Start-ups Are Digitalizing the Energy World

Industry News – May 21, 2024

With fresh and creative ideas for the digitalization of the electricity system, start-ups are making an important contribution to the energy transition. They will be presenting their innovative solutions and products at EM-Power Europe. We have picked out a few of them as examples to whet your appetite.

As the deployment of fluctuating renewable energy sources continues, making electricity consumption more flexible is central to the energy transition. Intelligent consumption management is made possible by digitalization, which has various benefits: It helps stabilize the electricity system, gives rise to interesting business models for innovative companies and enables end users to make considerable financial savings.

This requires sophisticated metering and control concepts, which are becoming increasingly attractive with the advent of much-discussed time-of-use tariffs. Some companies have started offering tariffs where the price is adjusted on an hourly basis according to the spot market. This makes it possible to drastically reduce electricity bills, especially for large electricity consumers, such as EV-chargers or heat pumps. At the EM-Power Europe exhibition, numerous established players as well as start-ups and young companies of the new energy world will present their concepts and products for an increasingly digitalized electricity world.

Smart meter with plug and play

Raitschin Raitschew, eniqo

The first step to flexibility is getting a smart meter. If you only have a standard digital meter installed in your home, eniqo offers a device that “smartifies” the existing meter, as the company calls it. According to managing director Raitschin Raitschew, end users can “operate the additional device without the help of professionals and without any specialist knowledge.” The company, which develops both hardware and software and stores the data in a cloud, calls this a plug-and-play solution. Grid operators and electricity suppliers could use the collected data to stabilize the grids while residential customers would be able to opt for dynamic electricity tariffs.

Flexible consumers can reduce their electricity costs by having the control technology charge the e-vehicle when spot market prices are low due to high feed-in from renewables. According to eniqo, the next step could be to optimize the system with “micro storage systems”, meaning batteries that are connected via power socket.

“Energy management on autopilot”

Till Quack, Zerofy

Meanwhile, the company Zerofy demonstrates how you can intelligently control your electrified home without the need for additional hardware. Many consumers are already using domestic appliances with a digital interface. After all, there are more than 500 such appliances from dozens of suppliers, says Zerofy co-founder Till Quack. In addition to all the smart domestic appliances, PV systems, storage systems, EV-chargers and heat pumps could also be integrated. All it takes is one app to control all devices and manage the data stored in a cloud.

According to Quack, this would bring “order to the chaos of device apps”. The app even displays the weather and helps to optimize the consumption, for example, by factoring in expected peaks in your own PV system’s generation. Zerofy’s target group is consumers, but the company also offers its app as a white label for utilities so they can offer the product to their customers under their own brand.

“Data-centric architecture, made for SME”

Rafail Kasapis, Apollo Green Solutions

The company Apollo Green Solutions has developed an energy management system for photovoltaic systems on commercial buildings. It focuses on solar installations on office buildings, warehouses, hotels and public buildings. Although one of the pilot customers is a large enterprise, the company primarily focuses on small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “We offer the complete package, from hardware and software to service,” says Managing Director Rafail Kasapis. The system optimizes your consumption based on your self-generation, integrates storage systems and takes into account the energy exchange prices and weather forecasts.

The hardware can be connected to other components regardless of the manufacturers, as Apollo Green Solutions uses different communication protocols. „We use a data-centric architecture,” says Kasapis. This means that the system is built around the data, relying on a high data inter-operability.

Battery capacities for spot markets

Hauke Lapschies, Levl Energy

The start-up Levl Energy focuses on the management of battery storage systems. The company explains that it allows batteries with unused storage capacity to “continuously make an arbitrage profit at the ‘spot markets’.” When the price per kilowatt hour is low, the company buys electricity and uses it to charge the customer’s battery. When the price is high, it sells the electricity again – “the customer’s business model lies in the difference,” explains Levl Energy. They receive remuneration for it. The service is designed for companies: “Our main focus is commercial storage systems, starting at 50 kilowatt hours of capacity,” says Managing Director Hauke Lapschies. In the future, they aim to lower the minimum to 30 kilowatt hours.

As this amount of electricity is still too small for the energy exchange, Levl Energy combines many batteries “to one large, virtual flex option that can achieve optimal trading profits.” This creates scalability effects from which everyone benefits according to their share. This model is implemented in cooperation with the respective energy supplier and integrated into the existing energy management system.

“Metering-as-a-Service” for tenant power

Aurelius Wosylus, neugemacht

Due to the large number of parties involved and therefore the large number of metering points, tenant power projects are particularly challenging when it comes to billing. The company neugemacht has developed a digital platform for such cases, aimed at real estate companies, but also at businesses with complex metering requirements. neugemacht describes it as a “complete service from which e-mobility charging providers, renewable energy producers, air conditioner manufacturers, submetering companies and utility companies can all benefit from.” The focus is on tenant power concepts that require a sophisticated metering concept to optimize PV self-consumption and to bill the remaining electricity drawn from the grid.

“We provide Metering-as-a-Service from a single source,” says Managing Director Aurelius Wosylus. In addition to housing companies, the target group also includes infrastructure operators that want to offer their customers an all-inclusive service such as this one. neugemacht is a joint venture between the companies Gridspertise (Enel Group), a global player driving the digital transformation of distribution grids, and Cuculus, a leading German software company specialized in critical infrastructure.

150 First Dates at The smarter E Europe

All start-ups presented here are exhibitors in the Start-up Area of The smarter E Europe in Hall C5 from June 19-21, 2024 at Messe München. Take the opportunity for an informative discussion with these and many other new entrepreneurs.

To the exhibitor list

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