Climate change and, most recently, Russia's invasion of Ukraine have plunged energy policy in crisis. In order to become independent of Russian oil and gas, numerous countries are currently putting their energy and climate policies on the test bench. Alternatives are needed. Times have never been more promising for founders in the energy sector. As the energy system undergoes a far-reaching transformation, new digital solutions, technologies and innovative business models are needed. In this article, we introduce you to upcoming energy startups from Germany.
1 SUENA | THE SMART AUTOPILOT FOR THE OPTIMAL USE OF ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS
Let's start with a current participant of the 13th SpinLab class: Suena, founded in Hamburg in 2021, aims to improve the operation of energy storage systems. To achieve this goal, they developed the innovative SaaS software suena opt. This AI-powered autopilot provides near real-time data on fluctuating electricity prices, weather forecasts and much more. The excess energy from the storage facilities can thus be optimally matched to consumers, producers and the market. EIT InnoEnergy, the world’s largest sustainable energy engine, has invested 1.2 million euros alongside Vireo Ventures and Raakwark Kaptaala in the energy startup to support the development of the trading platform for energy storages and renewable energies.
2 NAECO BLUE | INGENIOUS SAVINGS FORECASTS
Wouldn't it be great if we could look into the future from time to time? Especially when it comes to the important topic of energy? Sounds unimaginable, but Naeco Blue makes it possible. To ensure that unlimited energy sources such as solar and wind can be used efficiently, Naeco Blue helps keep the volatility of these energy sources manageable with the help of conservation forecasts. On the one hand, the intelligent algorithm helps to anticipate market development in order to achieve a competitive advantage and, on the other hand, the energy is procured at the right time.
3 ENERGIEDOCK | TOMORROW'S FAIR ENERGY MARKET
A widespread argument against the energy transition is the overloading of the grids, which is justified by a local surplus of renewable energies. Due to the restrained demand and inefficient use, the mentioned overload threatens. But our alumni can help with its innovative solution: Energiedock, a Hamburg based company, wants to make the energy market fairer. This is achieved primarily through their key product Nemo.spot. The digital platform enables the trading of Mutual Flexibility Agreements (MFAs): structured trading products for the shifting of energy, e.g. of any load, at the end customer between energy suppliers and network operators. Currently, EnergieDock is running the project 'Flexhafen' in cooperation with the "Green Planet Energy eG" and "Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH", in which various end customer usage scenarios are being studied.
4 SUNFIRE | Renewables everywhere
Over decades, we have been excessively consuming coal, crude oil and natural gas, releasing billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Sunfire’s mission is to replace these fossil fuels with renewable energy, turning renewable electricity – and captured CO2 – into renewable gases and liquids. The company also allows storage of renewable electrical power in liquid fuels with storage, loading, and transport capabilities. Amazon invested an unknown amount in the startup Sunfire from Dresden via its two billion dollar Climate Pledge Fund. In recent years, Sunfire has become one of the world's largest developers and manufacturers of electrolysers and is now recognized as the global market leader. With this investment, Sunfire secures further capital for the industrialization of its electrolysis technologies. Most recently, Sunfire raised €195 million in its Series D financing round.
5 ECOLIGO | CROWDINVESTING FOR A CLEANER FUTURE
The next startup is in need of individual help in a unique way: Ecoligo focuses on Crowdinvesting to enable solar projects for the expansion of renewable energy in developing countries. Through this approach, everyone can invest individually in selected Ecoligo projects. Subsequently, the financial and technical implementation is taken care of by Ecoligo. In April of this year the company broke the 20 million euro investment mark.
6 ENERGIEKOPPLER | Next Generation of Virtual Power Plants
Nine years of research in the field of renewable energy supply and sector coupling at the Technical University in Dresden resulted in the startup "DieEnergiekoppler". By offering highly automated and technology-open flexibility plants for utilities, municipal utilities and energy communities, the Dresden based startup enables plant monitoring, regional energy balancing or energy trading with unrestricted facility size. The goal is to increase the participation of end consumers in the energy market through self-generation and to make sustainable energy generation profitable through standardized and automated flexibility plants. To achieve this, remote diagnosis and control of decentralized energy generators, storage units and consumers with low power ratings will be made possible. During the SpinLab accelerator we brought our innovation partner LEAG and DieEnergiekoppler together.
7 carbonauten | FUCK CO2
carbonauten has developed a system for industry, companies and municipalities that is immediately effective in reducing CO2 emissions and costs. It involves the production of an innovative material category NET Materials (Negative Emission Technology). The NET Materials consist of a combination of CO2-reducing biocarbons with different binders. Using an advanced pyrolytic carbonization process, the biocarbons are produced at decentralized sites around the world from local biogenic residues and problem materials. As an attractive by-product, large quantities of surplus, base-load renewable energy are generated in the production.
8 THINK RE | THROUGH COMMUNICATION TO AN EFFICIENT ENERGY MARKET
Communication between buyers and sellers is often a major problem in the energy sector. Think RE wants to address these discrepancies and convinces through high expertise to connect both sides in a profitable way. The buyer side is supported in finding the right partner to enable a future-proof use of renewable energies. The seller side benefits from Think RE's extensive knowledge of the renewable energy market. Their product portfolio consists of the 3 areas Education, Preparation and Implementation and also helps to identify the right business partner. Both sides are then connected through power purchase agreements (PPAs) to enable optimal cooperation.
9 KRAFTBLOCK | THE SUSTAINABLE GAS ALTERNATIVE
Kraftblock has developed a high-temperature storage unit that can store industrial waste heat as well as excess electricity in the form of thermal energy. For this purpose, a special granulate is heated to 1300 degrees in the Kraftblock storage unit. Up to two weeks of energy can then be stored without major losses. For example, the heat could then be fed into the district heating network. In addition, it is also possible to convert the energy into gas.
10 SWITCHBOARD | First platform for energy APIs
Switchboard is the first platform to offer companies from the energy sector and related industries suitable APIs in a bundled and ready-to-use form. Today, it is impossible to imagine everyday business without APIs because they can be used to transfer data between individual software components, use services and generate new processes - and without having to replace existing systems or build a new infrastructure. The online platform of SpinLab startup Switchboard makes it possible to use APIs from the areas of generation, sales, trading or consumption and to sell your own solutions.
➡️Alongside Smart City and E-health, energy is one of the focus topics of our accelerators program. Together with our innovation partners and leading energy companies like VNG, LEAG, EnviaM we are regularly looking for emerging energy startups to join our program. Follow us on LinkedIn or Instagram to not miss the next application deadline.