Cleantech Corporation – E.ON received the “European Cleantech Corporation of the Year” award yesterday at the 10th European Cleantech Forum in Stockholm (Sweden), organized by Cleantech Group, developer of the i3 market intelligence platform. Every year, one company gets awarded for its significant action to promote innovation in green technology and environmentally friendly products and services.
“E.ON was selected based on three distinguishing factors,” said Richard Youngman, Managing Director Europe & Asia, Cleantech Group.
One, the speed and energy and commitment with which E.ON appears to have approached its innovation strategy in recent years – forming a new corporate department (Technology and Innovation), forming a scouting and investments team (from 2012), and forming a new subsidiary company in 2012, E.ON Connecting Energies (ECT) to focus on the B2B energy efficiency opportunity. Two, the range of actions undertaken as part of driving the evolution of a future E.ON. And three, for 2013-14, it has been noteworthy that, despite very tough financial and operating conditions for E.ON at large, the commitment to Technology and Innovation has prevailed, indicated by: the acquisition of Matrix by E.ON Connecting Energies, the minority investments in companies such as AutoGrid Systems, Bloom, First Fuel, Orcan, and Sungevity; and the tie-up with Opower to work on a very different approach to customer engagement.
The special situation in Germany because of the commitment to the energy turna-round, creates new challenges but also new opportunities. Under its “cleaner & better energy” strategy, E.ON’s drive to retail distributed and novel energy technologies and business models will be supported by its E.ON Connecting Energies and Technology and Innovation departments.
E.ON Connecting Energies (ECT) is a 100 percent subsidiary of E.ON, focusing on energy efficiency and distributed energy solutions in the B2B sector globally. ECT acquired Matrix in 2013, which generates savings by bringing together its consulting skills – with a deep understanding of the energy needs of its customers and an ability to identify optimization opportunities from data mining – with its technical skills – configuring and controlling remotely Building Management systems to optimize the use of energy by heating, cooling or lighting systems.
Technology & Innovation (T&I) department is in charge of developing and managing new businesses until they are handed over to existing business units or newly created business units. Twelve E.ON Innovation Centers, which are embedded in E.ON’s businesses, coordinate activities in their respective technology area across the entire company.
Also part of T&I is the Innovation Scouting and Strategic Co-Investments team (SCI). SCI was established at the end of 2012, to identify new business models and products. It is also in charge of E.ON Venture capital activities for strategic partnerships. SCI collaborate closely with start ups financially and commercially by helping them deploying their products to E.ON customers. The investments focus on strategic technologies and business models that enable E.ON’s desire to lead the move to distributed, renewable and disruptive energy propositions, so the customers can be offered the best energy choices for their needs. In May SCI closed its 10th investment in less than 2 years and has established commercial plans with all but one these start ups.
Additionally, E.ON has been for the last 6 years leading in renewable energy with more than €9.5 billion Euros and more than 5.6 GW of renewable generation installed.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.