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  • Munich’s GreenCom Networks, leading energy IoT company, invites “Makers” to develop drivers for its Gateway portal
  • Driver library to be one of the biggest of its kind and cover PV solar panels, EV chargers, electricity storage batteries, heat pumps, and other distributed devices
  • Following investment from utility giant Centrica, device library a further step towards building energy communities and virtual power plants

Munich, 28th of February. Munich’s GreenCom Networks, recently in the news after receiving investment from British utility giant Centrica, has invited “Makers” to join forces in building a large library of energy device drivers. The library targets energy relevant devices such as solar inverters, battery storages, and electric vehicle chargers and is set to accelerate deployment of energy communities and virtual power plants.

The invite comes as Makers – electronic DIY enthusiasts – gather in Munich on Saturday and Sunday 2nd and 3rd of March for South Germany’s largest Maker fair, where GreenCom Networks will also be present and demonstrate its community at booth H1 45.

Christian Feißt, CEO of GreenCom Networks said: “What we are aiming to achieve with our Gateway portal is that you can simply take any PV solar panel or storage battery, from any manufacturer, and integrate it into our energy community like you would with a plug-and-play device. This will transform the energy business – ultimately, it will decrease energy bills, while increasing the usage of renewable energy.”

The use of communication protocols such as Modbus TCP varies amongst manufacturers, and even across models from the same manufacturer, which means that there is no standardized registry for defining and assigning the data points. Thus, GreenCom is looking for help from experienced makers and developers.

Mr. Feißt added: “Having a comprehensive device driver library is key to the success of energy communities. We want to integrate a vast number of energy devices through our Gateway and simplify installation. We will provide support and practical advice, particularly with Modbus TCP protocols. In return, makers will gain valuable experience and full access to our energy community for free. Makers come and join us!”

More information for Makers and a means to get in contact can be found here (https://www.greencom-networks.com/join-us/)

Home energy IoT provider GreenCom Networks closes fundraising round with Centrica Innovations

  • GreenCom Networks’ end-to-end solution for distributed energy resources enables energy retailers and energy device OEMs to offer innovative digital energy services
  • Investment will help push GreenCom’s international expansion
  • Investor Centrica brings extensive experience in customer-facing business

Munich, London, January 18th, 2019. GreenCom Networks has successfully closed a significant fundraising round led by international energy and service company Centrica. The current shareholders SET Ventures, Munich Venture Partners and Cosmos were also participating in this round. The funding will be used to finance a further international expansion of GreenCom’s Energy Internet of Things (IoT) platform in the European market.

GreenCom provides utilities, energy service companies and OEMs of energy-relevant devices with an end-to-end solution for distributed energy resources management (DERM). As the future energy markets will be heavily based on distributed assets like solar PV, batteries, electrical heating devices or electric vehicles, the number of those devices is expected to grow by a factor of five over the next 15 years. This provides significant opportunities for energy service companies to offer end-to-end services for customers. GreenCom’s Energy IoT platform is the foundation for digitally connecting and managing those devices for an optimal usage for homeowners.

GreenCom integrates distributed assets from a large variety of vendors and enables new energy services like power, heat or mobility flat-rates, energy communities, or generation of additional benefits from trading the flexibility of devices in a virtual power plant.

“We are delighted to have Centrica on board as an investor,” commented Christian Feisst, CEO of GreenCom. “Not only has Centrica a strong customer base in Great Britain and North America, they also bring extensive experience with customer-facing business in the energy industry to the table. And Centrica has a proven track record of building up customer-centric service business.”

“We know from talking to our customers that they are looking for a service that is easy to use, helps them to save money, and has a positive environmental impact. It’s because of this that we are excited to join GreenCom Networks with this significant investment and commercial collaboration, which will see us work together to develop new propositions for energy users around the world.”, said Idan Mor, Centrica Innovation Investment Director, who will join the GreenCom Supervisory board.

About GreenCom Networks

As a software-as-a-service company, GreenCom Networks offers a white label Energy IoT Platform to utilities, energy service companies, and energy-relevant device manufacturers. With its platform GreenCom Networks enables customers to launch disruptive digital business models while leveraging the increasing share of distributed energy assets and end consumers’ demand for innovative services like energy flat rates, energy communities or peer-to-peer energy.

About Centrica

Centrica plc is an international energy and services company. Its purpose is to provide energy and services to satisfy the changing needs of its customers. Centrica Innovations was established in 2017 and aims to invest £100m in new technology and innovations for homes and businesses. Through its Connected Home business, Centrica Hive, Centrica offers a range of smart home products and has deployed over 1 million connected home hubs worldwide.

Not long ago, our COO, Peter Müller-Brühl, visited the Recharge’s thought leaders Summit in Hamburg. Here’s what he had to say afterwards. OPINION piece by Peter Müller-Brühl

In a similar way to Airbnb’s business model, electricity providers will pool distributed generation and storage assets to provide services, rather than kWh.

When I set out my vision of the post-industrial “platform” energy system at Recharge’s Thought Leaders’ Summit in Hamburg earlier this month, I could clearly see some raised eyebrows. To put it simply, my assumption is that electricity in the future will be free. Yes, you read it correctly: electricity will be free. But since nothing in life is free, you will still be paying for something. And that something will be a service.

You might think that this is a “distinction without a difference”. But, if you are a utility, understanding this new business model will make all the difference between future prosperity and being outflanked by “energy space invaders”. Take this example: the biggest hotel group in the world, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, founded in 1919, has more than 5,400 properties and a market capitalization of $22.4bn. On the other hand, Airbnb, one of the biggest hospitality platforms in the world, was founded in 2008, has zero properties and an estimated value of $38bn.

Similarities between energy and hospitality, as well as other platform business models, might be closer than you think. Just as many households might have room to spare some or all of the time, more and more households will have some kind of energy generating or storage device. In fact, research shows that the number of “behind-the-meter” assets is projected to rise from 73 million worldwide in 2016, to more than 120 million by 2020. These are assets such as solar panels, heat pumps, batteries, electric vehicles (EVs) and storage heaters.

To understand how new platform business models will be different from traditional ones, let’s take a look at what an energy utility business looks like today: it is first and foremost about owning large energy assets and supplying “end points” with a commodity; it is about your most profitable customers being those that don’t switch. And it is about 40-year innovation cycles in power generation and grid transmission. I would call it the “€ per kWh” model.

On the other hand, the future energy world is about managing access to a large number of behind-the-meter assets. So instead of running large power plants, it is about providing a service (heat, power, EV transport). Instead of providing kilowatts it is about having regular, engaged customers. Finally, it is about rapid product and service innovation, instead of selling the same product for decades. I would call this the “€ per service” model.

The key question is how to get from one model to the other? Just as broadband, wi-fi, smartphones, and IT technology has unlocked the power of platform businesses, so we at GreenCom Networks believe that connectivity of behind-the-meter assets (combined with metered consumption and other data sources) will be key to setting up new business models for the energy world.

One of our projects, for instance, involves setting up and running an energy community, which acts not just as a virtual, but as a real power plant, with real electricity to use and sell. The only difference is that instead of being a large, centralized and conventional power station, our plant is comprised of hundreds of solar panels and storage batteries across a number of households in various locations.

This “cellular” power plant of the future, supplemented by a distributed storage facility, could enter into a number of economic scenarios, including bidding for supply, backup capacity and domestic service offers. Participants in this energy community both add value to the community, with their own generation and consumption profiles and also receive value, in terms of savings on their bills. And the community as a whole has a role to play in driving down CO2 emissions.

But, connecting behind-the-meter hardware, though crucial, is not sufficient for a successful energy platform business. Our experience tells us that just as any successful platform business analyses user data, so the energy retailers of the future will have to analyze user behavior to offer customers the best possible service, leading to a network effect. And the analysis will go way beyond binary energy “on/off’” data, including customer lifestyle preferences, time-of-day patterns, and other information that is indicative of how and when customers use electricity and energy based services.

For instance, does the electricity use in the household spike during weekends, when there is football on TV and a Sunday roast is in the oven? Or are weekends usually “low consumption” because the customer leads an outdoorsy lifestyle? All of this will be crucial in formulating the right tariff and winning and retaining customers.

Which brings me to the final point, something that engineers running the world’s energy utilities would be well advised to note: you can have the best hardware and the best data, and yet it takes that extra bit of magic to come up with the right service.

After all, even Airbnb started out offering short-term living quarters with breakfast included, business networking opportunities — and boxes of cereal! In other words, instead of the usual slow and cumbersome R&D strategies, the platform business model encourages rapid innovation and learning by doing.

At GreenCom, we sometimes call this model “spaghetti and walls”. You will have to throw a lot of cooked spaghetti at many walls to see what sticks. You will have to connect many devices, look at internal and external data, and then try a number of services and tariffs to see which best suit your customers.

You can either embrace this time as the most exciting time since Tesla invented AC transmission (and by extension modern electricity networks), or you can stick your head in the sand. The choice is yours — but the prize is open to all.

Munich, 9 August 2018. The international energy experts Maikel van Verseveld and Gerard Reid are strengthening the Supervisory Board of GreenCom Networks AG in Munich. With this prominent support, the company, which was founded in 2011, is setting the course for further strong growth in Europe. The Dutchman Maikel van Verseveld is a senior partner at Accenture Energy and one of the best known and best-networked consultants in the international energy world. The Briton Gerard Reid is a recognized financing expert in the field of digital energy transactions. “GreenCom will benefit from this expertise, the experience and the network of the two new supervisory boards as it continues to expand,” says Dr. Christian Feißt, CEO of GreenCom Networks AG: “It is extremely important for our further development to have gained such recognized experts for this role.”

“In my consulting activities, I come into contact with many young companies throughout Europe who want to shape tomorrow’s energy world with good ideas,” Maikel van Verseveld explains his motivation: “The concept and the approach of GreenCom Networks have greatly impressed me from the very beginning. I am therefore convinced that the company can make a decisive contribution to the digital energy transition and I would like to support this path as a Supervisory Board member.” Gerard Reid is active in the asset-financing sector of the energy world and will support GreenCom’s expansion in this area: “As the new energy world will essentially emerge beyond the large corporations that dominated the market in the past, it is important to develop sustainable financing models for digital energy businesses. A concept like that of GreenCom must therefore also be flexible and powerful in this respect.”

GreenCom Networks AG provides the energy industry with innovative digital solutions at the interface to the Internet of Things. With its Energy Information Brokerage Platform (EIBP), the company has developed a white label solution for the management of decentralized energy systems. This allows for the networking and optimized use of millions of decentralized systems such as photovoltaics, battery storage, heat pumps, air conditioning systems and electric cars. This results in brand new business models for energy services through to carefree services such as flat rates for electricity or air conditioning in combination with decentralized systems or energy community approaches. Dr. Feißt: “In the digital age, data, its analysis and processing are the raw materials of the new energy world.”

From the 4th to the 5th of June GreenCom was exhibiting at the Eurelectric in Ljubljana, Slovenia. As one of the largest energy industry conferences in Europe, the Eurelectric annual conference offered more than 50 C-level speakers, over 500 participants and more than 20 sponsors and exhibitors. As one of them GreenCom could attract multiple high-level visitors and show its new products live – most of all GreenCom’s community with a multitude of real connected end customers was impressive. Visitors could not only see the communities visualization but also try out features like energy usage statistics, forecasts, local optimization or data exports.

On the second day, GreenCom’s CEO, Christian Feißt, and a colleague from GreenCom’s partner EDP have presented the companies’ joint effort to provide new innovative digital energy services. Later GreenCom and EDP participated in the panel discussion on the future of distributors.