The German energy economy is going through a fast-paced upheaval – and has been for years, despite the industry being known for its reliability and pioneering investment decisions. EWE is facing four central challenges for which we have readied ourselves by looking ahead. This way, we can contribute to sustainable solutions.
Digitisation The intelligent management of energy systems, linking energy consumers with producers, or smart applications such as remote-controlling heating systems when you’re away from home, all depend on a digital infrastructure. At the same time, digitisation is the consequence of technical and social developments. It fundamentally changes the expectations of customers, along with the way that value chains and business models work.
Energy companies are faced with the challenge of mastering the valuable amounts of data and developing business models on this basis – with the aim of offering their customers personalised products with a high level of convenience for the user. To do this, we need new information technologies that link operational and business processes.
One of the key challenges in the next decade will be to gradually transition from a carbon-based energy supply to a CO2-neutral supply. Germany’s rural regions will be increasingly significant in this switch because they have the necessary space available for the expansion of renewable energy sources. The potential of the north-west in particular is already being effectively tapped in terms of wind turbines and the use of biomass and photovoltaics. In order to integrate weather-dependent systems into the energy supply, new solutions will have to be found: generation, consumption and grid load flows have to be carefully coordinated and managed in a more flexible way than previously.
Effects of the energy market
The liberalised electricity and gas markets, as well as the regulation of grid business, have lowered the earning power of our company in its traditional core business. What used to be stable sources of income are increasingly subject to pressure on earnings. For example, the obligation to accept electricity from renewable sources has primarily changed the market situation for power generation from conventional sources.
Demographic change will have a significant effect on the job market in the future; throughout Germany there are fewer and fewer highly qualified experts relative to the number of vacancies. We want to enter the competition for the best minds in the business as an attractive employer.