In light of the fact that the markets are changing significantly, we have made the decision to reorganise and refocus our research and development activities. In the future, the focus will lie more heavily on innovative business models: for this purpose, we will pool existing innovation activities together and expand them further. Our customers and employees are not merely participants in the energy revolution, but co-creators. That is why we want their ideas to flow into our innovation management.
We are therefore developing a virtual innovation portal that will allow employees – followed by customers at a later stage – to systematically submit their ideas. We judge our progress by the number of ideas submitted to the portal that have been integrated into a project. By 2020, we want to have reached the point where we develop ten innovation proposals per year.
Own energy generation
More and more customers want to optimise their energy system or generate their own energy from renewable sources. EWE responds to this trend with a wide range of new products and services. For example, with the EWE Mini-PV: Customers who do not have their own roof space can still generate solar energy themselves – on a balcony, for instance – with this solar panel which measures around 1.5 sq. m.
EWE has also developed a power-generating heating system, known as a home power station, based on fuel-cell technology. For customers wanting to cover the majority of their electricity needs with their own solar energy system, EWE offers the EQOO photovoltaic storage system. This system can cover, on average, 70% of the customer’s electricity consumption.
Energy revolution in the north-west of Germany: Major field test: enera
The integration of renewables into the market is currently a hot topic. A blueprint is to be developed in East Friesland and Friesland: In December 2015, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy awarded a consortium of 75 partners led by EWE approximately EUR 50 million from the ‘Schaufenster intelligente Energie’ (intelligent energy showcase) subsidy programme.
With the enera project, the partners want to demonstrate how energy systems can be designed in a sustainable, efficient manner in the model region through the use of intelligent technologies. The results of this project should then be able to be rolled out across Germany. The energy system in the administrative districts of Aurich, Friesland and Wittmund, as well as the cities of Emden and Lingen, is to be equipped with up to 30,000 intelligent measurement systems. In addition, storage systems are to be constructed and wind farms subjected to technical upgrades.
Going CO2-free with electromobility
In 2015, the number of registered electrical vehicles in Germany increased by around 6,500 to 25,500. This is a welcome trend as, powered by electricity from renewable sources, it is possible to achieve virtually carbon-free mobility. EWE is expanding its charging infrastructure: there are more than 80 charging points in the area overseen by EWE and its Bremen-based subsidiary swb, with 100% of the electricity at these points coming from renewable sources. With its electricity charging map, EWE has been offering a convenient, low-cost payment method for a fixed price since 2015. For customers charging their vehicle at home, EWE launched its EWE Strom mobil product in 2015: In the evening, when the electric vehicle is usually charged, the electricity rate is particularly cheap.
Products from renewable energy sources
We have been offering electricity and gas products from renewable energy sources since 2007. The products swb Strom proNatur and EWE Strom NaturWatt are all sourced from 100% renewable energies. EWE Strom NaturWatt and EWE Grünstrom were awarded the ‘Geprüfter Ökostrom’ (certified green energy) certificate by the TÜV NORD technical inspection authority in 2015.