New energy platform lets consumers ‘power one another’
‘Disruption’ is a bona fide buzzword in the tech sector — but it could soon be applied to developments in renewable energy which challenge traditional utility-consumer energy markets.
The venture capital arm of RWE, Germany’s largest energy producer, recently unveiled ‘shine’, a platform designed to let consumers power their own homes and trade the renewable energy they produce. The Essen-based utilities company worked alongside London’s Market Gravity, a proposition design consultancy, to create the technology.
Shine’s software boasts a home energy management system which allows users to optimise their use of their own solar energy and connect to others for the purpose of sharing, buying and selling green energy generated in their communities. Market Gravity claims shine is one of the first shared solar power energy systems to be launched worldwide. At present, it is only available in Germany, though the company has its eye on a UK launch.
Julia Lynch-Williams, the Managing Director for shine at RWE said: “We’ve have had positive feedback on shine from existing and new customers as well as from industry peers. Our vision is about ‘people powering people’ – helping consumers use more locally-generated renewable energy and this has really been brought to life with this launch.”
Germany is currently the world leader in micro-solar generation, though some industry experts have predicted that the UK will be named Europe’s top solar market by the end of this year.
Heidi O’Leary, Principal Consultant from Market Gravity, led the project for RWE. She said: “shine is such an innovative concept for the energy sector and it was great to be a part of creating one of the first consumer to consumer energy sharing platforms in the market. We took a collaborative approach and worked closely with the RWE team in Germany to understand the challenges and customer frustrations and the insights we derived allowed us to simplify the concept and turn it into a consumer-friendly, appealing offering.