One of the key tasks of Technology & Innovation (T&I) is to develop and manage new businesses until they are handed over to existing business units or newly created business units. Fourteen E.ON Innovation Centers, which are embedded in our businesses and steered by the T&I department at Group Management, coordinate activities in their respective technology area across the entire company.
To balance power supply and demand in an increasingly intermittent system, flexible generation assets such as combined cycle gas turbines are required. The Innovation Center’s mission is to further strengthen the strategy value of the existing CCGT fleet and assess future development opportunities for gas turbine technologies.
- Enhance performance and cost base of fleet assets to support increasing volumes of intermittent renewable generation.
- Protect fleet assets from disruptive influences: Investigating the feasibility of retrofitting E.ON CCGT fleet – at present chiefly natural gas-fired – with the capability to utilize potentially lower cost and lower emission fuels. Such fuels might include H2, biogas, shale gas and synthesis gas (Syngas).
- Shape the fleet of the future.
Mission: Deliver technologies for reliable and affordable low carbon electricity from fossil fuels. The Innovation Center CCS ensures that E.ON will be enabled to apply CCS in future electricity markets.
- Screening of carbon capture, transport and storage technologies
- Planning and operation of CO2 capture pilot plants
- Planning and operation of Transportation and Storage infrastructure
- Provide solutions for new HSE issues
- Support development of legal and regulatory framework.
More information on Carbon Capture and Storage.
Nuclear power plants enable zero carbon power production and remain a valuable technology of European and global scale. The Innovation Center’s mission is to track the development of innovative nuclear technologies and to improve sustainability of nuclear power plants in order to safeguard E.ON’s ability to act in this technology field internationally.
- Supporting the performance and safety improvements of existing nuclear plants
- Delivering solution for decommissioning and waste management
- Exploring of new, small scale nuclear concepts and use of co-generation
- Ensure a safe dismantling process of nuclear power plants in Germany.
Steam power plants are key contributors to reliable and cost-efficient energy supply on a global scale. The long-term competitiveness of these power plants heavily depends on their fit to a low-carbon energy system. Therefore, the Innovation Center Steam explores ways to increase efficiency, to increase flexibility and to reduce emissions.
- Efficient plant technology
- Increased plant flexibility
- Emission reduction & biomass co-firing
- Improved plant operation.
The path towards a low carbon energy future is determined by growth and efficiency of renewable energy generation. The Innovation Center aims to further improve operations of existing renewable assets and to explore new technologies such as tidal energy or advanced photovoltaic solutions.
- Development and improvement of wind generation technologies
- Offshore renewable technologies
- Development of concentrated solar power expertise
- Explore energy from biomass
- Increase competitiveness of Solar Photovoltaic.
Decarbonization of the energy system and increasing intermittency drive the attractiveness of hydro power plants. The EIC aims to increase operational performance of the existing fleet and to identify new technology potentials.
- Support of existing hydro plants
- Economical optimization of existing assets
- Tracking of hydro power technologies.
Decentralization and intermittency of the energy system lead to new challenges for distribution system operators (DSOs). The Innovation Center’s aim is to promote E.ON’s DSO businesses to play a key role in facilitating the energy system through establishing flexible, intelligent and active energy networks.
- Development of smart grids aiming to increase the utilization of existing networks and interaction with costomers and generators
- Assessment of distribution technologies and develop Smart Grid toolbox
- Assessment of Smart Metering development, sourcing strategies, technical specification work.
As solar and wind power supply varies according to the time of day, season or weather conditions and as consumption fluctuates, storage systems will be needed in future. They serve to store surplus power from renewable sources and then make it available to customers when needed. In this context E.ON is pursuing various approaches, ranging from the optimisation and efficiency enhancement of proven technologies to highly innovative solutions. The purpose of the E.ON Innovation Center Energy Storage is to assess these technologies, test them if necessary, and ultimately incorporate them into the energy system.
The main areas are:
- electric storage (e.g. batteries),
- storage in the form of gas (e.g. conversion from power into hydrogen using power-to-gas technology or compressed air storage),
- heat storage (e.g. for combined heat and power plants).
New technologies open up opportunities to exploit additional gas sources such as bio gas and unconventional gas. The Innovation Center’s mission is to analyze future gas sources and to define the role of gas in a more intermittent energy system.
- Assessment of gas exploration and production technologies
- Implementation of new gas infrastructure technologies
- Increase generation of gas from new sources (bio-gas, shale gas, synthetic natural gas, etc.).
Trend towards decarbonisation of future urban mobility requires new mobility concepts. The Innovation Center E-Mobility positions E.ON to enter this new market.
- Assess different E-Mobility technologies
- Launch and support demonstrator projects
- Conduct business analyses and develop regional deployment strategies.
Availability of distributed energy generation and management solutions opens up new business opportunities for E.ON. The Innovation Center explores technologies enabling a value proposition for E.ON towards commercial and private customers.
- Energy efficiency
- Energy management
- Distributed energy
- Gas mobility.
Smart Home connects electrical devices to a network within the household. Thereby, it enables new functionalities like the access and adjustment of devices via PC, smartphone or tablet computer. End customers get more comfort, security and energy efficiency through Smart Home, for instance customers can decrease the temperature of their homes on the move, control their homes from the distance or receive a message if an old person has an injury at home. Due to the connection with the energy network or own distributed energy production, customer can adjust their consumption and shift it to an opportune time. Smart Home provides new revenue for E.ON in terms of sales, energy network and production – for instance customer loyalty, load control or reduction of trading risks. Experts estimate that within the next five to ten years the “internet of things” connects all devices costing more than 25 Euros to a smart world. Smart Home provides the opportunity to increase the average revenue per customer – within the energy market and beyond. The E.ON Innovation Center Smart Home has run several customer and technology tests and has introduced two initial Smart Home products to the market.
- Develop more tangible energy products in a single testbed for the E.ON group (like in Milton Keynes, UK)
- Deliver commercial-off-the-shelve products to all regional units
- Devolop an own Smart Home platform with Greenwave as preferred platform partner and exit other partners
- Develop and test a new route to market (based on security/insurance)
- Coordinate all Smart Home activities within the E.ON core markets
The distributed energy world will consist of a number of building blocks and active customers that is rapidly growing; they will be able to liaise closely with one another. In this networked world, the significance of all kinds of data will grow. Data is a prerequisite to control the energy system and it helps us to understand customer requirements better. In doing so, we will be able to exploit new areas of business.
The Innovation Center Energy Intelligence has the task of enabling E.ON to use this potential to process data in the best possible manner in this networked energy world.
- Evaluation of IT options to increase the efficiency of existing E.ON sites and to play a central role in the new energy world.
- Optimization of data management as well as data mining, in order to profit from data being converted into meaningful information.
- Cooperation with external parties, so that E.ON gains competitive advantages in the areas of information technology and in the core business.
In order to better understand future energy trends, a holistic view on energy systems is essential. The Innovation Center is responsible for developing this view and defining a technology strategy that guides E.ON towards its future technological position.
- Definition of long term technology strategy
- Developing insights of potential energy systems of the future, energy market and energy system analyses.