“For its pioneering solutions for the energy market of the future, we hereby honour one far-sighted and innovative company as winner of the 2015 EURELECTRIC Industry Award,” announced EURELECTRIC President Antonio Mexia, opening the final session of EURELECTRIC’s conference in Berlin on 2 June. “This company, ladies and gentlemen, is German-based Next Kraftwerke, operator of the largest virtual power plant in Europe.”
“On behalf of the entire team of Next Kraftwerke, it is a great honour for me to accept this award,” said Lisann Krautzberger, CEO of Next Kraftwerke’s Austrian subsidiary. “The EURELECTRIC conference today addresses the consumer powered transition of the energy system and is a theme that has been central to the first steps and concept of the virtual power plant that Next Kraftwerke started in 2009. We are excited to be part of this European transition,” she said. Ms Krautzberger then went on to explain the concept, “Next Kraftwerke has proven for the last 5 years that renewables can also be the same participants in the market and function as conventional systems. Today we have about 2,500 units of renewable energy in our pool and we are constantly working on using the flexibility of both consumers and producers so that they can assume the same market and grid responsibilities as conventional power plants,” she said.
“The utility industry has changed dramatically in the last decade with the advent of smart technologies and smart applications but both centralised and decentralised systems will continue to co-exist going forward – and of this I have no doubt”, said Mr Mexia. “Utilities are key to help users generate energy, manage their demand, and also balance energy supply and demand across the network,” he said, inviting the audience to applaud Next Kraftwerke for its “innovative” and “forward thinking” initiatives.
In addition to the industry award, a student award was presented to Irish PhD student, Killian McKenna, University College Dublin, for the best essay response to the question “Dinosaurs of the past or innovators of the future? Designing digital strategies to engage domestic customers”
Note to editors:
The EURELECTRIC Industry Award was inaugurated at the EURELECTRIC Convention in 2008. Awarded annually, it seeks to honour companies or persons that have made a pioneering contribution towards the development of the electricity industry.
Since 2010, EURELECTRIC has also organised a formal student competition as an integral part of its Annual Convention.