3 min read

Leipziger Stadtwerke: First German municipality to use AI for renewable energy planning.

By Susanne Rost on Feb 9, 2024 1:47:33 PM

In today's rapidly changing and digitized energy market, securing crucial innovations is essential for energy providers to gain a competitive advantage. Stadtwerke Leipzig, a leading energy distribution company and one of SpinLab’s strategic partners, embarked on a journey to secure such innovations. As the first municipal company in Germany, Leipziger Stadtwerke relies on an innovative AI-supported software solution for the planning of renewable energy installations for commercial and large customers. It was during the SpinLab accelerator program that Stadtwerke Leipzig encountered founder Christina Vogel from Elena International, who introduced them to elenova plan.

                                             elena international founders: Christina Vogel and Sabine Unseld

Transforming the energy landscape with AI

elenova plan represents a significant milestone in the creation of indicative offers in the renewable energy sector. This innovative tool enables energy providers to rapidly generate complex energy concepts for commercial and large-scale customers. By leveraging AI and behavioral models, elenova plan replaces the time-consuming processes previously carried out using self-developed Excel tools. Founder Vogel emphasizes, "elenova plan reduces the time required by energy providers and engineering firms to create offers for renewable energy projects and services from five hours to just five minutes." The underlying AI and behavioral models lead to more precise results, enabling the sales teams to efficiently advise clients in the housing, industrial, and municipal sectors.

For Stadtwerke Leipzig's sales team, elenova plan emerged as an ideal solution. Manuel Clauß, from the key account management team, explains that the company regularly advises large customers on efficiency measures and the integration of renewable energies. Previously, they relied on self-developed Excel tools, spending extensive hours crunching data to create appropriate offers. With elenova plan, the customer becomes an active participant, receiving a comprehensive analysis of their current energy situation, accurate projections, and visually compelling offers within minutes.

Tailored integration for Stadtwerke Leipzig

elenova plan's impact extended beyond its introduction in late 2021. Following a development and testing phase, the tool quickly garnered the interest of 30 energy companies, establishing itself as an indispensable platform within the industry. However, elenova plan is far from being an off-the-shelf product. Manuel Clauß and his colleagues collaborated closely with the founders, Christina Vogel and Dr. Sabine Unseld, to tailor the software to meet the specific requirements of Leipzig's Stadtwerke. They initially integrated solutions for heating, cooling, and photovoltaics. Conducting parallel tests comparing elenova plan to legacy systems, they optimized the back-end and aligned the user interface with Stadtwerke Leipzig's design principles.

SpinLab bridges the gap between innovators from the startup and corporate environment

The success of elenova plan integrated into Stadtwerke's operations underscores startup accelerators' vital role in fostering innovation. SpinLab, providing a nurturing environment, aids early-stage companies in refining ideas and scaling innovative solutions. Through SpinLab's corporate innovation services, established companies like Stadtwerke Leipzig gain a competitive edge by testing technologies and partnering with startups. This approach enhances efficiency and provides access to innovative solutions, allowing energy providers to thrive in an evolving landscape and promote sustainability and customer-centric solutions for rapidly changing needs.

This collaborative project is funded by EDIH Saxony. As part of the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) program of the European Union, EDIH Saxony provides comprehensive support to companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, in integrating digital technologies. By fostering research, development, and implementation of digital innovations, EDIH Saxony contributes to strengthening the regional economy and increasing digital transformation. 

Topics: Pilot Projects energy smart city Case Study partner
1 min read

Engineers from Saxony want to build the world's highest wind turbines

By Linh Pham on Dec 6, 2022 4:54:54 PM

Wind power plays an essential role in the energy transition. The taller wind turbines are, the more efficiently they work, since the wind is much steadier and blows more strongly at higher heights. So why not just build them higher? Well, such height wind turbines are not so easy to construct. At least if they are built the way they have been so far, with a generator located at the hub height of the rotor blades. 

Topics: energy smart city
2 min read

The largest giga solar park is to be built in Lausitz

By Linh Pham on Oct 20, 2022 11:40:07 AM

Giga sustainable - giga efficient - giga innovative. These are the keywords of the new green business concept of the LEAG, the consortium Lausitz Energie Bergbau AG and Lausitz Energie Kraftwerke AG from Cottbus.

Topics: energy
2 min read

European Digital Innovation Hub Saxony

By Linh Pham on Sep 20, 2022 8:00:00 AM

With the support of the EU program "Digital Europe", a nationwide network of digital innovation centers, called European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH), is to be established in the European Union. Saxony successfully applied to become a European Digital Innovation Hub. The European Digital Innovation Hub Saxony bundles the competencies of four Saxon institutions. Members of the consortium are the Smart Infrastructure Hub Leipzig, the Smart Systems Hub Dresden, simul⁺InnovationHub of the State Ministry for Regional Development and, as coordinator, InfAI - Institute for Applied Informatics. For the next three years, the EU will fund the project with about 2.3 million euros.

Topics: energy smart city
1 min read

SIGNAL IDUNA acquires Europe's largest solar park

By Linh Pham on Jul 28, 2022 11:42:47 AM

The insurer Signal-Iduna wants to achieve climate neutrality by 2040. A big step in this direction is already being taken: Signal-Iduna is acquiring Europe's largest solar park for a mid-three-digit million sum. "We don't just talk about sustainability, we act," says Ulrich Leitermann, CEO of the Signal-Iduna Group. Since 2020, Signal - Iduna is a premium partner of SpinLab - The HHL Accelerator.

Topics: energy smart city
2 min read

Innovation competition „Smart City Challenge Leipzig“ 2022 started

By Linh Pham on Feb 21, 2022 2:49:31 PM

2022 the City of Leipzig enters the second round with the organisation of the innovation competition with the title Smart City Challenge Leipzig“ powered by Smart Infrastructure Hub Leipzig. Founders, startups, students and established ventures are called to find innovative digital solutions for predetermined questions and challenges in the areas of civil society and municipal administration.

Topics: energy smart city
2 min read

LHyVE – Leipzig Hydrogen Value Chain for Europe

By Linh Pham on Dec 15, 2021 11:57:46 AM

The joint project LHyVE (Leipzig Hydrogen Value chain for Europe) aims to establish an intelligent and regionally networked green hydrogen system as a lighthouse for efficient sector coupling and to integrate it into the emerging European hydrogen infrastructure. With LHyVE, the entire value chain from production, storage, transport and distribution to final consumption is to be realized in the Leipzig region. SpinLab partner Leipziger Gruppe, ONTRAS and EDL Anlagenbau with many more players such as VNG (also SpinLab partner), Siemens Energy, BMW Group Werk Leipzig, Fraunhofer are involved in this project.

Photo credits: LHyVE

Topics: energy smart city
2 min read

Bad Lauchstädt Energy Park becomes pilot project for green hydrogen

By Linh Pham on Sep 14, 2021 5:02:33 PM

An economy without emissions of greenhouse gases within the next 30 years - that is Europe's declared goal in order to stop climate change. This requires a major change from today onwards. Renewable energies are to replace fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas. In the course of the sustainable transformation of energy supply, hydrogen will play a key role.

Topics: energy smart city