Innogy Venture Capital and High-Tech Gründerfonds invest in enercast GmbH, an Energy Forecasting Service Provider
Innogy Venture Capital and High-Tech Gründerfonds are going to invest in a first round of financing up to EUR 2.25 million in the start-up company enercast GmbH. The young technology company provides electricity generation forecasts from wind and solar which lead to significant cost savings along the energy supply chain.
“enercast addresses a fundamental problem of renewable energies. Fluctuations in the feed in of wind and solar electricity lead to a burdon on the grids and ultimately to a level of insecurity with regard to the supply of electricity. The more reliable forecast data is available, the better renewables can be integrated into existing grids and thus into the electricity market. enercast provides an important building block here for the success of the turnaround in the energy policy and, in doing so, it goes hand in hand with the investment focus of Innogy Venture Capital,” explains Crispin Leick, Managing Director of Innogy Venture Capital GmbH.
By working closely with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (Fraunhofer IWES), enercast developed a forecast algorithm which effectively integrates renewable energies into the electricity supply. The Kassel-based company enables location-specific electricity generation forecasts at 15 minute intervals.
Markus Kreßmann, Senior Investment Manager from High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH, adds: “The energy forecast from enercast technology is based on a unique combination of highly precise input data and the utilisation of neural networks. In addition to this innovative and up until now non-commercially applied approach, the team convinced us with its in-depth know-how and entrepreneurial experience. This is also what convinced first renowned clients who now enjoy a new level of forecasting quality as a result of the enercast forecasting.”
The forecast service builds on meteorological data like wind speed, air pressure, temperature and measured power data from wind turbines. Moreover, for photovoltaics there are satellite images on irradiation and data from more than 36,000 photovoltaic systems of the solar power monitoring network of SMA Solar Technology AG. Furthermore, when making forecasts, enercast resorts to artificial intelligence methods, through which past experiences establish conclusions about the relation of weather forecasts and future power generation. enercast provides forecast and power data both transparently and reliably via state-of-the-art web services, making lengthy and expensive software and hardware installations obsolete and thereby presenting a scalable business model for energy providers and traders on the international market.
Thomas Landgraf, CEO of enercast GmbH puts it in a nutshell: “With the option of real time forecasting based on actual data combined with high forecasting quality we are providing our clients with a competitive edge. While we already provide this service today, we are continually advancing our system platform and our service spectrum. The joint investment undertaken by Innogy Venture Capital and High-Tech Gründerfonds enables the envisaged technical advancement and opens up access to networks which are highly significant for the growth of enercast.”
Innogy Venture Capital is a fund management company specialized on renewable technologies. The company focuses on investments in European startup companies that provide solutions for CO2-neutral, renewable energy generation and storage. With a final closing size of EUR 115 million the currently managed “Innogy Renewables Technology Fund I” is a leading early stage investor in this segment inEurope. The fund’s sponsors are RWE Innogy and Conetwork Erneuerbare Energien. RWE Innogy pools within the German utility RWE the expertise for construction and operation of renewable energy generation assets. Conetwork Erneuerbare Energien, an investment company of Lampe Bank Group, is also focusing on renewable energy generation.
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High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW Banking Group, as well as thirteen industrial groups of ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE Color, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 563 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million EUR HTGF I, EUR 291 million HTGF II).
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