Eon can check whether the technology of the new branch is working in front of its own headquarters in Essen. The start-up Grid X has set up an energy management system there. This should help smartly charge electric cars in the parking lot: if the glass office building requires little electricity, the system lets more batteries “fill up” at the same time – or with higher wattage. Of course, it all works the other way around as well. And “almost in real time”, as Eon points out.
Technology seems to have made Germany’s largest energy supplier so much that it is now taking over the majority of Grid X. Eon communicated. Because the number of electric cars in this country is gradually increasing – and with it the demand for smart charging systems. Ideally, as many batteries as possible should be charged when there is a lot of green electricity available: for example during stormy night hours or sunny weekend days.
Grid X is one of the many start-ups created by the Aachen university site. After its establishment in 2016, Grid X found several well-known investors and customers such as the heater manufacturer Viessmann or Eon. More recently, Grid X generated annual sales of a few million euros with around 70 employees. Eon does not wish to comment on the financial details of the takeover. Only the founders of Grid-X, David Balensiefen and Andreas Booke, are expected to remain involved in the business as minority owners.
Eon is moving forward with the new subsidiary on the path “towards the decentralized and above all digital world of energy”, explains the head of strategy Thomas Birr. Instead of large coal and nuclear power plants, more and more wind turbines and solar cells are producing electricity – with all the fluctuations that come with it. Gradually, more and more homes are using photovoltaics for energy supply – or charging the aforementioned electric cars. As part of Grid X, Eon wants to sell more energy management systems for houses or entire neighborhoods in this context.
The Dax group largely broke away from large power plants a few years ago: via the sale of its subsidiary Uniper and a billion dollar swap with its rival RWE. Since then, Eon has been almost exclusively an electricity and gas network and sales company. CEO Leo Birnbaum describes Eon as an “infrastructure company” that increasingly connects wind turbines and solar systems, but also charging stations, to the grid.
Nevertheless, Eon is far from the records of yesteryear on the stock market. The share price has been between eight and eleven euros per share for several years. On Friday, Eon temporarily lost just under one percent of its market value.