By Jens Weinmann Christoph Burger
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Additional info for The Decentralized Energy Revolution: Business Strategies for a New Paradigm
However, in the long term this technology will not bring us much closer to our emission reduction goals. Yet, taken in conjunction with decentralized storage and renewable energy generation like photovoltaics, it is an extremely exciting technology. (Voigt, Younicos) Carsten Liedtke, speaker of the Board of Directors of municipal utility Stadtwerke Krefeld, expresses an optimistic opinion on the growth in the segment of small cogeneration. He expects further demand from commercial customers as well as small and medium sized enterprises: Smaller installations operated with gas or renewable energies will experience a renaissance.
We believe that gas in CHP constitutes a bridge technology because it is comparatively climate-friendly and extremely flexible. CHP units are difficult-to-market niche products for amateurs and entail high investment costs. For that reason, there are only a few CHP units in Germany and very small suppliers. We therefore had to develop a model that can function economically and is suitable for the mass market. A normal CHP unit is either electricity-led or heat-led. LichtBlick developed a completely new concept: our micro CHP units generate electricity at peak loads, when there is strong demand and high prices.
The focus is on Hamburg for the time being, so that we can gain experience in the market. The product is completely new, with innovations such as intelligent heating control. This also means that the product quality is not comparable with traditional CHP units. With the information collected, we can then guarantee high quality as well as a rapid rollout in the mass market. Across Germany, we are already in contractual negotiations in seven regions. We are currently concentrating on agglomerations, but in the longer term, we want to progressively position ourselves more widely.