2015 Industry Award

Next Kraftwerke GmbH was named winner of the 2015 EURELECTRIC Industry Award for its far-sighted and innovative initiatives to help further integrate renewable energy sources into the market and use the flexibility potential offered by producers and consumers alike to create “new” balancing market opportunities for both. Accepting the award, Lisann Krautzberger, CEO of Next Kraftwerke’s Austrian subsidiary, thanked EURELECTRIC President Antonio Mexia for having selected Next Kraftwerke for this prestigious prize. She underlined that the “consumer powered energy transition” conference theme was very much at the heart of Next Kraftwerke’s business philosophy and pointed to the crucial role that customers and business can play in redressing the flexibility challenges posed by the growing influx of renewables and distributed energy resources into the grid.

Next Kraftwerke was founded in 2009. It is the operator of the largest virtual power plant (VPP) in Europe and a certified power trader on the EPEX energy exchange’s spot market. Headquartered in Cologne, Germany, Next Kraftwerke is also expanding into other European countries.

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2015 Student Award

For the sixth year running, EURELECTRIC organised a Student Award as an integral part of its conference programme. This year's winner was Killian McKenna, PhD candidate at University College of Dublin, for the best essay entry on the topic “Dinosaurs of the Past or Innovators of the Future? Designing digital strategies to engage domestic customers”. Mr McKenna described electrification as “one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century”. He identified the energy transition as a fundamental challenge to be tackled by both utilities and energy consumers. To make the energy transition a success, “we need a digital infrastructure to enable the data transfer, monitoring, control and interaction between the myriad of different technologies that will make up the future sustainable energy system”, Mr. McKenna said.

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