In this second article of the ScaleUp Hub UK startup stories I’d like to introduce two of the participating startups that are actively supporting the energy transition with their technology solutions: Shine and Share&Charge.
While Shine strives for a decentralised energy system where consumers can ultimately provide each other with electricity, Share&Charge is working towards a decentralised EV charging ecosystem where EV owners and pole operators can seamlessly communicate and transact.
If I imagine a future where Shine and Share&Charge succeed, it would be a decarbonised, digitised, democratised and decentralised one. The 4Ds of the future energy system.
This piece will be divided into three sections. Parts one and two will explain the vision and business models for Shine and Share&Charge respectively. Part three will delve into the opportunities opened by the ScaleUp Hub Programme for both.
Part 1: Shine — Bringing the Energy Revolution to People’s Homes
Chances are, if you don’t live in a cave hiding from civilisation, you have most probably heard about the energy revolution. That’s right revolution: a very important change in the way that people do things. Energy worldwide is being transformed by a growing, but still small number of pioneers who provide themselves with energy from renewable sources, turning them into prosumers.
Shine is here to help every consumer evaluate their potential to transform their energy mix at home.
There are three key questions Shine can help you with:
- Do I pay too much for energy and gas?
- Is it worth it to produce electricity myself?
- Can I save money with e.g. a new heating system?
The entry point for Shine’s technology to anyone’s home is the smart meter. Think about this device as your personal sports/health tracker but for your home’s energy consumption. The smart meter can produce data to tell how much energy is being consumed (calorie intake), identify power guzzlers (that late-night snack), and help you save on your monthly energy bill (kms to run to burn those extra calories).
It’s as simple as that. But a smart meter by itself cannot be as smart without some algorithm magic and expertise that Shine is ready to provide. Once the energy is measured by the smart meter, it is encrypted and sent to Shine’s data centres where it is securely stored and evaluated. Then, end-users can get an overview of their power consumption via a report sent to their Shine app or web application.
Part 2: Share&Charge — Enabling the Open EV-Economy of Tomorrow
In common with Shine, Share&Charge is also driving the energy transition forward but in the form of mobility. It enables electric vehicle owners and charging station operators to seamlessly transact with each other and surpass the hurdles of having multiple operators with multiple apps and payment systems, not to mention the overload of power grids.
One of the biggest challenges to the mass adoption of electric vehicles is market fragmentation and low interoperability. If the market for fuel vehicles worked this way, it would be like going to a Shell gas station and struggling to make a payment because you signed up with Mobil in the first place, or not even being able to fuel the car due to the interoperability between the fuel gun and the gas tank. Or for example, with the overload of power grids, it would be like if every vehicle owner in one city decided to fuel their car at the same time, resulting in a collapse of gas supply.
Share&Charge has developed a decentralised, open-source protocol for EV charging, where EV drivers would have seamless access to all charge points with an easy payment system and efficient settlement between all parties in the network. In the Share&Charge ecosystem, machines can talk to each other (car-to-charge point) without any human intermediaries.
This sounds a bit like the utopia of the electric mobility ecosystem, but Share&Charge has already proven successful with their pilot project: Oslo2Rome
e-mobilists travelled around Europe with the so-called “e-mobility wallet” in order to test for the first time a cross-border charging network based on blockchain technology.
Within this pilot, EV drivers installed the Share&Charge app and were able to use all charge poles from the seven providers shown above, while operators were able to see the last transactions that took place at the pole including the duration of the charging transaction, the cost, as well as who charged at this charging station.
Part 3: Share&Charge and Shine’s visions to accelerate via the ScaleUp Hub Programme
Both Share&Charge and Shine are currently taking part in the acceleration programme that innogy Innovation Hub, Wayra UK, and the Catapult Network have put together.
To better understand the big vision of these companies, Annemie Ress, MD at the innogy Innovation Hub interviewed Petra Jung from Shine and Christopher Burgahn from Share&Charge in this podcast:
For Shine, bringing the energy revolution to only German homes is not enough.
They’re aiming to bring transparency and energy efficiency to everyone’s homes. With their expertise in the German market, Shine plans to take this existing proposition and adapt it to, first of all, the UK market.
But it doesn’t stop there, when both the UK and German markets are tackled, Shine wants to create a playbook for international expansion where questions like “what do we need to do differently?”, “what market segments do we address first?” and “how to be first mover and shaker” will be answered.
The fascinating thing about Shine’s proposition is that it can actually shine across multiple markets.
With the help of the Energy Systems Catapult, Shine will have access to various content from research papers and market studies that can help facilitate the creation of data points to tailor their business model to the UK market.
When it comes to Share&Charge, they dream of a driver that can access a charging station without any hassle, where the car pays by itself and the driver doesn’t have to do anything. Truly seamless mobility.
As this acceleration programme is based in the UK, Share&Charge is taking advantage of their previous experience with the Oslo2Rome pilot where they collaborated with Volkswagen to connect three charging pole operators in this market. The challenge now is to understand the market as a whole and connect to the multiple operators in the UK and address all electric vehicle owners.
I hope you enjoyed this article in the Startup Story series from our ScaleUp Hub Programme! There will be more exciting startup stories coming soon.