Shell buys Next power plants

The energy giant is taking over the Cologne-based start-up, founded in 2009, for an undisclosed sum. Shell already has plans for the employees.

In a red brick house in Ehrenfeld, the founders Jochen Schwill and Hendrik Sämisch have been working on their vision for the power generation of the future for the past few years - and their idea has now even convinced the British-Dutch company Shell. The energy giant is buying the Cologne-based start-up for an undisclosed sum, but is likely to have shelled out a high double-digit or even triple-digit million sum.

According to Shell, the 180 employees currently working at Next Kraftwerke will be taken over, and the virtual power plant will also remain largely independent under its current management. The current shareholders are selling their shares, including the founders Hendrik Sämisch and Jochen Schwill, as well as High-Tech Gründerfonds.

Next Kraftwerke wants to eliminate the disadvantages of renewable energy generation by bundling capacities. Because the big disadvantage of renewable resources has always been that you have to rely on nature. But what to do when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine?

Next Kraftwerke controls more than 10,000 decentralized energy plants via a virtual power plant and can activate or deactivate them from Cologne. For example, if there is no wind, Next Kraftwerke starts up the linked biogas plants. It then sells the electricity generated via the electricity exchange.

Commenting on the acquisition, Hendrik Sämisch, founder and managing director of Next Kraftwerke, says: "The merger of Shell and Next Kraftwerke will help accelerate the move towards a decarbonised energy system, as it will allow us to benefit from the expected rapid increase in demand for renewable energy trading contracts thanks to synergies in electricity trading and risk management."

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