What do you do with the leftover power generated from your own system which you don’t need yourself? Very simple: sell it to your neighbors. And if you don’t have the space or money to build your own private green power plant, you could just join forces with other people in your area. Then you can build your own power station together for generating sustainable energy. Take, for example, the solar energy park in Saxony-Anhalt.
It was dismissed as unfeasible, yet the Hamburg start-up ‘Enyway’ has nevertheless succeeded despite all the doom-mongering. A democratized electricity supply, independent from the major companies. Whereby contributing to attaining the climate targets as well as the 2 degree C warming limit are key. Innovation Origins spoke with Varena Junge, who together with Heiko von Tschischwitz and Andreas Rieckhoff founded the democratized electricity producer ‘Enyway‘.
What is “enyway” anyway?
We are an innovative platform for green energy. We have managed to set a few things in motion in the relatively sluggish German energy market. For example, our mediation platform for self-generated electricity, or the construction of the first solar power plant financed by a ‘community’ without any subsidies.
Who are the customers and who are the suppliers? And how can you sign up for this?
Everybody who buys electricity in Germany can become a customer. You can choose your personal electricity supplier via our platform. These producers are private individuals who generate their own sustainable energy. They can sell this electricity directly to consumers via our platform.
You held a major publicity campaign last year. How did that work out?
That’s when we launched the ”Enyway change” product. We wanted to get as many people as possible interested in building a privately owned solar power plant where they could get their electricity from. And we actually managed to do that. The plant is located in Saxony-Anhalt in Germany and has been supplying power to the grid since this autumn. Apart from this project, we have other unconventional plans in store. We want to roll out one or two of them next year. It’s all about tackling the climate crisis in a simple and effective way. So it’s all still very exciting.
To what extent are the major electricity producers holding you back? Or are there other hurdles to contend with?
Our energy platform has gone off in a completely new direction. A path the industry claimed was ‘totally impossible’. We have proven the opposite with the success of our platform. Taking new directions often means that getting past mountains and valleys too. That’s not always easy. But it pays off. It’s always been a challenge for us to get noticed by the general public. We only have a fraction of the marketing budget that established energy suppliers have. We therefore have to be able to convince our consumers via our products and our creative communication.
What have you accomplished so far?
With enyway power and change, we have proven that it is possible to break through the rigid structures of the energy market. We always put people first. We want to tackle and realize large-scale projects together, under the motto: act rather than talk.
What is your vision for the future?
Our vision is to meet the climate targets and the 2-degree limit. That should be the most important goal for every generation. We would like to make a decisive contribution to that. With smart products that help as many people as possible to reduce or neutralize their ecological footprint. Our ‘big picture’ is global climate neutrality. A lot of painting still needs to be done on that ‘picture’. We supply the paints and brushes.
Do you have any tips for other new entrepreneurs?
Don’t be discouraged if the path to your goal isn’t going smoothly. Don’t lose focus, even if you feel you have 100 ideas and all sorts of loose ends. Surround yourself with a team you can rely on and who want to do go in the same direction with you.