Innovation 

We develop solutions that move us and our customers forward. 

We are always on the lookout for new ideas and solutions that will deliver success for our customers, partners and our company in future too. Digitisation is a firm component of our corporate culture. Our technological developments and themes like hydrogen are as much a focus for us as change management and digital transformation. In all the innovations that we develop ourselves or together with partners, there is one overriding priority: meeting our customers’ expectations. By offering them platforms, for example, that allow them work more easily, more quickly and more efficiently with us in the energy market. 

Our company lives for technological innovation. We find inspiration for new ideas throughout the energy market and beyond. Here, we take relevant trends and future scenarios as a basis, reviewing both disruptive developments in the whole industry and substantial optimisations brought about by new business models.

Energy of the future 

In future, both natural gas and green gases will flow through our pipelines. These include biogas, synthetic gases and, most importantly, hydrogen. We analyse the market opportunities and work on innovative solutions for the extensive use of green gases as energy carriers of the future.

Corporate culture and change management

Innovation management, agile working and digitisation influence the way in which we develop our company and how we cooperate at OGE. We want to enable our company to embrace change and utilise that potential.

Start-ups

There is a constant stream of new companies with exciting ideas for the future. Some of these are able to influence the way in which we carry out our energy business. These ideas inspire and delight us – so we want to support start-ups with their realisation. Talk to us about how we can work together to bring future concepts to market maturity.

Digital transformation 

We too are finding ourselves in the midst of the digital transformation. Hence we are establishing a digital mindset in all areas of the company and optimising our day-to-day work with new technologies.

In doing so, we work according to the principle of “test and learn”. We continually review and test new digital solutions to ensure they offer the desired added value for collaboration with customers and partners as well as for us as a company. To ensure rapid and flexible implementation of ideas, we have developed an agile software development team and trained agile coaches.

Project for satellite-based monitoring

We support research projects and start-up initiatives relating to satellite-based monitoring. Here, we focus on innovative solutions we can use to oversee our gas pipelines efficiently.

Contact person: Ann-Kathrin Piwellek

“Zollverein” project 

As a founding member, we have been active in shaping the digital ecosystem within the “Zollverein digital campus” since November 2019.

We meet regularly with other Essen-based companies at the former Zollverein colliery, a World Heritage Site, to explore new, digital business models and process innovations.

The aim here is to develop a digital, industrially oriented ecosystem in which B2B companies like us, E.ON, ThyssenKrupp and others can work together and with start-ups on digital topics. The main areas of focus here, for example, are the development of a “digital twin” for simulation of network situations (e.g. for H2 networks) and the use of drones in conjunction with big data for optimised maintenance processes.

Alongside specific project work, the collaboration takes place in three formats:

Co-Innovate, Co-Invent and Co-Invest.

The Co-Invent format provides primarily for exchange among the companies involved and start-ups with regard to digital innovation, while Co-Innovate involves companies executing specific projects together within the theme clusters “Infrastructure”, “Cyber security” or “Data-driven business models”. The Co-Invest cluster is being developed right now and is aimed at the concept of joint funding models among partners for new business ideas.

Contact persons: Christoph Gedwien, Ann-Kathrin Piwellek

Project on blockchain applications

Since July 2019, a two-year project has been exploring the benefits the promising blockchain technology can bring to the gas sector and sector coupling. BlockCentive is part of the federal government’s 7th energy research programme – and is therefore funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The project is being managed by OGE. The participants in this fascinating laboratory experiment are Q_PERIOR Energy GmbH, Spherity GmbH, the University of Duisburg-Essen, RWTH Aachen, ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH and Gelsenwasser AG as an associate partner.

Idea

Network access, gas balancing, procurement of balancing gas and gas trading are set to be radically simplified with the help of blockchain components. One important building block for this efficiency increase are so-called “kWh coins”, a kind of virtual currency that represents an entitlement to take energy from the network. These coins can be traded freely. When energy is withdrawn from the system, they are considered spent.

Objectives and advantages

We want to find out whether the concept is feasible in practice and can be implemented on a large scale. For this, everything is being tested in a laboratory environment. With successful realisation, the commercial benefits could be huge:

Alongside the efficiency increases outlined above, the consolidation of market areas could also be made much easier. Gas consumers get a genuine choice between various types of gas, certified in a way that is transparent and counterfeit-proof. Administration costs for trade and network operation would be reduced considerably.

Contact person: Christoph Gedwien