Shell Acquires German VPP Company Next Kraftwerke

The deal has been closed for an undisclosed sum of money and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of this year

Shell Overseas Investments B. V. has announced that it has acquired Next Kraftwerke, a German operator of virtual power plants for an undisclosed sum. The formalities of the agreement are expected to be completed by the second quarter of this year.

In recent years, Shell has intensified its operations in the electricity marketplace. In a statement released on the energy giant’s website, it said: “This acquisition is in line with Shell’s customer-first, digitally-enabled integrated power strategy that will help the company in its ambition to become a leading provider of clean Power-as-a-Service. Shell aims to sell around 560-terawatt hours of electricity a year by 2030, twice as much as it sells today.”

Next Kraftwerke enables customers to buy or sell electricity from renewable sources such as photovoltaics, bioenergy and hydropower on the wholesale market. It acts as a trading interface to secure the best deal for its customers on the virtual power plant marketplace. The CEO of Next Kraftwerke, Hendrik Sämisch, said: “Bringing Shell and Next Kraftwerke together will help to accelerate the move towards a decarbonized energy system, through the wider deal opportunities and trading synergies that will come from the expected rapid increase in demand for renewable energy trading contracts.” The company currently operates in units spread across Germany (where it also has headquarters), Belgium, Austria, France, Poland and the Netherlands.

This is not Shell’s first foray into the business of virtual power plants. A unit has been set up under the parent company called Limejump to exclusively manage its virtual power plant operations. Last year in February, Limejump acquired its first virtual power plant company for Shell: Sonnen, a German virtual power plant operator. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant has been taking its first steps towards exploring clean energy. In 2018, it invested $1-2 billion in renewable energy initiatives (which is approximately 4-6% of its annual investment budget).