- Press Release
Japan Energy Challenge 2020 – an energy innovation program held jointly by ENECHANGE and Tokyo Gas
Enbala Power Networks (Canada), FreeWire Technologies (USA), and OhmConnect (USA) took the top prizes at the Japan Energy Challenge 2020 (JEC2020), an energy innovation program organized by ENECHANGE Ltd. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director & CEO: Yohei Kiguchi; Representative Director & COO: Ippei Arita). At the main event, held online on Tuesday March 9, talk sessions were held with the three winning companies along with the presentation of follow-up results from past winners.
As more and more attention is being focused on the energy sector as we work towards achieving a carbon-free society at the global level, a long list of more than 600 companies from around the world with technologies indispensable for spreading and stably supplying renewable energy was narrowed down to a final nineteen. Through a nearly year-long program of analyses of each company, webinar-based presentations, and one-on-one meetings with Japanese energy companies, this shortlist was whittled down to three winners. All three companies selected this time have unique technologies that are gaining them attention among sponsoring corporations: Enbala Power Networks (Canada) provides supply-and-demand management systems that allow both virtual power plants (VPP) and distributed energy sources; FreeWire Technologies (USA) provides mobile EV charging systems, and OhmConnect (USA) provides demand response services for households.
The Japan Energy Challenge has now been held three times since its start in 2018 as an initiative aimed at accelerating innovation in Japan’s energy markets and revitalizing the market. It is held jointly with energy-related companies in Japan with the goal of matching them with more energy technology companies from around the world.
Start-up companies that had one-on-one meetings through this initiative are continuing their negotiations, and are expected to start full-scale business expansion in Japan. In 2021, it will be renamed ENECHANGE Insight Ventures and become an energy matchmaking program aimed at achieving a carbon-free society.
JEC 2020 Cohort Winners (3 Companies)
|Enbala Power Networks
|VPP, DERMS Platforms
|Provides a real-time multi-service SaaS platform that offers both VPP and DER management system (DERMS) services. By using a real-time communication infrastructure, it can monitor, control, adjust, and manage electrical assets hooked up to energy companies.
|Provides a mobile EV charging solution (Mobi Charger). Able to be placed anywhere, they can be moved with a joystick on a controller. Able to offer flexible charging, they are ideal for company offices, workplaces, fleets, shops, and on-demand service providers. The charger comes with integrated software that allows simple management and its own dedicated app for drivers. The charger uses an 80 kWh battery.
|DR service for home use that gives people cash back
|Provides VPP solutions for home use. When power demand peaks, customers can reduce their power consumption and sell the amount saved to the market as additional power generation. The company has a portfolio of 500,000 users and can reduce potential load by more than 100 MW. It is expanding its services globally, and in 2020 it collaborated up with Origin Energy in Australia to start services there.
Comments from Cohort Winners
Bud Vos, CEO of Enbala Power Networks
The Challenge has been a great experience for Enbala, as we interacted with a broad range of top energy companies in Japan. This boosted our understanding of specific Japan market requirements, allowing us to engage more effectively. Enbala aspires to help its partners develop a competitive advantage in VPP and DERMS services and to accelerate Japan’s achievement of its carbon neutrality goals.
Rob Anderson, Director of Business Development of FreeWire Technologies
When we first learned of the JEC we got super excited about participating. The sponsor list is very impressive. We have already launched our Mobi Gen product in Japan and we’re preparing to launch our localized Japan Boost Charger in July. Being a top finalist for the JEC challenge will help FreeWire get the business with the companies that are on the JEC sponsor list.
Matt Duesterberg, President & Co-Founder of OhmConnect
The Japan Energy Challenge has provided an opportunity for innovative companies to get access to one of the most advanced electricity grids in the world. We are excited to bring the responsive demand model to Japan and ensure resiliency in the face of the next energy emergency.
Gold Sponsor: Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
Silver Sponsors: Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc ., ENEOS Corporation, Looop Inc., Panasonic Corporation, Shimizu Corporation
Bronze Sponsors: Hokuriku Electric Power Company, MIRAIT Holdings Corporation, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Ltd., Shikoku Electric Power Co.,Inc., The Chugoku Electric Power Co.,Inc ., Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc., Toyota Tsusho Corporation
◎Japan Energy Challenge 2020 website→ https://japanenergychallenge.com/
◎Press Release of May 13, 2020 — Japan Energy Challenge 2020, an energy innovation program co-hosted by ENECHANGE and Tokyo Gas
Comment from Yohei Kiguchi, Representative Director & CEO of ENECHANGE Ltd.(organizer of the JEC)
The Japan Energy Challenge is in its third year, and we were able to select 19 companies that already have strong track records in Western markets and plenty of potential for expansion into Japan. The top three companies all work on VPPs, and I fully expect to see them form business tie-ups and investments with Japanese energy-related companies and enter the VPP market in the future.
ENECHANGE will continue to actively engage in initiatives such as the JEC to promote energy reform involving leading energy technology companies from around the world.
About ENECHANGE Ltd.
ENECHANGE is an energy technology company that promotes a carbon-free society through digital technology with the mission of CHANGING ENERGY FOR A BETTER WORLD. We offer services based on data utilization in the field of the 4 Ds of Energy: Deregulation, Digitalization, Decarbonization, and Decentralization. Our company’s roots come from an energy data lab at the University of Cambridge, UK, a country where liberalization is well advanced. ENECHANGE has a British subsidiary, SMAP Energy Limited, as well as a global network and analytical technology for energy data.