E.ON’s interest in distributed and smart energy solutions is continuing, with the German utility giant recently making a number of strategic co-investments in startup companies.

E.ON (FWB: EOAN) has become an investor in Munich-based Orcan Energy GmbH, a spin-off from Munich Technical University.

Orcan is the technology leader in small-scale modular Organic Rankine cycles, a technology for using waste heat to generate electricity. The modularity of its product (pictured) combined with its highly differentiated cost structure gives it the potential to dramatically alter the waste heat recovery market.

E.ON sees the partnership as a significant opportunity to supplement its broad range of different-sized CHP units, to provide solutions for industrial customers and to increase the output of its biogas-fired power plants.

Fuel cells are gaining an increasing share of the distributed generation markets in the US and Japan, so E.ON is taking a stake in Bloom Energy, a California-based provider of solid oxide fuel cell technology.

In addition, E.ON has become a limited partner in The Westly Group, an American venture capital firm that focuses on cleantech companies in areas such as e-mobility, renewable energy, smart grids, and energy efficiency for buildings.

“With our newly established venture-capital activities we make targeted investments in companies with technologies or business models that could improve or expand E.ON’s portfolio of products and services.

“Our investments focus on business models for distributed energy, smart grids and renewables”, said Urban Keussen, senior vice president for Technology & Innovation at E.ON SE.

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