The Importance of Partnerships for Innovation in Renewable Energy

The energy transition is advancing at a rapid pace. According to a study by the International Energy Agency (IEA), electricity generation from renewable sources accounted for over 38% of the global energy mix in 2021, with a growth rate of over 6% [1]. This trend will continue to accelerate in the coming years. The IEA forecasts that 95% of new power capacity additions over the next 5 years will come from renewable sources [2].

This development opens up enormous economic opportunities. The IEA estimates that global investments in renewable energy could rise to $2.6 trillion per year by 2030 [3]. To leverage this potential, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are in demand.

This is where partnerships between companies and investors come into play. By bundling resources and know-how, they can drive the development of groundbreaking solutions in renewable energy, decarbonization, and e-mobility.

This article highlights the growing importance of cooperation in these future industries and demonstrates specific benefits for companies and investors. In addition, the role of venture builders such as B-works as catalysts for successful partnerships is outlined. Read on to learn how the right partnerships can help companies capitalize on the booming renewable energy market while making a contribution to a greener future.

The Growing Market for Renewable Energy

The global market for renewable energy is experiencing tremendous growth. According to an analysis by Allied Market Research, the market is growing at an average annual rate of 8.4% and will reach a volume of $2.15 trillion by 2030 [4].

Drivers of this boom are decreasing costs, technological advances, and worldwide efforts towards decarbonization in the fight against climate change. Investors recognize the potential: In 2021, $366 billion flowed globally into renewable energies, a new record [5].

Europe is one of the most important markets with a revenue share of over 30% [6]. Ambitious regulations and incentive programs aim to increase the share of renewable energy in the EU energy mix to at least 32% by 2030 [7].

Germany is a European leader and globally among the top 3 markets for renewable energies [8]. In 2021, the share in gross electricity consumption was already over 42% [9]. By 2030, this figure should climb to at least 80%.

Compared to other European countries, Switzerland has some catching up to do. Here, renewable energies currently account for only about 25% of the electricity mix [10]. Yet the potential is enormous: Hydropower alone could cover the entire Swiss electricity demand [11]. With favorable conditions, over 50% of consumption could be covered from renewable sources by 2050 [12].

Companies and investors positioning themselves now in these future markets can benefit from the upcoming growth and reap pioneer profits. The right partnerships will help leverage this potential.

The Importance of Partnerships for Innovation in Renewable Energy

Given the rapid growth of renewable energy, innovation is a key factor. Only through technological breakthroughs and new business models can the full potential of these future markets be leveraged.

Bold pioneers are in demand here – entrepreneurs who revolutionize markets with new solutions. However, the development of groundbreaking innovations usually requires enormous resources and know-how. This is why partnerships are so valuable.

By bundling expertise, networks and capital, companies and investors can accelerate the market introduction of innovative technologies and offerings in the field of renewable energies.

For companies, alliances with investors provide access to urgently needed funding for research, development and marketing. In return, investors benefit from the entrepreneurial skills, expertise and customer contacts of the companies.

Examples of innovative and sustainable business models include:

  • Energy cooperatives for citizen participation in renewable energy projects
  • Platforms for decentralized energy communities to exchange self-generated green electricity
  • Intelligent micro grids for optimized local energy distribution
  • Sharing models for e-vehicles and charging infrastructure
  • Blockchain applications for improved energy data management
  • AI-based solutions for forecasting and controlling renewable energy sources

Through close cooperation, companies and investors can identify, rapidly prototype and successfully scale such pioneering concepts.

As the following examples show, partnerships between companies and investors in the field of renewable energies are a key factor in developing and marketing groundbreaking innovations.

Examples of Successful Partnerships in Renewable Energy

RWE and Microsoft

A prime example is the cooperation between the German energy company RWE and Microsoft. In 2021, the companies entered into a multi-year technology partnership to advance digitization and decarbonization [13].

Together they aim to develop innovative digital solutions for renewable energies based on cloud computing and AI. An initial pilot project is the construction of a 30 MW solar park, where a digital twin with real-time operational data will be created.

The alliance combines RWE’s expertise in the energy sector with Microsoft’s technological know-how. For RWE, the partnership accelerates digitization and enables new business models. Microsoft benefits from access to a leading player in power generation and distribution.

Unleash Energy and Engie

The young Berlin-based company Unleash Energy has jointly developed an AI software for consumption optimization with the French energy group Engie [14]. The tool analyzes energy data and creates individual usage profiles for households. Based on this, visualizations and recommendations for more efficient energy use are generated.

The partnership combines Unleash’s expertise in AI with Engie’s many years of experience in the energy sector. For Engie, the solution enables new digital services for end customers. In turn, Unleash Energy can further develop and market the software together with an established provider.

These examples demonstrate how meaningful alliances between companies and investors can help develop and achieve success with innovative solutions for renewable energies.

B-works as a Partner for Successful Cooperation in Renewable Energies

As a leading venture builder, B-works has comprehensive expertise in structuring and implementing innovative projects in the sustainability sector. With headquarters in Zurich and an office in Berlin, B-works operates from the hotspots of the startup scene in the DACH region.

The 30+ strong team at B-works consists of experienced experts in digital product development, business model design, and company building. This unique combination of digital and venture building know-how enables B-works to support companies and investors as a reliable partner for innovations in the sustainability sector.

The range of services extends from idea generation and validation to agile software development to the successful introduction of new products and services. By focusing on business model innovation and digital solutions, B-works repeatedly succeeds in revolutionizing established markets.

One prime example of this is the development of the digital Aelsa climate calculator. The web-based application enables farmers to measure their ecological footprint and thus contribute to more sustainable agriculture.

For the Swiss research institute, B-works transformed a complex Excel spreadsheet into user-friendly web application within six months. The climate calculator impressively demonstrates how sustainable innovations can arise through collaborative partnership with B-works.

For both companies and investors in the sustainability sector, cooperation with B-works offers enormous benefits:

  • Access to industry know-how and a network of experts
  • Accelerated development and market introduction of new solutions
  • Risk reduction through structured innovation methodology
  • Direct contact with relevant startups and investment opportunities

Whether validating new business models, software development or scaling organizations – B-works provides comprehensive support to companies and investors to successfully innovate and grow sustainably in the field of renewable energies.

Case Study: Development of the Aelsa Climate Calculator

An outstanding example of the innovative power of B-works is the development of the digital Aelsa climate calculator. This enables farmers to assess their sustainability and reduce their ecological footprint.

For the Swiss research institute, B-works transformed a complex Excel spreadsheet into user-friendly web application. The climate calculator performs the underlying calculations of the Excel file, but enables more intuitive use.

Via the web app, farmers can initiate new assessments, access reports, and make comparisons over time periods. For, the climate calculator massively reduces the time required for analyses and enables nationwide scaling.

The challenge was to transfer the complex formulas and logic from the Excel file into the web application. B-works created an innovative mapping technology that makes it possible to adopt changes in Excel for the web app.

The implementation was completed in under 6 months using an agile approach with Scrum. The climate calculator impressively demonstrates B-works’ innovation capabilities in the sustainability arena. It enables scalable digital solutions for more environmentally friendly agriculture.

The case study demonstrates B-works’ strengths such as user-centricity, software expertise, and impact focus. It provides concrete evidence of the innovation potential of B-works in developing digital solutions for the energy transition.

The Benefits of Working with B-works for Companies

For companies active in the renewable energy sector or looking to tap into this innovative field, cooperation with B-works offers numerous benefits:

Accelerated innovation development

B-works’ methods and tools for structured innovation processes – from design sprints to prototyping to growth loops – significantly compress development times. Products and services can be tested and optimized at high speed.

Risk reduction

The B-works team has many years of practical experience in implementing successful ventures. This expertise helps minimize risks and avoid mistakes. Companies gain guidance and confidence for investments.

Access to talent and resources

Through the flexible talent pool from B-works, companies get on-demand access to experts in areas like product design, software development, and sales. This saves expensive recruitment efforts.

Connection with the startup scene

Through its activities as an investor and company builder, B-works has excellent networks with promising startups. Companies thus gain early access to innovative technologies.

Scaling & Internationalization

B-works actively supports building scalable structures and processes for growth. With locations in Switzerland and Germany, B-works also accelerates internationalization in the DACH markets.

Customer-centric innovation

With design sprints, ethnographic user research, and a lean startup approach, B-works validates innovations directly in the market. Products are consistently aligned to customer needs.

Sustainability focus

In all its activities, B-works places the highest value on sustainability. Companies directly benefit from expertise in developing impactful green technologies and business models.

Whether exploring new fields through corporate venturing, developing digital services, or scaling organizations – B-works is the ideal innovation partner for sustainable companies.

B-works Support for Corporate Venturing

To tap new business areas through digital innovation, B-works provides comprehensive support to companies for corporate venturing. The structured process typically involves the following phases:

  • Idea generation: Systematic exploration of new business opportunities
  • Evaluation: Analytical quantification of strategic fit and market potential
  • Business model development: Structuring and elaboration of core components
  • Prototyping: Rapid implementation of a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Testing: Validation and optimization of the offering in the market
  • Scaling: Ramping up the organization and operations

B-works Innovation Process - Innovation Co-Pilot

This approach makes it possible to explore new products and services with calculated risk and bring promising approaches to market readiness.

For this, B-works combines industry-specific expertise with proven methods for rapid experimentation and data-driven decision-making. Companies undergo a structured, milestone-driven innovation process for sustainable growth.

The main benefits are:

  • Early risk minimization through market and feasibility analysis
  • Focusing innovation budgets on the most promising options
  • Faster time-to-market through agile development and testing
  • Continuous optimization through a rigorous user-centric approach
  • Building structures and processes scalable for growth

Whether in response to disruption or opening up new opportunities – with the corporate venturing approach from B-works, companies succeed in targeted innovation development for new growth areas.

The following sections demonstrate specific benefits for investors and provide an outlook on how collaborating with B-works can help positively shape the future of renewable energy.

The Benefits of Partnering with B-works for Investors

Beratung Digitale Transformation

For investors looking to invest in promising startups in renewable energy, decarbonization, and e-mobility, partnering with B-works also provides significant benefits:

Reducing investment risks

B-works’ experienced team provides support in validating business models, helping reduce the risk of bad investments. Risks are diversified through co-investment or co-building.

Deal flow of promising startups

Through the extensive network, investors gain access to promising founders and startups that would otherwise be off their radar. B-works actively identifies high-potential investment opportunities.

Accelerated growth of portfolio companies

By actively supporting the buildup of organizations, product development, and go-to-market, B-works accelerates the growth of investors’ portfolio companies.

High exits and returns

Startups built through the structured B-works approach demonstrate up to 50% higher success rates. Investors thus benefit from lucrative exits and higher returns.

Insights and access

Through roundtables and events, investors receive valuable insights into new technological trends and business model innovations in the sustainability sector.

Impact investing

Via B-works, investors can specifically invest in pioneering founders and technologies that make an effective contribution to the UN Sustainability Goals.

With B-works’ expertise, investors can improve selection processes, diversify risks, and build high-growth sustainability-focused portfolios.

B-works as a Partner for a More Sustainable Future

The energy transition and the fight against climate change are among the greatest challenges of our time. Overcoming them requires commitment, innovation, and cooperation from all players – companies, investors, startups, and research institutions.

As a leading venture builder for sustainability technologies, B-works sees itself in a key role in advancing the transformation to a carbon-neutral economy. With a focus on renewable energy, decarbonization, and e-mobility, B-works supports companies and investors throughout the entire innovation and founding journey.

The range extends from developing new business models and digital products to scaling and internationalizing young companies. The focus is always on maximizing the positive impact on the environment and society.

B-works sees itself as an active shaper and accelerator of the shift towards a sustainable future. The close interlocking with the startup scene in the DACH region allows B-works to identify, validate and implement novel solutions with high scaling potential.

Companies benefit from B-works’ expertise and network to help drive the energy transition through targeted innovation. Investors in turn can invest specifically in pioneering founders and technologies that make an effective contribution to decarbonization through B-works.

Whether validating new business models, software development, or scaling organizations – B-works provides comprehensive support to companies and investors in developing and advancing solutions for a carbon-neutral future.

The challenge of our time requires committed innovators, bold thinkers, and progressive collaborations. B-works sees itself as a catalyst and partner to jointly leverage the opportunities of the energy transition and decarbonization.

Shaping the Future Together with B-works

The cooperation between companies, investors and B-works as a clean tech venture builder in Zurich and Berlin offers tremendous opportunities for growth and innovation in the field of renewable energies. As shown in the example of the Aelsa climate calculator, joint projects in the areas of renewable energy, decarbonization and e-mobility can make a significant contribution to creating a sustainable future.

Partner with B-works to promote renewable energy

If you are interested in jointly developing innovative solutions with B-works and shaping a more sustainable future, we invite you to get in touch with their team and learn more about their services and expertise.

Join the B-works network and access investment opportunities

Become part of the B-works network and gain access to exciting investment opportunities in sustainable startups and innovative projects in the field of renewable energies. Take advantage of the opportunity to help shape a greener, cleaner future together with B-works.


Alex • Venture Partner

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