"The idea came to me while on the ladder in the cowshed” Interview with Florian Strunk, founder of ampere.cloud
Renewable Energy Hamburg: What is the business idea behind ampere cloud? How did the idea come to you?
Florian Strunck: “The company ampere cloud was set up in Berlin in April 2019 by Florian Strunck (CEO), Frederick Merz (CTO) and Erik Nitschke (CCO). With its unique operating system – one for all systems – it is an innovative technology partner for all operators of renewable energy installations. It helps them to operate a cloud-based energy management system that is failure-free, cost-effective and technically state-of-the-art. Berlin-based Kintlein & Ose GmbH & Co. KG and the QCells Group have been partners from the very start. ampere.cloud has also been marketing renewable energy through its partner EnBW since the end of 2020.
The business idea for ampere.cloud did in fact come to me while on the ladder in the cowshed. Operators of many different ecotech installations would repeatedly call us for help. Sometimes it was to instal a new system, sometimes after a breakdown, sometimes to retrofit a system. We could almost put money on it that it would be a different operating system every time. This proliferation had often originally arisen due to false economy and then actually did end up costing more money, time, manpower and ideas. We were motivated by the idea of how easy our life and that of our ecotech operators could be if there were a single operating system for all installations, regardless of age, size or manufacturer. So we started to develop one. We were able to test and continuously improve it during the many on-site visits until all criteria had been met. We were able to go to market in April 2019.”
Renewable Energy Hamburg: What projects are you working on at the moment?
Florian Strunck: “The amendment to the Renewable Energy Act has given us much work, as this amendment has unfortunately created considerable uncertainty in the market. We explain the options available to operators if they want to simplify their installations and make them more cost-effective using ampere.cloud’s operating system. Therefore, we are winning new customers on the photovoltaic and wind energy market, such as municipal utilities. They do not have the resources to absorb uncertainties caused by the law for long. We help them to adapt technically to the new regulations.
A second project is the direct marketing of electricity. Since the end of last year, we have been very active with our large partner EnBW in what is virgin territory for us.
Renewable Energy Hamburg: What are you hoping for from membership of the EEHH Cluster Agency?
Florian Strunck: “We have already learnt to appreciate the strength and sustainability of networks at other stages in our careers. As a young ecotech company, we want to integrate ourselves as quickly and as completely as possible without investing a lot of time. An existing and functioning network is exactly the right lever to achieve this. We look forward to working with you and making a real difference.”
Renewable Energy Hamburg: Where do you currently see the greatest challenge for the energy transition?
Florian Strunck: We see two major challenges in the current stage of energy transition:
- To estimate future energy needs accurately and not to use out-moded assumptions.
- The complexity of the project is enormous. Anything that makes the digitalisation of the energy market easier has to be very welcome. At ampere.cloud, we are ready to take on the challenge of o n e single operating system for all wind and PV installations that works.