Innovation at VERBUND

As a leading domestic company for the energy transition, VERBUND advances pioneering technologies and invests in innovation and partnerships

Renewable energies are the key to a secure supply and to achieving the climate targets. Whether electromobility, green hydrogen or new energy stores: VERBUND counts on innovation. As an industry bellwether, we are breaking new ground and actively helping to shape the energy future. We grab market opportunities and develop innovative business models, services and products together with partners and customers.

Looking to the future

The clean energy future needs innovation. Along the entire value chain, we are working on innovative projects – from electricity generation to distribution. VERBUND is making the energy system fit for tomorrow.

The “Corporate Innovation & New Business” area of VERBUND serves as a central interface and coordinates innovation activities, creates transparency and promotes exchange between various actors. Together with the VERBUND companies and other areas, it forms the internal innovative force of VERBUND. In order for the energy transition to succeed, cooperation with external partners, such as science, industry or start-ups, is essential.

Insights into our innovation work

Digital Hydropower Generation

Digital Hydropower Generation is continuing the successful digitalisation initiative by introducing positively evaluated and fully developed digital products and services. These include data-based decision making in power plant operation, acoustic and slide monitoring as well as the further development of data analysis modules. Digital measuring technologies, such as underwater surveying and AI-supported analysis of dam surfaces and the use of drones, are also being advanced. New forms of collaboration are supported by the introduction of 360° tours, remote support solutions, virtual reality training courses and 3D printing.

CD Lab Sediment Management

The Christian Doppler (CD) Laboratory Sediment Management programme at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna has been researching the principles of ecological sediment management with Austrian hydropower companies, including VERBUND, since 2018. Changes in waterbody structures and drainage behaviour are examined in laboratory trials and field investigations. The primary goal is the development of strategies for restoring a sediment continuum in Austrian rivers, particularly with regard to reservoirs and storage areas.

Track & Charge

The multiple use of PV generating facilities is becoming ever more significant due to the increasing scarcity of available sites. The innovation project Track & Charge of VERBUND and the Salzburg start-up Anywhere Solar installed two innovative rotating PV trackers with integrated electric charging points at the innovation location of Wallsee-Mitterkirchen in early 2023. The project aims at testing the installation and operating characteristics of this system in order to optimise how the land of open-air PV installations is utilised.

Predictive maintenance application for wind and photovoltaic installations

In the VERBUND X Accelerator programme, innovative projects were carried out with start-ups including SmartHelio and Inmox. SmartHelio performed a Proof of Concept (PoC) in the area of "Advanced Data Analytics PV" in order to evaluate the benefit of their data analysis software. The highly promising results led to the project being used in a larger Spanish facility.

Inmox developed a monitoring solution for wind turbine gearboxes and is planning to test these on wind turbines in collaboration with VERBUND as a means to improving predictive maintenance. Inmox was also awarded with the VERBUND E-NOVATION Award, or VERENA Award for short.

Underground Sun Storage

The R&D project "Underground Sun Storage 2030" aims to develop and test the seasonal and large-volume storage of renewable energy in the form of green hydrogen in an underground pore reservoir together with 11 partners. This involves converting electricity into green hydrogen by means of electrolysis and then storing it in pure form. The goal is to develop a way to store renewable energies by storing the seasonally generated renewable electricity in the form of hydrogen, which can then be used in the winter months. 

Application in a gas power plant 

VERBUND, together with Wien Energie, RheinEnergie and Siemens Energy, is carrying out the world’s first operational trials of hydrogen admixing in a commercial gas and steam turbine facility at the Donaustadt power plant. The project aims at replacing natural gas with climate-neutral energy sources by 2040. The conversion of the gas turbine will also enable an efficiency increase. The Donaustadt power plant supplies a considerable proportion of Viennese households with electricity and heat.


VERBUND invests in innovative storage power plants to cover the rising need for flexibility through the expansion of renewable energies. The pilot project NESTOR is testing a new energy storage solution behind a grid tie-in point of a wind farm in Austria. This innovative technology with an output of 1 MW and 4-8 hours of storage capacity should be compared with established storage methods in the course of the project. 


In Spain, VERBUND is working on an innovative storage project called (Pre-)SIA (Sistema Innovador de Almacenamiento (Innovative Storage System). The goal is to implement an innovative energy store together with PV and/or wind power plants. The kick-off meeting was held in January 2024 in Madrid to make preparations for the SIA implementation project.  

Further partnerships

VERBUND is working intensively on the trialling of new storage power plant technologies, especially in the context of a development project with the Dutch start-up AquaBattery. Together with five further partners from industry and research, VERBUND is supporting the development of an innovative acid-base redox flow battery. The technology of AquaBattery will now be further developed into a 10-hour storage prototype with an output of 5 to 10 kilowatts (kW). The real-world laboratory will enter a 12-month test phase from autumn 2024.


The research project eCharge4Drivers trials new applications for intelligent charging points, financed by the EU programme Horizon 2020. In doing so, VERBUND focuses on the optimal management of the unused flexibility of the charging infrastructure and its integration into the energy infrastructure. In addition to public charging infrastructure, VERBUND focuses in part on innovative charging solutions for private and corporate customers, with the focus being on the smart linking of energy provision and energy management.


In the VERBUND X Accelerator and a cooperative research project with the FfE, VERBUND evaluates the practical use and future business models of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) applications. V2G enables the intelligent interaction of electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and energy system by enabling bidirectional electric vehicles to feed electricity into the grid as required.

Partnerships for the energy future

The complete transformation of the energy system cannot succeed without innovation. For VERBUND, shaping the energy future means proceeding to develop new, disruptive business ideas and technologies. We rely on cooperation, combined with a focus on implementation. Innovations for the energy transition now have to be implemented faster and scaled up in the market. This is the only way we can achieve the objectives of climate neutrality and a renewable energy system.

Cooperation with the WU Energy Strategy Think Tank  

There is a cooperation between VERBUND and the Energy & Strategy Think Tank (ESTT) of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU). This partnership makes it possible for the employees of VERBUND to participate in presentations and conferences on economically and technologically relevant topics. Alongside VERBUND, Wien Energie is also a collaborating partner of

ISTA dedicated professorship

VERBUND supports the ISTA with a donation of 5 million euros to enable basic research for future technologies and to strengthen Austria as a location for business and research. In recognition of this contribution, the dedicated chair “VERBUND Professor for Energy Science” was established on a permanent basis.

VERBUND X Ventures

With VERBUND X Ventures, we are raising our startup commitment to the next level. With the independent Investment Unit, we invest in European climate tech start-ups, which will help us to accelerate the energy transition. In addition, with VERBUND X Ventures, we have created a framework as a means to building up innovative business ideas, which come from the company, as corporate startups. Alongside the specially established corporate start-up HalloSonne, two further investments were made in 2023 in the Austrian start-ups and eFriends Energy.
Discover VERBUND X

VERBUND X Accelerator

The “VERBUND X Accelerator” is a leading European innovation platform that combines first-class start-ups and technology champions with industry leaders. The Accelerator was created in order to work together on the solutions for tomorrow. Since its launch in 2020, the Accelerator has already experienced five successful runs, sighted more than 1,000 start-up applications and initiated more than 29 partnerships with start-ups and tech-champions. Due to its success, the programme is now run twice a year.
VERBUND X Accelerator
Franz Zöchbauer

We will be glad to answer all questions personally.

Franz Zöchbauer 
Head of Corporate Innovation & New Business 

✆ +43 (0)50313-53788

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