Hochschule Karlsruhe Hochschule Karlsruhe - University of Applied Sciences
Hochschule Karlsruhe Hochschule Karlsruhe - University of Applied Sciences
Wind generator


B2B platform development, validation and piloting


In Germany,  the expansion of wind energy is expected to make a significant contribution in achieving the 65% target for the share of green electricity by 2030. However, the expansion of wind turbine capacities is currently stagnating for a variety of reasons. For example, the development of new suitable onshore areas is costly and limited. In addition, the discontinuation of the EEG-subsidy (Renewable Energy Sources Act) means that the continued operation of old wind turbines (approx. ¼ of the current stock by 2025) is uncertain. 

The alternative lies in the improved land use of existing turbines through repowering, which is the replacement of old wind turbines with new, more efficient ones. However, there are currently no economically viable concepts that explicitly promote the expansion of existing usable areas through repowering. In addition, there is the currently highly discussed recycling problem of old turbines, which requires suitable solutions. Current approaches are mainly focused on the continued operation of old plants, such as PPA models (Power Purchase Agreement) with low electricity marketing prospects.


Objective and Approach

The situation described above offers a lot of potential for the development of an innovative, digital platform business model. The development and validation of such a platform business model is the aim of the Tailwind project. This platform business model is intended to offer German operators of wind turbines new economic incentives to replace their old wind turbines with new ones. For this purpose, the operators are to be supported in finding locations abroad for a Second Life use of their old wind turbines.

The intended platform business model shall not be a market place for old wind turbines. Instead, it should offer German operators prospects to continue operations of their old wind turbines abroad. This way, "Made in Germany" becomes „Operated by Germany“. The German operators benefit from the longer use of their assets and the foreign co-operator benefits from the know-how and experience of their German business partners. Finally, this approach offers the possibility to ensure the proper recycling of the old wind turbines. In contrast to a platform that serves as a trading platform, the wind turbines remain in the possession of the German operators and can therefore be recycled according to German standards after their second operation abroad.


The goal of the development and validation of the underlying platform business model includes the pilot intermediation of at least five used wind turbines including the pay-per-kWh operation of the used wind turbines. Ideally, this intermediation will be successful in the new target countries, especially in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Africa. This requires methodical, structured and, customer-oriented business model development.  Early user tests are planned to quickly generate learning effects and thus increase the probability of success of the business model. The aim is not only to create a new, innovative platform business model, but also to open up new business models and revenue growth for other German market players through internationalization.


Ongoing project 04/2021 — 03/2023



The Tailwind project benefits from strong partnerships from the business community. In addition to the university and the team around Prof. Dr. Carsten H. Hahn, which is responsible for developing the underlying business model due to its rich experience in the platform economy, the university is working with the following two partners:


1. The online marketing agency WIV GmbH, which is specifically focused on the needs of SMEs. Additionally, the world's leading online B2B platform for the wind power industry wind-turbine.com is operated by WIV GmbH (WIV for short). Accordingly, WIV provides a large network, contacts to potential pilot customers, and a lot of industry experience.

2. let‘s dev GmbH & Co. KG (let's dev in short) is an experienced software company with 40 employees located in Karlsruhe and is particularly active in app, backend, web and cloud development as well as UX design. Let's dev is responsible for the technical implementation within the scope of this project.