Zenobe Energy Ltd. was the top recipient of corporate and VC funding in the UK’s battery storage market during the first quarter of 2019, according to a recent report issued by Mercom Capital Group LLC. Zenobe is a UK developer of energy storage solutions for commercial, industrial, and utility-related applications.
Mercom in late April released its latest quarterly report on M&As and fundraising across industry sectors related to battery storage, smart grid, and energy-efficiency technologies. The report states that the total value of M&As and fundraising in these sectors within the UK reached US$210 million in the first quarter of 2019. This was a year-on-year decrease from US$472 million in the first quarter of 2018.
Energy Storage News and other media outlets reported that Zenobe secured £25 million (US$32 million) in investment from Japan’s utility giants Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO). and JERA Co. Inc. in February 2019. In the period of 18 months prior to this deal, Zenobe had also raised £45.5 million in equity investments and £30 million in senior debt financing from Banco Santander SA and Generation Investment Management LLP.
TEPCO and JERA’s equity injection, which represents one of the largest direct investments in a UK energy storage developer, is a part of a foray by Japanese utilities into the UK’s power market. The deal with Zenobe also came after a series of investments in several suppliers of battery technologies, including Moixa Energy Holdings Ltd. that develops solutions for home energy storage.
Following Zenobe, Sunfire GmbH and Ambri LLC are respectively the second and third largest recipients of corporate and VC funding in the first quarter of 2019. Based in Germany, Sunfire has devised a steam electrolysis technology that produces hydrogen for renewable generation. Ambri is a spun-off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and focuses on a type of liquid metal battery. Sunfire obtained US$29 million via fundraising in the first quarter, while investments in Ambri during the same period totaled around US$17 million.
Besides TEPCO and JERA, Mercom’s report also listed other major utilities and VC funds with a background in oil and gas as investors in the battery storage sector. Examples include Shell Ventures, Total Energy Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, and Centrica PLC. Shell Ventures, in particular, has recently acquired Sonnen GmbH and a few other companies working in the fields of electric vehicles, clean technologies, and aggregators.
A total of nine corporate funding deals were made in the UK’s battery storage sector during the first quarter of 2019. Together, their value came to US$130 million. Although the number of deals was higher in the fourth quarter of 2018 at 13, their combined value was lower at US$110 million.
(This article is an English translation of news content provided by ESCN.)