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Shell’s sonnen investment evidence of big energy players ‘really acting’ on renewables transition

As well as sonnen, Shell has also made investments in the energy supply market and in EV charging. Image: Shell.

As well as sonnen, Shell has also made investments in the energy supply market and in EV charging. Image: Shell.

Shell’s investment in sonnen is yet more evidence that international energy majors are starting to really act on clean energy, the battery storage manufacturer’s chief executive has said.

Last week it was revealed that Shell had led an investment round in Germany’s sonnen with the stated aim of bolstering its standing in the sector and to increase the number of energy-related products it can offer to its customers.

Speaking to sister publication Energy-Storage.News, sonnen chief Christoph Ostermann said the move was part of a trend of big energy players diversifying towards renewables energies, adding that Shell was putting its money where its mouth is.

“Shell is among those who not only talk but really act. They opened their New Energies division and are investing larger amounts than many others in that field,” he said.

Shell’s New Energies division has been established to invest in emerging and lower-carbon energy technologies and, earlier this year, the company outlined plans to invest between US$1 – 2 billion each year until 2020 as part of a wider energy transition play.

But it is not just Shell which is preparing for the energy transition. BP has also established a regular series of renewables investments and the likes of DONG, now Orsted, and Statoil, now Equinor, have undergone extensive rebrands to reflect their adoption of cleaner technologies at the expense of fossil fuels.

Ostermann said the intent of these investments was to develop innovative and successful businesses in renewable energies, listing sonnen in that bracket.

Sonnen, Ostermann added, would benefit not just from the investment to enable it to scale up its operations, particularly in Australia and the US, but also from a strategic partnership between the two which would “open the door to new customers” for both storage systems and sonnen’s virtual power plant solution. 

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