German battery storage firm sonnen is expecting to benefit from synergies from more companies within Shell’s New Energies unit as the energy transition accelerates.
Shell announced a deal to acquire sonnen in a deal thought to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars last month, less than a fortnight it acquired London-based flexibility and energy tech firm Limejump.
The duo are to become wholly-owned subsidiaries of Shell once complete, joining other energy companies such as UK-facing supplier First Utility, EV charging firm New Motion and the solar developers Silicon Ranch and Cleantech Solar.
Combined, that spate of acquisitions make Shell an interesting participant in Europe’s power sector, especially as it continues to transition towards a more decentralised nature.
Speaking to Andy Colthorpe, editor of Current± sister publication Energy Storage News, sonnen chief executive Christoph Ostermann said he expected there to be a reciprocal relationship between those individual business units, with each company bringing synergies to the table.
Ostermann sees particular strengths in combining with New Motion to bring forward new technology solutions, and with First Utility to expand the battery manufacturer’s reach into UK homes. While sonnen has been active in the UK market for several years, First Utility has around one million customers that could constitute a significant market for additional installs.
Utilities and energy suppliers have been introducing domestic solar-plus-storage solutions for their customers in recent years, including the likes of E.On and EDF.
Ostermann echoes sentiments also expressed by Limejump chief Erik Nygard, who last week told Current± that while there have been no concrete discussions so far, combining with other units would “definitely be an interesting prospect”.
However Ostermann also expects to benefit from Shell’s own status as one of the world’s largest energy companies.
“Shell is already present in more than 140 countries around the world and some of them are already interesting as markets for sonnen as of today, [and] some of them will become interesting in the future.
“So I think one plus one is not two in this case, it is more, simply because there are synergies and we can also, let’s say, leverage existing businesses within the Shell Group,” he said.