General Electric backs German renewable battery start-up Sonnen

 
Jessica Morris
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General Electric joins other big names in betting on renewable energy storage (Source: Getty)

General Electric has bet on renewable energy storage with a stake in a lithium battery start-up.

GE Ventures, the engineering giant's venture capital arm, paid a "double-digit million sum" for a slice of Bavaria-based start-up Sonnen, which has become Europe's largest maker of lithium-battery energy storage systems.

Read more: Oil major Total makes near €1bn wager on renewable energy

Sonnen, formerly called Sonnenbatterie, competes with the likes of Elon Musk's Tesla and Samsung to manufacture lithium home solar battery packs.

Battery technology helps overcome the intermittency of renewable energy by allowing it to be stored. While storage solutions are becoming cheap enough to be used by households, they're still too expensive for widespread adoption.

Read more: Renewable energy investment drops to 11-year-low

The company has sold 11,000 lithium battery units to date, making it the European market leader in the segment, Philipp Schröder, one of Sonnen's managing directors, said.

"Sonnen is helping to reshape the energy industry," Jonathan Pulitzer, managing director at GE Ventures, added.

"We believe in Sonnen's vision and that is why we are excited to partner to provide clean and affordable energy for all."

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