Electrochaea

Electrochaea closes €36M financing round

Electrochaea's Series D is completed with an additional € 14.9M investment from the EIC Fund

Munich, 07 January 2022

Power-to-gas company Electrochaea announced today a € 14.9M equity investment from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. This investment completes the €36 million Series D round, led by the energy technology company Baker Hughes and existing partners MVP, Storengy (an ENGIE subsidiary), btov, KfW, Energie 360°, Caliza, and Focus First. The purpose of this investment round is to accelerate the scale up and commercialization of Electrochaea’s technology that produces a replacement for fossil natural gas while storing renewable energy and reusing CO2.

The equity funds permit Electrochaea to catalyze the construction of a commercial European project, through direct investment of funds, and to realize the engineering work completed under the €2.5 million award that Electrochaea received in August 2020 from the “EIC Accelerator” program, a part of the EU research and innovation program “Horizon 2020”. The EIC equity investments are made to scale-up game-changing innovative technologies that promote Europe’s goal to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Electrochaea’s power-to-gas biomethanation technology produces grid-quality renewable methane using CO2 and renewable hydrogen. Renewable methane can replace any use of fossil natural gas, thereby significantly reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, utilizing investment in existing gas distribution and storage infrastructure, and contributing to the transition to a clean energy economy.

“Equity support from the EIC Fund will have a significant impact on Electrochaea’s ability to deliver renewable gas to customers throughout Europe and the world,” said Mich Hein, CEO of Electrochaea. “Technologies that can deliver on net-zero greenhouse emission goals need to be scaled up and brought to the market without delay. Electrochaea´s biomethanation technology, which has been proven in two demonstration plants, one in Denmark and one in Switzerland, is an ideal solution to replace fossil gas with fully renewable gas and to participate in the energy transition.”

“Electrochaea is a great example of how the EIC Fund is supporting the climate tech innovators to bring their technologies to the market and help achieving the Green deal objectives,” added Martin Bruncko, member of the EIC Fund Investment Committee. “This equity financing will support Electrochaea to successfully produce at industrial scale renewable methane that replaces natural gas and can be stored and transported in the existing gas grid.”

About Electrochaea | www.electrochaea.com

Electrochaea delivers a technology to produce renewable methane, a fuel that replaces natural gas, and can be stored and transported in the existing gas grid. Electrochaea’s patented process combats climate change by utilizing CO2, producing a renewable fuel, and providing a solution for long-term storage of intermittent renewable energy. The company is planning to deploy its technology with partners to produce more than 15 billion cubic feet per year of renewable bio-synthetic natural gas by 2025. Industrial-scale pilot plants have operated in the U.S., Switzerland, and Denmark. Electrochaea is headquartered in Munich, Germany, with subsidiaries in Denmark and the U.S.


Kebony

Kebony raises €30M in funding

Kebony raises EUR 30 million in funding round led by Jolt Capital and Lightrock

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  • Kebony’s patented wood modification technology enhances the qualities of sustainable softwood, giving it the characteristics and usability of premium hardwood
  • Kebony enables the production of sustainable and environmentally friendly wood at low cost, which has the potential to transform the construction industry
  • Kebony has demonstrated strong year-on-year growth, and will use the funding to expand and scale across the European and US markets

Oslo, 27 October 2021

Kebony, the leading environmentally friendly wood modification technology company, today announces a successful EUR 30 million funding round led by Jolt Capital and Lightrock. Kebony’s vision is to reduce CO2 emissions and tropical deforestation using its patented wood modification techniques, which produce superior wood in an environmentally friendly way.

The key disruptive trends in the construction industry are expressed by the need for greener, safer and better products, as the standard construction materials concrete and steel are large emitters of CO2 globally. In addition, the current large market for tropical wood is set to be replaced by enhanced wood to protect bio-diversity and reduce tropical deforestation.

The Kebony® technology permanently transforms sustainable wood species such as pine into Kebony wood with features that are comparable, and in some cases superior, to those of precious tropical hardwoods. This unique environmentally friendly process is also a superior alternative to traditional wood treatment based on impregnation with wood preservatives.

Kebony’s EUR 30 million financing round is led by Jolt Capital and Lightrock, who will join longstanding Kebony shareholders such as Goran, MVP, FPIM, PMV and Investinor, of which the latter two will remain represented on the Board of Directors. The capital injection will expand and accelerate Kebony’s growth initiatives in core markets in Europe and the US. The funding will enable Kebony to further penetrate a EUR 3 billion market, and leverage the underlying megatrends of producing sustainable materials for the residential and non-residential construction industries.

“Kebony produces the most beautiful and ecological wood on the market, with a superior quality that is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective. To further leverage opportunities within the enhanced wood technology industry, we are proud to announce Jolt Capital and Lightrock as new investors in Kebony,“ says Norman Willemsen, Chief Executive Officer of Kebony.

“At Jolt Capital we have a strong interest in material science companies which leverage their patented technologies to offer sustainable products. With over 20 years of R&D in woodtech and a well-proven process that gives cultivated soft woods the desirable properties of hard tropical ones, Kebony is one of them. We are thrilled to finance the expansion of their European production facilities to both support the strong market growth and offer an alternative to rainforests deforestation,” says Antoine Trannoy, Managing Partner at Jolt Capital.

“Kebony is perfectly positioned in the race for a decarbonized world with an ambition to be the leader within wood modification technologies. We look forward to supporting the company to implement its growth strategy and to leverage the significant operational scalability and continue the profitable growth journey,” says Kevin Bone, Partner at Lightrock.

“The new management team has conducted a successful transformation of the company, and with backing of our new high-quality investors providing improved financial flexibility, Kebony can accelerate growth, enhance its technology development roadmap, and explore potential acquisitions. The addition of Didier Roux and Rebekah Braswell to the Board of Directors will strengthen Kebony’s expansion and scalability. Coupled with the company’s unique selling proposition and backed by double-digit growth, we believe Kebony is ideally positioned to unlock the full potential of sustainable and enhanced wood.” says Cornelius Walter, newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“Kebony reported a revenue growth of 23% in the first half of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020, with a strong positive EBITDA. The revenues in 2020 had already increased by 26% year-over- year, with a significant EBITDA improvement, driven by the company’s geographical growth strategy in key markets. The finalization of the private placement significantly strengthens Kebony’s financial flexibility and supports the accelerated growth strategy,” says Thomas Vanholme, Chief Financial Officer of Kebony.

“As early investors in Kebony, we were impressed by the technology and the market opportunity that lay in substituting tropical hardwood with a sustainable alternative. We have seen the company through its transition from an early pioneer in the modified wood market to being a market leader in the segment, with demonstrated international growth potential. We are delighted to have Lightrock and Jolt Capital bring momentum to scaling Kebony in the years to come. What better way to make a massive impact on sustainability than stopping logging of precious tropical hardwoods, whilst still providing a long-lasting wood alternative to concrete, plastic and steel?” added Thomas Hoegh, Founder and CEO of Arts Alliance Ventures.

Carnegie AS and Pareto Securities AS have acted as financial advisors to the company.

About Kebony | www.kebony.com

Kebony is a Norwegian company which aims to be the leading wood brand and technology company. Underpinned by proven wood modification technologies, it produces an enhanced wood of a superior quality that is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

The company’s headquarters is based in Oslo, while production, research and development and other administrative functions are located in the Skien municipality, south of Oslo. In addition, the Group has a production facility in Antwerp, Belgium. Kebony has subsidiaries in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, sales representatives in Germany, France, UK and the US and a wide distribution network internationally. Shareholders are leading the venture with private equity investors from Belgium, Germany, France, Norway and UK. The company has received numerous awards for its environmentally friendly technology and innovation, including its naming as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.

The Kebony® technology permanently transforms sustainable wood species such as pine into Kebony wood with features that are comparable, and in some cases superior, to those of precious tropical hardwoods. This unique environmentally friendly process is also a superior alternative to traditional wood treatment based on impregnation with biocides (wood preservatives). The company’s patent- protected production processes yield products that deliver major improvements in durability and dimensional stability, at the same time as being highly attractive. The Kebony products are suitable for a multitude of applications and designs – encompassing both indoor and outdoor applications.

Kebony’s purpose and mission is through active innovation, quality thinking and understanding of commercial possibilities; give the world beautiful, long lasting and environmentally friendly wood products. The company will show social responsibility and contribute to improvements of the environment in a way that builds a better future.


Baker Hughes invests in Electrochaea

Baker Hughes Invests in Bio-methanation Technology Company Electrochaea to Expand Carbon Utilization Portfolio with Power-to-Gas Solution

  • Electrochaea technology enables CO2 recycling into grid-quality, low carbon synthetic natural gas (SNG),  contributing to decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors, such as transportation and heating.
  • Baker Hughes will combine its post combustion carbon capture technology with Electrochaea’s bio-methanation technology to develop and commercialize an integrated carbon capture and utilization (CCU) solution.

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June 28, 2021 at 8:00 AM EDT

Baker Hughes (NYSE: BKR), an energy technology company, has announced an investment in Electrochaea, a growth stage company developing novel proprietary bio-methanation technology. Through its investment, Baker Hughes will enhance its broader carbon capture and utilization (CCU) portfolio and provide an integrated solution for customers across the carbon dioxide (CO2) value chain to enable the production of low carbon synthetic natural gas (SNG) from captured CO2 and green hydrogen, helping meet demand for cleaner fuels to advance the energy transition.

The Electrochaea bio-methanation process is an accessible, highly-efficient, scalable and complementary technology to the Baker Hughes CCU portfolio. The two companies will join efforts to accelerate the scale up and industrialization of the technology, and they will develop the commercialization of an innovative integrated carbon capture and utilization solution. Once commercialized, the solution will provide to customers a unique ability to transform CO2 emissions into clean SNG.

Baker Hughes will draw from its portfolio of carbon capture technologies, including its Compact Carbon Capture design, to provide integrated solutions tailored to specific applications utilizing both CO2 sources with biogenic origin, such as biomass and waste-to-energy plants, as well as sources based on combustion of fossil fuels, such as industrial plants.

“The combination of these technologies provides an integrated method to decarbonize hard to abate sectors such as road transportation and heating”, said Rod Christie, executive vice president of Turbomachinery & Process Solutions at Baker Hughes. “This agreement is another deliberate step in our strategy to position Baker Hughes for new energy frontiers like CCU by investing in emerging technologies and combining them with our own proven capabilities. Together, we can develop and scale faster, providing integrated solutions that can effectively decarbonize a range of industries.”

“Delivering synthetic natural gas at grid scale would be a remarkable development for energy consumers,” added Mich Hein, CEO of Electrochaea. “By combining Baker Hughes’ carbon capture technology process with biomethanation, customers could potentially deploy large scale plants to reduce the carbon impact of existing gas infrastructure. We look forward to working with Baker Hughes to scale up this promising new solution.”

SNG is methane that originates from a synthesis process that starts from carbon and hydrogen feedstock. Compared to renewable natural gas (RNG) and bio-methane – which have biological origin – or fossil based natural gas, SNG re-utilizes CO2 that would be otherwise emitted into the atmosphere, thus contributing to significantly mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Electrochaea’s technology produces SNG from green hydrogen and CO2 that can come from a variety of sources, such as biogas, fermentation off-gas or captured from single point emitters such as power and industrial plants. SNG can be used for low-carbon heating, transport and industrial applications. In addition, once SNG is injected into existing natural gas pipelines, it can be used as a form of energy storage.

Along with the lead investor Baker Hughes, the existing investors MVP, Storengy (an ENGIE subsidiary), KfW, Caliza, Focus First, Energie 360°, and btov also participated in Electrocheaea’s latest financing round. Baker Hughes will take an approximately 15% stake in Electrochaea to help advance new project development and commercialization. Baker Hughes will also assume a seat on Electrochaea’s Board of Directors.

 

End

 

About Baker Hughes:

Baker Hughes (NYSE: BKR) is an energy technology company that provides solutions to energy and industrial customers worldwide. Built on a century of experience and with operations in over 120 countries, our innovative technologies and services are taking energy forward – making it safer, cleaner and more efficient for people and the planet. Visit us at bakerhughes.com.

About Electrochaea:

Electrochaea delivers a technology to produce renewable methane, a drop-in fuel for natural gas, that can be stored and transported in the existing gas grid. Electrochaea’s patented process addresses the climate challenge by utilizing CO2, producing a renewable fuel, and providing a solution for long-term storage of intermittent renewable energy. The company is planning to deploy its technology with partners to produce more than 15 billion cubic feet per year of renewable SNG by 2025. Industrial-scale pilot plants have operated in the U.S., Switzerland and Denmark. Electrochaea is headquartered in Munich, Germany, with subsidiaries in Denmark and the U.S. Visit us at www.electrochaea.com.


Luxexcel advances AR smartglasses

Starting a collaboration with WaveOptics, MVP portfolio company Luxexcel is making a next step in advancing its technology for Augmented Reality prescription eyewear for fashionable consumer smartglasses

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Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Oxford, United Kingdom – February 10th, 2021 – 

Luxexcel, the technology leader in 3D printed prescription lenses, and WaveOptics, the foremost designer and manufacturer of waveguides and light engines, have collaborated to create an innovative module integrating three of the vital elements required for developing consumer Augmented Reality smartglasses: a 3D printed prescription lens, a waveguide, and a projector.

The module, manufactured with Luxexcel’s patented 3D printing platform, features a fully encapsulated waveguide in the curved body of a 3D printed prescription lens. High-quality images are maintained because the waveguide remains completely flat and an air gap is created during the printing process. The 3D printed structure also provides an accurate mounting for the projector ensuring perfect alignment when assembled into an optical module.

Guido Groet, Chief Strategy Officer at Luxexcel says, “About 70% of the adult world population today need vision correction to see their best. Providing consumers with a single device that integrates both their prescription requirements, as well as smart technologies from leaders such as WaveOptics, is a prerequisite in enabling the adoption of smartglasses by the mass consumer market. The combined strengths of the partnership: Luxexcel’s 3D printing platform and WaveOptics’ waveguides, create Augmented Reality prescription eyewear that everyone has been waiting for.”

 

Phil Greenhalgh, Chief Technology Officer at WaveOptics added, “The combination of WaveOptics’ Katana waveguide, the thinnest and lightest waveguide on the market today, with the complete encapsulation provided by Luxexcel’s printed lenses creates an incredibly compact and robust solution that will withstand real-world use. This partnership provides a solution for two of the major product planning challenges all of our customers face: how to address prescription accommodation and delivering a robust waveguide in a form factor that can go into a consumer product.”

This module will be shown for the first time at the SPIE. AR, VR, MR conference in March 2021 where both companies will feature in a virtual fireside chat to discuss the partnership and their respective technologies.  Prototype samples of the module will be available for customers in Q2 2021.

End

 

 

About Luxexcel
Luxexcel (www.luxexcel.com) is the only technology provider that enables customers to 3D print prescription lenses. We have a unique understanding of the 3D printing technology and prescription eyewear market. Our expertise help lens designers and manufacturers to manufacture eyewear that combines prescription power and smart technologies. We do this with our unique patented 3D printing technology that embeds waveguides, electronics, sensors, and films inside the lens and print prescription power on or around it. The smart technology is fully encased in the lens material as we print. Luxexcel lenses are durable and thin and look like conventional eyewear. We offer our technology as part of a complete 3D printing volume manufacturing platform, which includes a printer, materials, and software, for both traditional, as well as for smart eyewear.

 

About WaveOptics
WaveOptics (www.enhancedworld.com) is based in Oxfordshire UK, founded by experts in AR, WaveOptics designs and manufactures waveguides and projectors to unlock the potential of augmented reality for the mass market. WaveOptics products address three major challenges for AR wearables: design, cost, and optical performance. Our waveguides are readily customisable to meet the demands of any customer and can be manufactured at scale, while delivering clear, crisp, high quality AR images.


EU Innovation Council invests €17.5 Million in Electrochaea’s Power-to-Methane technology

Electrochaea ́s power-to-gas technology receives funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC), confirming that their market-ready innovations make an important contribution to the goals of the European Green Deal and the UN agenda for sustainable development.
Based on biocatalysis, Electrochaea offers a multiple nationally and internationally patented key power-to-gas technology, which cost-effectively recycles CO2 and at the same time produces CO2-neutral methane from excess electrical energy that can be stored and used as required.

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In total, more than 2,000 European companies applied for the “EIC Accelerator” pilot program. Electrochaea is one of only 64 selected start-ups and medium-sized companies supported bythe Councilwith their projects. The EIC Accelerator program is part of the EU research and innovation program”Horizon2020″. It is aimed at entrepreneurs and SMEs that can apply for grants or mixed financing from grants and equity support. Since this year, around €300 million are available for submissions that promote the European Green Deal. Electrochaea fulfils this requirement in three ways: the long-term storage of renewable energy, production of biomethane, and reduction of the carbon footprint by using CO2 emitted by various industrial sources.

“We are proud to be one of the few selected funding recipients of the EIC. For us, this funding commitment is also a crucial strategic statement,” explains Dr. Doris Hafenbradl, CTO of Electrochaea. “In its rationale, the European Innovation Council confirms for the first time and in all clarity that Europe needs sustainable storage solutions for renewable energy sources and that green gas is indispensable for a sustainable, reliable and comprehensive energy supply”.

The EU funds will be used for the so-called scale-up, the development of the technology from existing pilot plants to commercially scaled plants. With the equity investment, Electrochaea will construct a fully operational 10 to 20 MW plant. The outcome is that customers will benefit: by scaling up and building a sample plant, the risk for commercial projects will be minimized and Electrochaea will be able to offer reliable and highly efficient standardized plants. “The additional financial resources will help us to apply the potential of biological methanation even faster on a commercial scale,” says Hafenbradl. “The European Innovation Council explicitly recognizes the expertise, diversity and motivation of our team as important factors in our success story in constructing industrial pilot plants and forming strategic partnerships with key players”.

Harald Beschid (COO), Doris Hafenbradl (CTO and Managing Director) and Birgit Lewandowski (Director Development) of Electrochaea are pleased about the investment of the European Innovation Council and consider it as a strong political signal. (© Electrochaea GmbH, 2020)


sonnen: Transforming the energy sector along the Triple Top Line

Transformation from battery manufacturer to energy supplier of

the future - A perfect example of the Triple Top Line approach

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sonnen is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of battery systems for the storage of photovoltaic electricity for private households. Back in 2014, MVP was among the first investors of the company based in Wildpoldsried, Germany. In 2019, sonnen was acquired by Shell, which together with sonnen aims to become the world’s leading energy service provider by 2030. For the cleantech sector in Europe, the takeover was one of the most successful venture capital exits ever.

Key factors for sonnen’s success were the ongoing willingness to transform its product, business model, and team, as well as a business strategy based on the Triple Top Line concept. This ultimately led to significant changes in the energy market. And it makes sonnen a Transformative Technology in the best sense of the word and a perfect example to illustrate our investment strategy.

 

Transformation of product and business model

The first sonnenBatteries offered customers the opportunity to store self-produced PV electricity and to use it in times without sufficient sunlight. The company’s growth in the early years was proof that the sonnenBatterie was one of the best products on the market (Improvement of the Value Chain).

From the very beginning, however, the sonnen team understood the sonnenBatterie as the platform on which further products and services could be offered. The possibility of connecting all sonnenBatteries via the Internet of Things (IoT) enabled sonnenBatterie customers to share self-produced and stored electricity, which was the starting point for the sonnenCommunity. By that, today’s centrally structured value chain from electricity production in large power plants to the consumption at the end customer is eliminated by decentralized production and storage (Enhancement of the Value Chain).

With the next expansion stage of the sonnen business model, sonnenNow, customers will be offered a complete package consisting of a photovoltaic system, a sonnenBatterie and clean electricity, without any investment costs for the customer. This means that sonnen offers a Power-as-a-Service solution instead of a hardware product. A revolutionary step, which is only known from the software sector so far, or in the first tentative steps in the mobility sector. sonnen thus transforms the entire value chain of power supply (Reconstruction of the Value Chain) and becomes the energy utility of the future.

Transformation of the team

sonnen has continuously strengthened its team and adapted it to the requirements of the company’s development from its foundation to the present day. In the first years the focus was on product development and sales. In the following years, the supply chain and production team also had to be expanded. With the introduction of the sonnen Community, the interconnection of sonnenBatteries, the establishment of an own software team was necessary. And for the last step, the establishment of sonnen as the energy utility of the future, a team of experts with many years of experience in the energy markets was set up. With the growth from the small founding team around Christoph Ostermann and Torsten Stiefenhofer to a medium-sized company with several hundred employees, the organization, including finance, HR, marketing, had to be continuously expanded.

To successfully manage this substantial transformation of the team organization in just a few years is one of the essential success factors for the rapid scaling of start-ups – sonnen has mastered this excellently.

 

Focus on Triple Top Line growth

sonnen’s slogan “clean and affordable energy for everybody” illustratively reflects that the company follows a business strategy, which considers not only economic growth but also social equity and sustainable environmentally friendly product development. From the very beginning, sonnen’s primary goal has been to make more renewable energy available to private customers, and thus make a contribution to an ecologically sustainable energy supply (Ecology). The new approach of making the sonnen solution accessible to customers without investment costs ensures social Equity. Combining these two aspects with a highly scalable business model, sonnen was also able to achieve extraordinary economic growth (Economy).

With this consistent pursuit of the Triple Top Line concept, sonnen shows that growth and economic success do not require compromises with regard to environmental benefit and social equity, but that all three aspects reinforce each other positively. It was decisive for the outstanding development of sonnen and ultimately for the takeover by Shell. (Read more about our Triple Top Line investment strategy)


Are startups in a position to transform markets?

Interview with MVP partners

Walter Grassl and Martin Kröner

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How do markets develop, when can a start-up participate in them – and how does it get there? WirtschaftsWoche kicks off a new column on investor insights with an interview with MVP Partners Martin Kröner and Walter Grassl (German only).

Click here to read the full interview


Electrochaea: start of the first scalable biomethanisation plant in the USA

SoCalGas and Electrochaea announce commissioning

of new biomethanation reactor system

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Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Electrochaea today announced the commissioning of the nation’s first scalable biomethanation reactor system at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy System Integration Facility in Golden, Colo.  The technology uses renewable electricity to convert hydrogen into pipeline quality methane for use in homes, businesses and in transportation.  Over the next 24 months, the project will assess the commercial viability of this power-to-gas approach to energy storage and decarbonization and provide insights into potential mega-watt scale system designs.
The project in Colorado builds upon and advances research previously conducted by Electrochaea. The reactor system operates at a 50 to 60 percent efficiency.  For every 10 kilowatts-hour of power received by the water electrolysis model, the equivalent of 5 to 6 kilowatts-hour of methane is created by the microbes.

Click here to read more


Storengy invests in Electrochaea

Storengy pioneers power-to-gas market

with investment in Electrochaea

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Becoming a shareholder of Electrochaea GmbH, the leading provider of power-to-gas technology based on biological methanation located in Munich, Germany, STORENGY is positioning itself on an emerging market, bringing together its operator and integrator skills and an innovative technology already efficient.
Electrochaea’s existing investors (MVP, KfW, btov, Caliza, and Focus First) were excited to invest along with Storengy in this financing round.
Simultaneously with the investment, Storengy and Electrochaea are planning to roll out commercial projects in the North American and European markets. With a strong pipeline of projects, Storengy and Electrochaea want to be a leading provider of Power-to-Gas worldwide.

Click here to read the full press release


Shell acquires battery start-up sonnen

Shell agrees to acquire sonnen, expanding its offering

of residential smart energy storage and energy services

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Shell New Energy has agreed to acquire 100% of sonnen, a leader in smart energy storage systems and innovative energy services for households. This follows an investment by Shell in May 2018 and means that post regulatory approval and completion sonnen will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Shel

Click here to read the full press release