Though black-outs are common occurrences in North America, they are virtually unknown in Germany. Philip Hiersemenzel of the Berlin-based storage pioneer Younicos, explained this is “because our grid is very strong am there are lots of fall back options.” How important is it when the first European battery park black starts the grid?
Britain’s largest domestic supplier of natural gas and electricity has its’ eyes on the low carbon future. Nuclear plants and wind farms produced 54% of the power Centrica sold in the domestic market during 2015.1 Last week the company announced it will be building one of the world’s largest battery storage systems in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, UK.
The battery storage comes from Leclanché’s lithium-ion technology and manufacturing plant in Germany. According to Leclanché CEO Anil Srivastava, this will be the first time “a one megawatt-scale power system is being stabilized using batteries – without the need for thermal generators.” Younicos has just announced that construction of the World’s first 100 percent renewable grid is underway.
German energy storage pioneer Younicos will receive $50 million in growth capital from a consortium that includes First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Grupo ECOS and an undisclosed sustainable investment-focused private equity firm.
I finally met Thomas Grigoleit last week. The Director of Energy and Environmental Technology for Germany’s economic development agency (Germany Trade and Invest) peddled up to the restaurant where we were waiting. He had left the office for the day and, folding his suit into a rucksack, set off on his bicycle to meet the North American journalists. This was probably going to be my best opportunity for questioning Thomas Grigoleit about Energiewende.