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article imageFunds for battery storage, smart grid, energy tech tops $1B

By Karen Graham     Jul 25, 2017 in Business
The first half of 2017 has been very rewarding for battery storage, smart grid, and energy efficiency companies who received venture capital (VC) funding worth over $1.0 billion globally.
Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications, and consulting firm, published its latest report for the first half of 2017, detailing the combined funding, mergers & acquisitions across the three separate sectors globally.
According to Mercom, which covered 89 companies in its report, Investment in Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency reached a total of $1.03 billion, a 25 percent increase over the $807 million raised in the first half of 2016.
The biggest VC deal across all three sectors was the $400 million raised by China's Microvast Power from CITIC Securities, CDH Investment, National Venture Capital, and others, reports Clean Technica.
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Battery Storage funding
VC funding for the Battery Storage sector, including private equity and corporate venture capital financing, Rose to $480 million, compared to $179 million in the same time period in 2016. Microvast's $400 million in funding for battery storage in the second quarter of 2017 far exceeded Vionx Energy's $12.75 million, and Moixa Technology, a UK-based battery maker's, $3.2 million.
The growth of the battery storage sector is a welcome ray of sunshine after a rather cloudy first quarter. Based on second quarter figures, there is a continuing growth trend in the recovery of clean energy investment. Specifically, in the first quarter of 2017, eight VC deals were made for battery storage, amounting to $58 million.
Smart Grid and efficiency technology solutions
Where there is solar energy being produced, storage of that energy needs smarter grids and more efficient technology. Interestingly, VC funding for the smart grid sector reached $304 million over 22 deals in the first half of 2017, compared to $331 million over 29 deals in the first half of 2016.
According to PV Magazine, the slight decline reflects more on "a healthy market sector that is still finding its feet and its audience." The top VC-funded smart grid company for the first half of 2017 was Actility, based in France, securing $75 million. They were followed by the $43 million raised by U.S.-based ChargePoint from Siemens.
Power Grid Network
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In the energy efficiency sector, demand-response-based technologies received the biggest share of VC funding. The sector is a fast-growing one as more consumers play a major role in the operation of the electric grid by reducing or shifting their electricity usage during peak periods in response to time-based rates or other forms of financial incentives.
VC funding for the energy efficiency sector the first half of 2017 reached $242 million, compared to $397 million over the same period in 2016. And while there was a slight drop in energy efficiency VC funding, the lions share of the funds went to efficiency lighting companies.
Energy Infra Post reported that there was one deal, involving an Indian company, ION Energy. It is a stealth start-up founded in February this year that is building a layer of infrastructure for highly efficient energy storage systems. They raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from three investors, Sushil Jiwarajka, Aakrit Vaish, and Swapan Rajdev on May 11, 2017.
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