Bill Gates gives boost to renewables storage

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

Bill Gates has given financial backing to the development of a new energy storage system aimed at cutting the intermittency of renewable energy technologies such as solar.

The billionaire Microsoft founder has been named as one of a number of backers who are collectively investing $35 million in Aquion energy, a Pittsburgh-based clean-tech firm that is developing a new water-based battery system.

Aquion claims that by using non-toxic materials such as saltwater, its Aqueous Hybrid Ion batteries are a cheap and environmentally neutral alternative to other energy storage systems on the market, which use potentially hazardous chemicals.

The company said the technology had been specifically developed for small and large-scale stationary energy storage applications. This would include solar and other forms of renewable energy generation, where intermittency of supply can be a problem.

The financing round led by Bright Capital has secured Gates and Gentry Venture Partners as new investors and return investments from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Foundation Capital and Advanced Technology Ventures.

Gates’ backing for the system is understood to be his third clean-tech investment.

Mikhail Chuchkevich, managing director of Bright Capital, said: “Aquion has demonstrated the viability and potential disruptiveness of its novel energy storage technology. We expect Aquion’s products to be a key enabler for the emerging energy storage industry that many experts predict will grow exponentially in the next decade,”

Scott Pearson, CEO of Aquion commented: “We are very pleased to have attracted such a strong set of new investors to complement our existing backers. The Aquion team is very excited about launching our initial storage products later this year and beginning to ramp the business in 2014 and beyond.”

Aquion said it would deliver initial, pre-production units to selected customers throughout 2013 and begin shipping production units from its high-volume manufacturing plant in Pennsylvania at the end of this year.

The development of efficient storage technology is seen as a critical next step in the roll out of renewable energy, particularly with feed-in tariffs facing cuts in many countries.

Recent studies have suggested the global energy storage market will grow rapidly in the coming years, driven by increasing amount of renewable generation coming online.

10 November 2021
The solar tracker market continues to mature at breakneck speed, with designs and component selections becoming ever-more complex in the pursuit of better project economics. But a more simplistic design could deliver a triple benefit of lower Capex, EPC and Opex costs. This webinar will set out the ideal single axis tracker design for utility-scale solar farms. The design leapfrogs from decades of experience, with a comprehensive understanding and attention to the three cost structures of Capex, EPC and Opx. Sun and Steel Solar has prototyped a single axis tracker designed to deliver up to US$0.03/W in real savings compared to existing single axis trackers on the market. That’s US$30 million for every gigawatt deployed.
15 November 2021
The 10th edition of the famous Metallization and Interconnection Workshop, MIW2021, will take place in the Thor Central venue in Genk, Belgium, on Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, 2021 as a face-to-face meeting. We are longing for direct exchange of knowledge and ideas after a long time. Hopefully you can be part of it! But of course, the organizors will keep an eye on the evolution of the Covid pandemic. It will be assess carefully, whether the workshop can be held without major risks or excessive restrictions. We are looking forward to exciting talks, discussions and meetings and to welcoming you in Genk!
23 November 2021
The solar, storage and EV industries in the UK are going from strength to strength. There is no better place for the community to meet, share ideas and do business than Solar & Storage Live from 23-25 November at the NEC.There’s something for everyone; more than 150 exhibitors, a high-level conference, a start up and innovation zone, a poster zone, strategic partners to network with and much more. 
1 December 2021
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability. This event will be run online with streamed content, access to session recordings and chat/messaging tools for delegates to connect.
2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.

Read Next

October 25, 2021
Oil and gas company Galp has secured loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support the construction of more than 2.1GWp of solar projects across Spain and Portugal.
October 25, 2021
The Cabinet of Japan’s government has approved a plan to raise the national target for renewable energy in the electricity generation mix to between 36% and 38% by 2030. 
October 22, 2021
Alight has signed agreements to build three solar parks in Sweden that according to the company will be the largest in Sweden once built with a total installed capacity of 90MW.
October 22, 2021
The clean energy business of US utility NextEra Energy had a record quarter of origination success in Q3, adding approximately 2,160MW to its backlog, including 515MW of new solar projects.
October 22, 2021
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is to fund projects aiming to extend the operational lifetime of solar PV projects to 50 years and support the development of advanced materials such as perovskites.
October 22, 2021
Essentia Energia has begun operations at its 475MW Sol do Sertao solar power plant in the Brazilian state of Bahia

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021