Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to buy German residential solar battery maker sonnen, as the oil and gas major expands its electricity business in its bid for a bigger role in the global transition to low-carbon energy.
Sonnen, which has 40,000 battery systems worldwide and in 2017 had sales of 65 million euros ($73 million), is the German market leader in home storage batteries and has expanded into electric vehicle charging systems.
Regulatory approval and completion of the transaction, involving Shell New Energies, was expected in the first quarter of 2019, a sonnen spokesman said, without giving a value.
Sonnen would continue to operate from the Bavarian town of Wildpoldsried and its top management would stay on, he said.
Germany has 1.5 million solar systems whose subsidized sales tariffs are due to be phased out in coming years. By acquiring batteries, householders can store home-produced power and use it for themselves or sell it to the grid.
Shell, the world’s second largest listed oil and gas producer, has accelerated investment in renewable energy and power markets, betting on a rapid rise in electricity demand due to electric vehicle use and a switch to cleaner energy sources.
It has acquired vehicle charging technologies, solar power producers and retail energy supplier First Utility. Shell injected cash into sonnen last year to help it grow.
Sonnen’s existing investors, including GE Ventures and European private equity investors, will be bought out. ($1 = 0.8870 euros)
By Vera Eckert
BASF will build a commercial scale battery recycling black mass plant in Schwarzheide, Germany. This investment strengthens BASF’s cathode active materials (CAM) production and recycling hub in Schwarzheide. The site is an ideal location for the build-up of battery recycling activities given the presence of many EV car manufacturers and cell producers in Central Europe.
Clariant says it is reducing its number of businesses from five to three, by merging units, under a reorganization that is in line with the company’s purpose-led strategy and cultural transformation. The moves will position Clariant for long-term sustainable growth, the company says.
Chemicals & plastics industry has the most diversified end-use market across all manufacturing industries. The industry returned to growth in 2021 but a supply chain crunch prevented it from becoming stronger. The market is likely to stabilize in the second half of 2022 with a supply-demand balance.