Originally published on The ECOreport.
The rumour that German energy storage developer Younicos is about to make a merger is wrong. PV magazine cites the German Cartel Office as its source for the story that one of Younicos’ potential investors, Panasonic, “has registered for a merger control.” This part of the story appears to be true, but Philip Hiersemenzel, a spokesperson for Younicos says, “Definitely No Merger.”
Younicos Says, “Definitely No Merger”
“If you’re referring to the cartel filing please note that this relates to Panasonic Europe only (i.e. not Younicos). We are in capital round with SEVERAL large investors. There will definitely not be a full-on merger with anyone. We will remain technologically open as we always have,” said Hiersemenzel.
This was confirmed by Anne Guennewig, Senior Manager of Corporate Communications for Panasonic Europe. “The article in PV magazine isn’t based on anything Panasonic has been communicating.”
A Growth Financing Capital Round
The story arose because Panasonic is one of the potential investors in Younicos, which appears to be totally unrelated to Panasonic Europe’s dealings with the German Cartel Office.
“What I can tell you is that the capital investor for this strategic collaboration with Younicos is Panasonic Europe, for the purpose of maximizing its storage battery solution business. The Panasonic group companies ‘Automotive & Industrial Systems Company’ and ‘Eco Solutions Company,’ both manufactures of storage battery products, are not members of this capital investment,” said Guennewig.
“At this point I can only tell you what I’m telling everyone: “As is well known, Younicos is currently finalizing a growth financing capital round and we are currently in advanced negotiations with serval potential strategic partners from various areas of the energy industry globally. We expect to complete this round with all of them in late fall,” said Hiersemenzel.
In The US, Europe, & Asia
A recent Younicos press release mentions new storage projects in the US, Europe, and Asia. The company has installed more than 100 MW of battery storage systems to date and, as of July, was in negotiations to add more than 120 megawatts (MW) more. Over the next four years, they “have more than 4 gigawatts (GW) of qualified order (in the) pipeline.” They are hiring up to 50 more people this year and foresee “more than more than 100 new hires” in 2016.
Up To 60% Renewables
It has been more than a year since Younicos exploded into public awareness with the announcement that, using their battery parks, utilities could utilize an energy mix that is up to 60% renewable. Do they still find this to be true?
“Yes, definitely,” said Hiersemenzel. “Our simulations have continuously shown that short term storage in the range of minutes to hours is enough to enable up to 60 % intermittent renewable like wind and PV (provided of course that enough capacity is installed and that there is a relatively fast-responding flexible generation back up like gas. Generally, the latter is already largely in place. On the former front, there are still some ways to go, but with PV and wind prices going down the way they are, this is getting very cheap). Moreover, this is also borne out by our real-life experience both here in Germany as in the US. Take the WEMAG case for instance (Europe’s first fully commercial battery power plant): data from the first year of operation indicate that future installations can be dimensioned even more effectively, which translated to the big picture means that you can do more with less.”
Photo Credits: Photo of Philip Hiersemenzel taken last fall — Roy L Hales; Younicos Inselteststand innen — courtesy Younicos; Map of Younico’s Operations — Courtesy Younicos; Test Grid at Younicos’ Berlin facility — Roy L Hales
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