German startup VoltStorage has raised €6 million to develop its solution for green energy storage. The funding round was co-led by Korys, Bayern Kapital and EIT InnoEnergy, with support from SOSV, Energie360°, Matthias Willenbacher and other business angels. To make renewable energy more competitive and a global gamechanger, energy storage is a critical — and currently missing — link. VoltStorage cites that barely a third of the energy generated by solar panels in homes can be used, because there’s no suitable way to store what’s accumulated; the rest is sold back to the grid rather than staying on reserve. “By storing the energy for times when the sun is not shining, they can use up to 80 percent themselves,” explains Loïc de Schaetzen, an investment director at Korys.
Founded in Munich in 2016, the startup is developing storage solutions based on Vanadium Redox Battery (VRB) technology, which was also explored by NASA for its safety, longevity, recyclability and affordability. The team says it’s far superior to what’s on the market so far. “For homes and commercial real estate, Li-Ion technology used by Tesla’s Powerwall and others can't compete with the safety and environmental considerations of VoltStorage products,” says co-founder Jakob Bitner. The startup’s innovations also include an automated manufacturing and production process for Vanadium batteries, which are often assembled by hand. Bitner went on to state plainly that the team’s motivation is to help combat climate change, and it seems they found investors who share that goal. Duncan Turner of SOSV says the investment is part of the firm’s “continued commitment to planetary health” as the startup is “solving a critical problem for the future of a sustainable energy infrastructure.”
The batteries are produced in Germany and currently available to homes throughout the DACH region. Future applications include commercial, agricultural and large-scale residential buildings.
Photo: VoltStorage founders