The head of Siemens Energy Ventures explains why he targets investments in technologies that aid the movement and storage of electricity.
The biggest challenge for renewable energy is not generating it, but how to store and move it around.
This is the view of Hayden Smith, partner and co-founder of Siemens Energy Ventures. “We believe the future of energy will be more about moving electrons around and how that happens rather than the big equipment that generates those electrons,” says Smith.
This is why Siemens Energy Ventures is focusing on investments in grid management technologies and next generation storage.
Siemens Energy Ventures was set up two years ago when Siemens Energy, a maker and provider of services to the clean energy sector, was spun out of Siemens AG, the German industrial manufacturing conglomerate. The fund’s team seek to invest in between four and five climate tech startups a year.
The intermittency of renewables remains a challenge as countries integrate increasing amounts of wind and solar onto the grid. These renewables rely on back-up generation – usually from natural gas plants – when the sun stops shining or when there is no wind. A lack of effective battery storage means renewables are still not stored in large quantities for when they are needed.
Smith spoke to GCV at a recent Executive Leadership meeting in Palo Alto, California, about the unit’s plan to build a “digital heavy” portfolio.