January 15 2009 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy Year: 2012 Rating: 1
Advanced energy storage and portable power solutions continue to grab attention from energy investors.
Massachusetts-based startup up Boston Power has announced a $55 milllion Series D funding round to scale manufacturing, sales, marketing for its Sonata Lithium-ion batteries. This infusion of cash follows an announcement in December that Boston Power would supply HP with batteries for a coming line of laptops.
Boston Power's solutions are most relevant to supporting the continued growth of high performance portable electronics. But the company expects to be involved in first generation electric vehicles powered by batteries. Its branding effort has been to promote itself as a 'cleantech' company with high standards for its sustainability practices and partnerships with Asian manufacturers.
The Evolution of Energy Storage - Batteries, Fuel cells & Capacitors
Energy storage solutions will play a major role in moving the global auto fleet beyond the combustion engine, making solar and wind power attractive to utilities, reinforcing reliability of 'smart grids', and (potentially) offering retail-shelf solutions for distributing power to people not connected to modern energy grids.
Fortunately our options for energy storage solutions are expanding as we evolve nanostructured materials that make batteries safer, store hydrogen as a solid, reduce costs of fuel cell membrane, and expand physical charges of electrons inside capacitors.
Boston Power is certainly good news for the energy storage sector. But the real growth in the 21st century could grow beyond batteries as we move towards next generation fuel cells and capacitors.
Many eco-energy writers speak of these technologies with disdain and 'always 2 years away'. But we are not distracted by missed 'hype cycle' expectations of fuel cells and capacitors, just watching patiently as these systems evolve.
Batteries are not going away, but there is a ceiling to growth and a point of diminishing returns to their cost and performance. But for now, they are capturing all the press and are clearly the dominant platform of the day.
The Series D round was led by Foundation Asset Management (FAM) and included existing blue-chip investors Oak Investment Partners, Venrock, GGV Capital and Gabriel Venture Partners.
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