Wind and solar energy accounted for 10% of global electricity generation in 2021, and new solar and wind farms cost 40% less to build than gas- and coal-fired plants. That’s great news for the climate. The challenge is how to provide clean baseload power when the sun doesn’t shine, and the wind doesn’t blow. To function, electric grids need a minimum amount of power 24/7. Could grid-scale battery storage and green hydrogen solve the problem?
The SOSV Climate Tech Summit (Oct. 25-26) welcomes two founders helping renewable energy achieve its full potential. In the recorded session below, they discuss how their companies, VoltStorage and SungreenH2, may offer a piece of the puzzle for renewable energy.
Michael Peither is co-founder and CTO of VoltStorage, developer of stationary flow battery systems that can store renewable energy and power the grid regardless of the weather. VoltStorage claims that its iron-salt batteries provide 10 to 100 hours of energy with a service life of 20 years and over 10,000 charging cycles. The batteries also rely on inexpensive and recyclable materials instead of harder-to-get lithium. A graduate of SOSV’s HAX startup program, Munich-based VoltStorage recently closed a $30 million Series C led by Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), a multinational power technology company.
Tulika Raj is co-founder and CEO of SunGreenH2, a nanomaterials company that aims to make green hydrogen production more scalable. Electrolysis—using electricity to split water into H2 and O—is a way to convert solar and wind energy into hydrogen fuel, either for long-term energy storage and grid stability or to decarbonize industries like steelmaking. SunGreenH2 says that its electrolysis components can double green hydrogen production while reducing capex costs by 50% and precious metal usage by 30x. Also a HAX graduate, SunGreenH2 recently raised a $2M seed round led by SGInnovate and plans to open its first manufacturing facility in Melbourne, Australia.
The panel was moderated by Casey Crownhart, a climate reporter at the MIT Technology Review who covers renewable energy, transportation, and climate policy.
Can new hard tech unlock the full potential of solar, wind, and hydrogen?
Michael Peither is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of VoltStorage. In 2014, he started the development of the first Redox Flow Battery prototype that eventually led to founding VoltStorage in 2016. Within the company, Michael is responsible for the advancement of the battery technology and is (co-) inventor of several patents in the battery space, for which he was also named “Innovator Under 35“ by the MIT Technology Review in 2018.
Tulika Raj is Co-Founder and CEO of SunGreenH2, an award-winning venture backed startup revolutionizing zero emissions by dramatically lowering the cost of green hydrogen with proprietary technology for high performance electrolysis. She has over $2B transaction experience in renewable and low carbon energy having successfully scaled renewable companies and led large project investments over a career spanning BP Alternative Energy, Nexif Energy and multiple renewable funds.
Casey Crownhart is a climate reporter for MIT Technology Review, where she covers renewable energy, transportation, and climate policy. Her work has also appeared in outlets including Popular Science and Atlas Obscura. Casey graduated from NYU’s science journalism program and received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and literature from MIT.