31 October 2019
Connected Energy were selected out of 600 companies to join a pool of 20 firms invited to London in August. There they competed for the opportunity to win projects, funding and a trip to Japan, thanks to the Japan Energy Challenge organisation. Connected Energy were chosen as one of the four winners alongside German firm Heliatek, Dutch firm EVBox and London-based KiWi Power.
The competition, which aims to facilitate innovation in the Japanese energy sector, is sponsored by nine of Japan’s largest and most innovative energy sector companies; Tokyo Gas, Enechange Ltd, Summit Energy, Hokuriku Electric Power Company, Idemitsu Kosan, Looop, JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy, Chubu Electric Power and Toho Gas.
Connected Energy CCO Mark Bailey presenting during the awards show in Japan
The Japanese energy market is the fourth largest in the world by consumption--with Deregulation opening the market to competition, Digitalisation forcing the energy sector to consider the impact of new data streams and how to capitalise on them, Decentralisation turning the idea that energy must come from a single power plant on its head, and Decarbonisation following the global imperative to reduce carbon-intensive forms of energy generation in order to mitigate climate change.
“Japan is embracing these 4D’s strongly and at an enormous scale,” said Paul Monroe, Program Manager for Japan Energy Challenge. “Accelerating the global energy transition and facilitating innovation in the Japanese energy sector is an ambitious goal, and our sponsors exhibit a spirit to be the leaders in this transition. Collectively, they control a commanding portion of the Japanese energy market, so the solutions that are a success at JEC2019, like Connected Energy and their E-STOR system, will have a great opportunity ahead of them.”
During the trip Connected Energy CEO Matthew Lumsden and Chief Commercial Officer Mark Bailey met with the sponsors as well as joining a seminar to talk about their award-winning product. “We were delighted to be selected as one of the winners amongst such fierce competition and the trip to Japan has been a fantastic way to expand Connected Energy’s reach,” said Mark.
Due to Japan’s high consumption, requirement for resilience, fragmented structure and move towards renewable generation, efforts to reduce energy usage or maximise its effectiveness are highly sought after. “Our technology is a powerful example of the circular economy delivering market driven commercial solutions,” explained Matthew. “We focus on reusing battery packs and therefore maximising the value of already committed natural resources before they are later recycled.” Connected Energy has identified additional value that can be extracted from the finite resources embedded in electric vehicle batteries and is able to double their working lives. According to a recent report* due to the rapid uptake of EVs in recent years the expected global market value of second-life energy storage could exceed $30 billion by 2030.
“If electric vehicle batteries were simply recycled after their first life use, this value would be lost” said Matthew. “Once installed, our technology remotely operates and monitors the second-life batteries to maximise their utility. Once they are degraded beyond all usefulness in this application, they are recycled. Japan is increasingly committed to the principles of the circular economy, so this approach has been really thought-provoking for the energy companies we’ve met here, and we’re excited to see the interest and opportunities that are emerging from this trip.”
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About Connected Energy
Connected Energy is an engineering led innovator in energy storage. Its technologies, that utilise second-life electric vehicle batteries, are rapidly changing the way intensive energy users can access the benefits of low-cost, on-site solutions. The company's E-STOR system is modular and scalable as well as straight forward to install and operate for energy intensive clients to flexibly control and reduce their energy costs, and develop new revenue streams.
Connected Energy has deployed systems in the UK and Europe and has recently secured £5m investment from ENGIE New Ventures, Sumitomo Corporation, Macquarie Bank and Turquoise Capital.
* refers to McKinsey’s April 2019 report titled “Second-life EV batteries: The newest value pool in energy storage” https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/second-life-ev-batteries-the-newest-value-pool-in-energy-storage
About Japan Energy Challenge
Japan Energy Challenge provides a series of energy innovation programmes aimed at helping global energy sector companies enter and grow in Japan – the world’s most dynamic and exciting energy market. The program was founded in 2018 by a group of entrepreneurs and industry professionals with the unique expertise of building and growing companies in the Japanese energy sector.
Backed by a consortium of some of the world’s largest multinational companies servicing all stages of the energy value chain, the sponsors for the 2019 program collectively serve 16M electric and 14M gas customers.