Shell is taking on Tesla with batteries for homes

Royal Dutch Shell is making a bet on home battery storage as it tries to boost its sustainable energy business.The oil giant announced Friday that it has purchased Sonnen, a German startup that makes residential battery systems that store energy generated from solar panels.

The move puts Shell in direct competition with companies such as Samsung (SSNLF), LG (LPL)and Tesla (TSLA), which makes a home battery system called the Powerwall.

Shell (RDSA) declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said the acquisition was part of a “New Energies” strategy aimed at balancing rising energy consumption with the need to cut carbon emissions.

The oil company plans to spend as much as $2 billion a year on commercial opportunities within sustainable energy. It first invested in Sonnen in May, when it participated in a €60 million ($67 million) fundraising round.

Sonnen said the Shell purchase would help it scale up quickly.“We’re excited to help more households to become energy independent and benefit from new opportunities in the energy market,” Sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann said in a statement.

Sonnen claims that its lithium batteries have a minimum lifespan of 10,000 charging-cycles and are capable of lasting 20 years.

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