A new generation of battery-based energy storage, energy efficiency and smart grid technologies are being combined to serve as core elements of zero or low-emissions microgrids designed to aggregate and manage networks of distributed energy resources (DERs) in residential and commercial buildings, on college and university campuses, at industrial and municipal facilities, and in communities in the U.S. and across the globe.
Venture capital (VC) funding for smart grid companies surged three-fold quarterly and nearly 50 percent annually in 1Q 2017 as $164 million was invested across 14 deals. That compares to $46 million in six transactions in 4Q 2016 and $110 million in 14 in 1Q 2016, according to Mercom Capital Group’s latest “Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Energy Efficiency” market research report.
VC investments in energy efficiency companies posted strong growth as well, rising over 25 percent quarter-to-quarter as VC investment groups poured $213 million into cleantech startups in 1Q. Year-to-year VC investments in energy efficiency companies came in roughly the same level as that for 1Q’16, when they totaled $211 million.
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