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Norway’s state oil and gas major Equinor plans to join a battery technology investment fund worth US$180 million as part of a diversification strategy focused on renewable energy and storage, Fortune reports.
Energy storage is drawing increasing attention in the industry as it is widely considered the factor that could guarantee the mainstream future of wind and solar power generation facilities, solving what is perhaps their biggest problem: intermittence.
The fund Equinor has chosen for its investment, Volta Energy Technologies, has a marked focus on energy storage, investing in various technology businesses related to this segment in the industry.
Equinor, which used to be called Statoil, last year announced a rebranding program that centered on a change of name to reflect its ambitions to be perceived as a broader energy company rather than one focused solely on oil and gas. The rebranding was also part of its diversification drive.
Energy storage is a natural focus of attention for energy companies as are renewables, since they are in the same industry. Equinor has been particularly active in wind power, with stakes in four offshore projects in the UK, one in Germany, and a large-scale offshore project in the United States. It also has a participation in a solar power project in Brazil and has invested in two companies developing solar power technology.
Earlier today, media reported that the Norwegian company had also taken part in a funding round for a smart grid developer, Reactive Technologies. The round, according to the UK and Finland-based company, raised an eight-digit sum.
Equinor’s push into business areas different from its core oil and gas business reflects a government-level push for more renewables. Earlier this month, the Norwegian government approved a proposal by the country’s sovereign wealth fund to divest from pure-play oil and gas producers to reduce its exposure to oil and gas price volatility.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.