Oct 8, 2012 - German power-to-synthetic gas conversion systems provider SolarFuel has raised EUR 7.5 million (USD 9.7m) in a financing round led by France-based clean technology venture Aster Capital, the latter said on Thursday.
SolarFuel will use the proceeds to step up the development of its proprietary electrolysis and gasification technologies as well as market development at home and abroad. The company's technology enables the storage of renewable power through its conversion into hydrogen or methane.
Aster Capital invested EUR 4 million in the financing round which included also valve technology developer Ventrex Automotive GmbH Austria and private investors.
SolarFuel's technology enables balancing electricity supply and demand for several days to months and transferring of renewable energy to other uses. In contrast, the storage capacity of other storage technologies, including pumped-hydropower, is only few hours and for daily peaks, Aster Capital said.
SolarFuel is building a 6.3-MW full-scale pilot power-to-synthetic methane conversion plant for German car maker Audi (ETR:NSU). The plant is scheduled to become operational in the third quarter of 2013. It uses wind power and carbon dioxide from a biogas plant to produce fuel for long-distance mobility.