The Australian energy landscape is about to witness a groundbreaking development, thanks to Rondo Energy, a California-based start-up supported by prominent investors like Bill Gates. Rondo Energy is bringing its innovative heat battery technology to Australia, with the aim of transforming the way renewable energy is stored and utilised. This technology has the potential to revolutionise the energy storage sector and contribute to a greener future for Australia.
Rondo Energy’s heat battery technology offers a cost-effective and emission-free solution for storing heat generated from intermittent wind and solar power sources. The battery stores the excess electricity as superheated air or steam, enabling it to be used later when needed. With a remarkable ability to store electricity at extreme temperatures of up to 1,500°C for several days, the heat battery has an impressive loss rate of less than 1 percent per day.
Unlike traditional batteries, Rondo Energy’s heat battery relies on heated bricks made from refractory material. This material has been widely used in the steel industry for high-temperature thermal storage for almost two centuries. The use of this well-understood and durable material ensures scalability, robustness, and cost-effectiveness of the heat battery technology.
Australia, chosen as the third target region by Rondo Energy after the USA and Europe, presents ideal conditions for the deployment of this innovative technology. Plentiful industrial heat demand, high gas prices and regularly occurring low wholesale electricity prices make Australia an attractive market for the heat battery. By targeting industries that require significant amounts of heat, such as oil refining, chemicals, paper production, and food processing, Rondo Energy aims to compete against methane gas fuel, offering a clean and sustainable alternative.
To support the expansion and deployment of the heat battery technology, Rondo Energy has secured approximately AUD 90 million from strategic investment partners. Notable investors include Rio Tinto, the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, Aramco, Siam Cement Group, TITAN Group, Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and SABIC. This substantial financial backing demonstrates the confidence in the potential of this innovative technology.
The arrival of Rondo Energy’s heat battery technology in Australia marks a significant milestone in the country’s journey towards a sustainable future. By offering a cost-effective and zero-emission solution for storing renewable energy, this technology has the potential to revolutionise the energy storage sector. As the demand for clean and efficient energy solutions continues to grow, the heat battery technology presents an exciting opportunity to accelerate the transition to a greener and more sustainable energy landscape in Australia.
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