Larry French / AP

Siemens and AES Corp. announced Tuesday they are combining forces to create a major new energy storage industry powerhouse with a joint venture called Fluence.

Why it matters: Growth in battery storage is an important way to enable integration of more renewable energy sources, while it also can aid reliability and curb the need for additional fossil fuel generation and other infrastructure to serve peak demand.

Go deeper: "The unprecedented move marks a preemptive consolidation of power in a young industry —and a new competitor for emerging market leader Tesla," reports Greentech Media.

Synergies: Reuters notes that Siemens technology "focuses more on projects for individual companies and enterprises, such as universities and hospitals, while AES targets larger arrays that are incorporated into a region's electrical grid."

More details: The companies said their joint venture is aimed at a range of utility, commercial and industrial customers worldwide, using what's already a global footprint. The two companies have already completed or been awarded 48 projects, totaling 463 megawatts of battery storage in 13 countries.

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Mergers and acquisitions make a comeback

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A slew of high-profile headlines led by Microsoft's expected acquisition of social media video app TikTok helped bring the Nasdaq to another record high on Monday.

Why it matters: The mergers-and-acquisitions market looks like it's bouncing back, joining the revived credit and equity markets as well as the market for new public companies through IPOs and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

U.S. Chamber of Commerce warns of racial inequality for small businesses

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Attitudes and beliefs about racial inequality are changing quickly as protests and media attention have helped highlight the gaps in opportunity between white- and minority-owned businesses in the United States.

Driving the news: A new survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and MetLife provided early to Axios shows a 17-point increase in the number of small business owners who say minority-owned small businesses face more challenges than non-minority-owned ones.

BP's in the red, slashing its dividend and vowing a greener future

Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

BP posted a $6.7 billion second-quarter loss and cut its dividend in half Tuesday while unveiling accelerated steps to transition its portfolio toward low-carbon sources.

Why it matters: The announcement adds new targets and details to its February vow to become a "net-zero" emissions company by mid-century.