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NEW YORK — A power technology conglomerate, known mostly for traditional energy sources like natural gas, has launched a new company to provide solar electricity and battery storage.

Why it matters: The announcement from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas shows how the world’s biggest energy and technology companies are adapting to a world, or at least many parts of it, that is demanding cleaner energy sources.

Driving the news: The new company announced Monday, called Oriden, is a project development firm under the umbrella of Mitsubishi. The name is a play on the English word “origin” and the Japanese word “denki” (電気) meaning ‘electricity’ (Mitsubishi is a Japanese company).

“We offer nuclear, we offer coal, we offer hydro, we offer offshore wind, we offer natural gas. We want to be able to offer our customers whatever they want to buy. And we’re strong believers that the future here in the United States is a combination of natural gas, renewables and storage.”
— Paul Browning, CEO and president, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas

One level deeper: The company made the announcement at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference. Browning, in an interview with Axios, said the decision was partly in response to some state moves away from natural gas, including California and Arizona.

  • “We have to be thinking about what’s next,” said Browning, adding that hydrogen as a form of storage is also something the company is pursuing.

The intrigue: Browning was on a panel earlier on Tuesday discussing to what degree renewables plus storage can compete against natural gas. His apparent role on the panel was to offer the natural gas perspective. At the end of the panel he said: “May the best technology win.”

Be smart: With its investments, Mitsubishi is trying to have a stake in nearly all technologies, so it doesn’t matter to the company which ones win.

Editor's note: This piece was clarified to show the announcement of the new company was made on Monday.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.