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Battery maker Energy Dome charges up with €40M

Illustration of a battery icon with hundred dollar bills as the bars indicating that it's full.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Energy Dome, a Milan, Italy-based battery tech startup, raised €40 million (~$44 million) in Series B funding, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: In a tight funding market, the deal shows that battery tech companies are still appealing to investors, as long-term energy storage's economic opportunity becomes hard to ignore.

Details: ENI Next, energy giant ENI's venture arm, co-led the all-equity round with Neva SGR, the venture arm of European banking group Intesa Sanpaolo.

  • Barclays' Sustainable Impact Capital Fund, CDP Venture Capital, Italy’s sovereign wealth fund, Novum Capital Partners, 360 Capital, Japan Energy Fund and Elemental Excelerator also participated in the round.
  • Energy Dome CEO Claudio Spadacini declined to share the company's valuation and board structure following the deal.

How it works: Energy Dome makes a long-duration battery using carbon dioxide in a thermochemical reaction that can store and release energy.

  • The device is not exactly a battery, in the literal sense, but it does have the ability to store energy for up to 20 hours and doesn't require the types of rare earth materials needed for lithium-ion batteries, Spadacini says.
  • The company says it has proven the technology — a modular unit that only uses steel, water and carbon dioxide to run — and plans to use the new funding to roll out units commercially.

Zoom out: Long-duration battery technology remains one of the biggest opportunities in all of climate tech.

  • Storage options are required for grid operators that want to incorporate wind and solar power — energy sources that are clean but intermittent — and reinforce grid reliability.
  • Lithium-ion batteries are the most common forms of batteries, but are expensive to operate at a size needed to work with an electric grid and require materials and metals that are in increasingly short supply around the globe.

Yes, but: Investors have starting backing companies with alternative approaches to energy storage that don't require the same materials and don't have the same fire hazard risks as lithium-ion batteries, but most companies are still in the early stages.

  • It remains to be seen which tech is the most cost-effective but efficient enough to catch on as companies start to consider larger commercial contracts.

What we're watching: Energy Dome is planning to expand in the U.S. with the new funding, in addition to the 9 GW worth of projects it already has in its pipeline.

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