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  • EIB finances Brenmiller Energy with €7.5 million in venture debt to enable the construction of a first-of-its-kind manufacturing plant for innovative thermal energy storage systems
  • The loan is supported by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 and the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects facility
  • Brenmiller Energy’s storage solution provides low-cost, easily scalable energy storage of more than 8 hours

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Brenmiller Energy, an Israeli provider of industrial energy storage solutions, have signed a €7.5 million financing agreement to back the company’s construction of the first large-scale factory for its bGen storage unit. The loan will allow the company to commercialise the third generation of its heat storage and steam generator system throughout Europe, North America and Africa, thereby bridging the gap between renewables and conventional power. The transaction is supported by the InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects facility (InnovFin EDP), which is funded under the European Union’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

Brenmiller Energy’s thermal storage system consists of three key elements: thermal storage, heat exchangers and a steam generator, all inside the same unit. It uses crushed rock as storage material, guaranteeing high performance and low maintenance over time as well as an environmentally friendly manufacturing cycle. Additionally, the technology can use multiple heat sources such as residual heat or biomass. It can also be charged electrically via embedded electric heaters. On the output side, the storage unit is just as versatile and can provide energy in the form of steam, hot water, air or electricity.

“More and more countries in Europe and around the world are committed to stepping up green electricity generation,” said Thomas Östros, the EIB Vice-President responsible for energy. “While this is certainly a necessary move, renewable energy alone will not solve our climate problem. Energy storage will have to play an equally important role. Only through reliable storage systems can we back up intermittent renewable energy, accelerate the decarbonisation of the electricity grid, improve the security and efficiency of electricity transmission, and also ensure a more secure energy supply. Today’s deal supports a promising technology provider in the field, and I am pleased that the EIB can help this young, innovative company to scale up its production.”

Avi Brenmiller, CEO of Brenmiller Energy added: “The decarbonisation of heat, industrial and district heating is one of the major challenges in the fight against climate change. I believe our unique thermal storage technology will play a significant role in integrating renewables into the industrial segment, thus enabling deeper integration of renewables into the grid. Our cooperation with the EIB is a major milestone in the road towards the full commercialisation of our technology. The EIB’s support will facilitate the fast ramp-up of our production lines to keep up with the increasing demand for our products.”

European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “All forms of energy storage, including thermal, will play a crucial role in our path to a decarbonised energy system. This is our first InnovFin EDP operation in Israel. It represents another success story in the 25-year cooperation between the European Union and Israel in research and innovation, paving the way to closer alignment with EU priorities such as the European Green Deal.”

Thermal energy storage is a cross-cutting technology that will contribute to a green and sustainable energy system by: increasing the share of renewable energies, especially solar thermal technologies and power to heat/heat to power concepts; adding operational flexibility to industrial processes; enabling waste heat recovery in industrial processes; and increasing energy efficiency in industrial processes and buildings.

Background information

About Brenmiller Energy

Brenmiller Energy provides sustainable thermal energy storage solutions. The company was founded in 2012 by Avi Brenmiller, former CEO of Siemens CSP and Solel, and a team of experts in the field of renewable energy. The company has traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange since 2017.

About InnovFin financial and advisory products

Under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme for 2014-2020, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) launched a new generation of financial instruments and advisory services to help innovative firms access finance more easily. InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators offers a range of tailored products, providing financing in support of research and innovation by small, medium-sized and large companies and the promoters of research infrastructure. The facility supports activities which by their nature are riskier and harder to assess than traditional investments, and therefore often face difficulties in accessing finance.

About InnovFin Energy Demonstration Projects

This facility provides loans, loan guarantees or equity-type financing to innovative demonstration projects to accelerate the energy transition. The financing ranges from €7.5 million to €75 million and supports, amongst others, renewable energy technologies, smart energy systems, energy storage, carbon capture and storage, carbon capture and use, as well as a circular economy. It helps the projects to bridge the gap between demonstration and commercialisation to overcome market failures.