Christoph: Demand is growing for energy storage, and it is only a matter of time until every household has a battery like they would have a refrigerator or a heater. We want to take this step further and continue to be one of the world's leading companies that developed home batteries and we will continue to invest in this.
We could have focused ourselves solely on developing energy storage for a specific market like Germany, but we would have grown slowly and maybe only become successful in a niche. That was never our approach and wouldn’t have gone far enough if we want to solve the energy issues of the future. That meant we have to continue to invest in order to grow as fast as the market so that we don't get left behind — both in new technologies and offering and at our production sites in Bavaria, Australia, and the United States. As we reach a certain size, continued growth will be best achieved with a strong partner like Shell New Energies, which we see happening in the German storage market. As all relevant manufacturers, such as BYD, LG, or Tesla, now belong to a large company or are themselves one.
Shell has also been an investor in sonnen since 2018 and we have implemented joint projects during this time. The most important thing we’ve realized is the many similarities in how we see the future of energy supply. Many companies and technologies within Shell New Energies complement and will advance our products. Take electromobility, for example. This ecosystem has impressed us.
As an entrepreneur, you have a strong emotional connection to your company, just like you would watching your small child grow. You want it to be in the best hands for the future, and we had this feeling with Shell.
Torsten: Let me make this clear again: Our aim is to make our technology available to as many people as possible so that they can switch their households to clean energy. If you really want to make a difference, you have to make technology accessible to the masses. Climate change can only be solved on a global level, and it does not help much if I have 50,000 households in Germany that are involved. As a start-up, you simply can't achieve the same scale, but with a partner like Shell behind you, it's much more likely. It is the logical consequence of our vision for clean and affordable energy to be available to everyone.
For me, the acquisition was proof that our technology and approach had won, so there was no way around it. That was certainly not the case ten years ago, and we have achieved a great deal over a decade. Clean energy is now mainstream, and that is a good thing.