Battery storage is hot VC investment

Venture capitalists put their money into battery storage last year while reducing their investments into the smart grid and holding steady on investing in energy efficiency, according to a new report.

Venture capital funding into battery storage companies increased 103 percent last year to $1.7 billion in 32 deals, compared to $850 million that was raised in 49 deals in 2018, according to Mercom Capital Group, an Austin-based research and communications firm. Lithium-ion based battery technology companies received the most funding last year at $1.4 billion.

Smart grid companies raised $300 million in venture capital funding in 38 deals last year, a 43 percent decrease compared to the $530 million the sector raised in 29 deals in 2018, according to the report. Companies that focused on grid optimization received the largest share of venture capital funding last year with $85 million in four deals.

RELATED:Battery storage on verge of changing Texas power grid

Venture capital funding for energy efficiency-related companies was essentially flat at $268 million last year compared to 2018.