Geneva, Switzerland – 21 January 2016
As the COP21 conference unfolded in Paris, the world’s leading energy players and delegations from over 150 countries converged in the wake of the city’s deadliest terror attacks since WWII, hoping to finally generate some actionable resolutions to slow down the global runaway greenhouse effect. Obviously, all eyes were on clean energy production and on the conducive legislative framework that needs to be put in place. There is however, an equally important niche within this industry that hasn’t been attracting as much media attention. Energy storage is perhaps the cornerstone of a successful move away from fossil fuels. Specialized circles have been paying increasing attention to the evolution of energy storage technologies and the companies that lead the way in innovation and production.
Leclanché is one such company that has been offering energy storage solutions for over a century, which effectively makes it the oldest battery producer of the world. The company was founded in 1909, in the purest Swiss industrial tradition and has benefited from an interesting resistance to the tests of time. Today, the company is listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange and employs about 120 people.
After some financial strains in 2014, Lenclanché promptly recovered and started to adopt a more offensive stance by acquiring smaller groups in order to expand its product offering. In July 2015, the company announced it had bought Trineuron, a company with a strong focus on storage solutions for the transport industry. Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché, commented in PV Magazine, a specialized publication, “By adding the development capability for transport solutions from Trineuron, Leclanché increases its depth as an integrated storage solution provider for industrial applications.”
This will certainly prove to be an exceptionally wise decision if governments decide to upgrade their public transportation and expand on, or create carbon-free fleets on the basis of the historic COP21 agreement that was reached last December.
Analysts all seem to agree for now on the fact that respective interests are too deeply conflicting for any meaningful results to see the light of day after Paris. Leaders all took to the stand on the opening day of the COP21 to explain that tackling climate change was a priority, but that their situation was special and required leniency. Such was the case of India, the world’s third biggest polluter. Developing nations are against the principle of universality, whereby all countries would be set equal standards, since the most developed countries got rich by exploiting cheap, dirty energy.
This isn’t to say, however, that countries will not seek a more sustainable paradigm for the long term and call upon companies such as Leclanché to help them develop the technology and infrastructure needed.
Leclanché’s board recently decided to increase its capital by an additional 4 million shares, which will allow it to pursue its expansion plans well into 2017. Several existing investors participated in the capital increase. Some newcomers also acquired stock, such as a Geneva-based private equity firm ACE & Company.
Despite its expenditures, the company is expected to be back in positive territory by year-end, which is yet another impressive indicator of the growing power of this industry leader.