With thermal batteries, industry can reduce its energy consumption. EnergyNest builds systems for this. Managing Director Christian Thiel talks about the purpose and benefits of the technology – and why Germany is lagging behind in its use.

Germany and other countries are rapidly converting their energy supply – and for weeks the focus has been on industry in particular. Can it still produce in Germany without cheap gas from Russia? Thermal batteries can help with the conversion by storing the excess energy from industrial processes – and making it usable with a time delay. A pioneer in this field is EnergyNest, which has been managed by Christian Thiel since 2014. The Norwegian company makes thermal batteries from carbon steel and a special concrete that can be stacked as needed, much like Lego bricks.

“Our storage helps industrial companies to electrify heat,” says Thiel in the podcast “The Zero Hour”. Currently, heat is mainly generated by fossil fuels. “We can now help the industrial company stop these fossil fuel processes, feed the storage facility with renewable electricity and then extract steam directly,” he explains.

Another application of thermal batteries: “We can feed unused waste heat to our storage facility, park it there until the heat is needed again for another process step and then store it directly there,” says the Rostocker.

“Germany is in a deep slumber”

This technology could be an important component in reducing German CO2 emissions because “25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Germany result from industrial process heat,” says the managing director. As the market for thermal storage is booming, EnergyNest is also growing “very massively”, according to the CEO. One challenge for the company, however, is finding enough qualified employees.

The possibilities offered by the technology are not yet really being noticed in Germany, says Thiel: “We can see that the discussion in the European context is slowly shifting. But in Germany, unfortunately, people have not yet woken up here, or are still in a deep slumber.” The manager is therefore trying to make himself heard more in politics. “Process heat is such a huge topic, you can’t not talk about it,” says Thiel. “That’s an absolute no go.”

Listen to the new episode of “Zero Hour” :

All episodes can be found directly on Audio Now, Apple or Spotify or via Google