Unicorns are real and can heal the planet

Fluence, AES’ energy storage and AI joint venture with Siemens, just experienced a “unicorn” IPO, so-called because of the rarity of a privately-held startup being valued at over a billion dollars. You can read more about the IPO in the press release.

At AES, we believe in unicorns like Fluence and think they have the power to be the scalable ecosystems the world needs for the energy transition. The IPO proceeds going into Fluence come at a great time, as resolve for solving climate change is intensifying among world leaders gathering at COP26 in the coming week. We must all move faster and in concert on innovations like energy storage and AI to deliver meaningful reductions in CO2, and business platforms like Fluence allow utilities providers and business customers to do that.

Fluence was born from AES’ energy storage team in 2007, a team of four at the time. What started as a big idea to commercialize advanced energy storage technology led to the first utility-scale Lithium-ion battery system in the world in 2009, and today, we’ve worked together with Siemens to transform Fluence into a leading pure-play provider of energy storage technology and AI digital energy applications globally with 150+ projects delivered with over 2.7 GW of storage capacity and more than 4 GW of assets under management.

The Fluence story is not a singular one. It comes from combining AES’ deep electricity industry context knowledge with a founders’ entrepreneurial spirit, which we do systematically through our AES Next team. There are several budding unicorns in this stable, each a scalable ecosystem for the energy transition including:


Uplight: The leading provider of digital energy efficiency and demand management solutions in the US activating the energy transition for utilities and their customers. Earlier this year we announced that Schneider Electric joined AES as a partner in Uplight, in a deal that valued the business at $1.5B.




5B: A solar technology innovator based in Australia that has transformed the delivery of solar projects from the ground up through their revolutionary MAVERICK technology, using half the land and deploying in a third of the time. Through collaboration with AES, 5B has launch their product in the U.S., Chile and India.


Motor: A new start-up, creating a great EV customer buying experience while teaming up utilities to convert more people to EV drivers – check it out at www.trymotor.com .



To solve climate change, we must accelerate the future of energy, together. Single actors and point solutions will not be enough. Together means embracing entrepreneurs, it means combining global and local insights, it means financial partners, it means co-creating with customers, and it also means building massive platforms like Fluence that serve AES and the whole industry with the innovations we need to decarbonize the world.

At AES, we believe in unicorns. Do you? 

Be part of the future of energy at www.aes.com/careers.


Chris Shelton Headshot

Chris Shelton

Senior Vice President, Chief Product Officer and President, AES Next