Statoil fund to invest in renewables start-ups, By Darius Snieckus , Recharge News February 16 2016
'The transition to a low-carbon society creates business opportunities,' says Irene Rummelhoff
Norwegian offshore energy giant Statoil has launched a new venture capital fund with an eye on investing in renewables start-ups.
Statoil Energy Ventures (SEV) has earmarked up to NKr1.7bn ($200m) to spend over four to seven years to back technologies in offshore and onshore wind, solar, energy storage, transport, energy efficiency and smart grids.
It will be "one of the world’s largest corporate venture funds dedicated to renewable energy", says Irene Rummelhoff, Statoil’s executive vice-president for New Energy Solutions.
"The transition to a low-carbon society creates business opportunities, and Statoil aims to drive profitable growth within this space."
SEV managing director Gareth Burns adds: "We offer a strong financial muscle and are ready to invest in three strategic areas: supporting our current operations in renewables; positioning in renewable growth opportunities; and exploring new high-impact technologies and business models."
The new outfit will operate with a global mandate, initially based out of Statoil’s offices in London and Oslo, taking direct positions "primarily as a minority shareholder" with a focus on "growth-phase investments" in renewable energy.
SEV will operate alongside Statoil’s existing venture entity, Statoil Technology Invest, which handles early-phase investments in upstream oil & gas.
Statoil is currently putting its biggest renewables bet on offshore wind via projects including the 315MW Sheringham Shoal, 402MW Dudgeon and 7.2GW Dogger Bank developments off England, as well as the 30MW Buchan DeepHywind floating wind array off Scotland.