Norway’s biggest oil and gas producer, Statoil, has launched a new $200 million venture capital fund dedicated to investing in renewable energy.
The company announced the new fund on its website this week, revealing that the fund is “dedicated to investing in attractive and ambitious growth companies in renewable energy,” such as offshore and onshore wind, solar energy, energy storage, transportation, energy efficiency, and smart grids, in an attempt to support the company’s strategy of “growth in new energy solutions.”
“We are pleased to announce Statoil Energy Ventures: One of the world’s largest corporate venture funds dedicated to renewable energy,” said 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. Through the new fund, we look forward to investing in attractive and ambitious companies and contribute to shaping the future of energy.”
The new fund will invest up to $200 million, or around NOK 1.7 billion, over a period of 4–7 years, and is part of the company’s new business area, New Energy Solutions, “reflecting the company’s aspirations to gradually complement its oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy and low-carbon solutions.”
“Statoil Energy Ventures aims to be an attractive partner for growth companies,” added Gareth Burns, vice president in Statoil and managing director of Statoil Energy Ventures. “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. We look forward to engaging with ambitious entrepreneurs as an active investor and to build great companies.”
The last time we heard from Statoil was when Scotland approved the construction of the world’s largest floating wind farm, which is being developed by Statoil. The 30 MW project is being developed at Buchan Deep, and upon completion in 2017, will generate the equivalent electricity necessary to power around 20,000 households.