Oil and gas giant Statoil has this week further underlined its commitment to the development of a lower carbon energy system, with the launch of a $200m venture capital fund dedicated to investing in renewable energy firms.
The Norwegian company said Statoil Energy Ventures will invest up to $200m over four to seven years in "attractive and ambitious growth companies in renewable energy".
"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, in a statement. "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 fund will form part of the company's recently launched New Energy Solutions division, which it said is driving its "aspirations to gradually complement its oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy and low-carbon solutions".
Statoil said the new fund would consider investment in a wide range of areas, including offshore and onshore wind, solar energy, energy storage, transportation, energy efficiency and smart grids. It is expected to take direct positions primarily as a minority shareholder in growth companies and will also look to co-invest with other venture firms.
The fund will initially be managed by a team of six investment professionals based in the company's offices in London and Oslo.
Gareth Burns, vice president in Statoil and managing director of Statoil Energy Ventures, said the fund was looking to work with "ambitious entrepreneurs as an active investor".
"Statoil Energy Ventures aims to be an attractive partner for growth companies," he said. "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."
Statoil has emerged as one of the world's most progressive oil and gas majors in recent years, investing heavily in a range of clean technologies, including carbon capture and storage andfloating wind turbines.
Source: Business Green