Venture capital issues
We are therefore investing in carbon-neutral, central and decentral renewables-based energy-generation and storage technologies in Europe through Innogy Venture Capital, a subsidiary company of RWE Innogy. The objective of this investment is to successfully bring innovative technologies from this area to market readiness and enhance the competitiveness of renewable energies compared with conventional energy generation. The continuous and ground-breaking technological innovations offer promising options for investment with above-average earnings potential, even in a future environment where funding levels look set to decline.
The investments are made by the Innogy Renewables Technology Fund which is financed by RWE Innogy and Conetwork Erneuerbare Energien (equity investment company specialising in renewables) with a fund volume of more than € 100 million. The investment strategy has a clear focus on Europe and investments are generally made in the single-digit millions for companies in the start-up and growth phase. Alongside financial assistance, Innogy Venture Capital GmbH also supports companies with advice involving technological expertise, management know-how and strategic market expertise.
The portfolio of Innogy Venture Capital includes ten European companies from the areas of renewable energy generation, integration of renewable energies, efficiency and smart grids.
Heliatek is one example of a company funded under this initiative. It is developing transparent, organic solar foils which can be produced at affordable prices in an environmentally friendly process. Another advantage is that these foils can be applied to many different surfaces, including glass substrates and this could help provide photovoltaics with a significant stimulus. At the beginning of 2013, the organic solar cells of Heliathek attained an efficiency of 12% for the first time – a world record. The silicon cells commonly used at present achieve efficiencies between 15 and 20%. This means that organic solar cells are close to market readiness. In 2012, the competition ‘Germany Land of Ideas’ granted Heliathek the award of ‘Selected Landmark 2012’ for its research work.