News Article | April 20, 2017
Longtime venture capitalists Abe Yokell and Josh Posamentier have decided to do something that nearly all of their Silicon Valley peers have been avoiding: invest in early-stage cleantech startups. The two are actually calling it investing in “sustainability technology,” and together they’ve launched a new fund called Congruent Ventures, which they discussed with GTM for the first time this week. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the fund is raising $50 million for seed and Series A rounds. There’s also another $50 million that will be used for follow-on investments. The duo says they’ve already made their first investment, though they declined to name the startup, and they plan to do approximately 10 investments of around $1 million each per year. While small, the new fund is notable. It's one of a very small number that are still willing to make bets on early-stage entrepreneurs and startups that are building companies around energy technologies, new kinds of materials, advanced manufacturing and agriculture. Most investors backing these types of companies are investing at a much later stage, hoping it will make those investments less risky, or are opting for these investments only when they’re based on software and computing innovations. For the few investors that are still committed to these types of early-stage companies, there are still big opportunities. The megatrends that provided the basis for the original cleantech wave are stronger than ever: World populations are increasing and more people are moving to cities, the climate is changing, and countries and cities are shifting to lower-carbon technologies. With fewer investors hunting for deals, there’s also less competition. Most of these rare investors are developing new funds, instead of trying to do more investments under firms that have mostly moved away from cleantech. The idea is to tell a new and more positive story to limited partners looking to put their money to work. Other new funds include 1955 Capital, created by former Khosla Ventures partner Andrew Chung, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund with a billion dollars from investors Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla and John Doerr. Green Bay Ventures, a $130 million fund from NEA co-founder Dick Kramlich, has indicated it will also do early-stage energy, manufacturing and transportation investments. Yokell and Posamentier said they’re looking for sustainability technologies that are hardware- and software-based, and plan to make investments across a full spectrum of sectors. “We think the babies are being thrown out with the bathwater when it comes to hardware. There are some good hardware investments out there,” said Yokell, who spent 13 years with RockPort Capital Partners investing in cleantech companies. In a conference room at RockPort Capital’s offices in San Francisco, Yokell and Posamentier laid out some of their philosophies and plans for how Congruent Ventures will make money investing in this difficult sector. Part of their strategy lies in how they’re structuring the fund; the other part is their collective experience of seeing the inflating and deflating of the cleantech bubble over the years. The investors see Congruent Ventures as a new type of fund that collaborates closely with follow-on investors. The two partners will make the early-stage investments through their $50 million fund. Then a group of partners, who are investing in the $50 million follow-on fund, can opt for additional investments in the selected companies. “The challenge with this sector right now is that if you’re trying to do early-stage investing, you have to have some of the follow-on capital prebaked, or at least predisposed. There is a big financing gap between early and late [stage] right now,” said Yokell. While the pair declined to identify their limited partners, Yokell described some of them as investors in the space who don’t currently have an investing team, along with others who are looking to bring more capital into the earlier stages of the sector. In that way, Congruent Ventures could act as a feeder fund and screening mechanism, and also a confidence booster for bigger firms. The structure is highly unusual and could be difficult to implement. Yokell confirmed that for the follow-on fund, “There’s no legal commitment for them to do anything.” Beyond the fund structure, the partners shared similar philosophies about ways to invest. Posamentier, who was formerly a partner with Prelude Ventures, acknowledged the capital intensity of cleantech. However, he argued that it hasn’t been that much worse than other sectors -- only that mistakes were made on when to deploy large amounts of capital. “I think for a lot of the challenging investments in cleantech, the trigger was pulled too early on the capital investment. By the time you knew it worked or didn't work, it was entirely too late to throttle that investment,” said Posamentier. Another way to de-risk investments is to leverage the ecosystem that has built up around cleantech over the years, said Posamentier. “Today you can build an advanced materials company that really doesn't have to put in a dime of capex, because there’s already manufacturing infrastructure they can use out there.” There are also newer incubator and accelerator programs like Cyclotron Road and Greentown Labs that were created specifically to support hardware-oriented energy, materials and manufacturing entrepreneurs. Posamentier said the new ecosystem and infrastructure for early-stage cleantech startups is similar to how consumer web startups can rely on Amazon Web Services and database providers to lower their costs. It’s also similar to how the semiconductor industry moved to fab-less chip companies. “Cleantech is moving to that more mature business model,” he said. Few think cleantech investing will hit the heights of the bubble of years ago. But Congruent Ventures is part of a trend of investors trying out new models. “I think there will be some amount of resurgence. It’s not going to be huge,” said Yokell. Other investors are backing the themes of sustainability with their own unique methods. Andrew Chung of 1955 Capital is focused on bringing technologies born in the U.S. and Europe to be commercialized in China and other developing countries. Chung was able to help a handful of startups work on commercializing technologies in China through Khosla Ventures. It’s unclear how successful these ventures will be. But the world needs new energy, materials, manufacturing and agriculture innovations more than ever. And Yokell and Posamentier want to stay ahead of the trend. “If you don't have the early-stage stuff starting, you’re not going to have the late-stage stuff. It’s got to start somewhere," said Yokell.
News Article | April 26, 2017
The number of U.S. patents granted for clean energy technologies has dropped over the past couple of years, after more than a decade of growth. Those findings come from a new report by The Brookings Institution. According to the think tank, while the total number of cleantech patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office doubled between 2001 and 2014, growing at a rate of 7 percent annually, the number of U.S. cleantech patents granted between 2014 and 2016 actually declined by 9 percent each year. Over the same period, the number of U.S. cleantech patents owned by foreign companies grew. Japanese, South Korean, and German companies dominated patenting for certain cleantech categories, like transportation and energy storage, between 2011 and 2016. It’s too early to tell whether these trends are temporary or are actually here to stay. But the data “raises concerns about the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. cleantech sector,” said Devashree Saha, senior policy associate for Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program. Saha worked on the report. “This is a picture of momentum that has begun to potentially drift. We’re not ready to say the sector has lost its mojo, but there are now questions about it,” said Mark Muro, senior fellow and policy director for Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, who also worked on the report. The trend could be a result of funding declines in the wake of the stimulus, which saw the Obama administration invest tens of billions of dollars into clean energy infrastructure projects and R&D between 2009 and 2014. At the same time, many venture capitalists who invested in cleantech startups in the early and mid-2000s lost money and ultimately pulled back from the sector. There are a few cleantech investors still around (and even some new ones), but not anywhere close to the amount a decade ago. That could account for a smaller portion of the drop in patents from cleantech startups and entrepreneurs. Now the Trump administration wants to slash budgets for clean energy. A drastic change to federal funding “could make this flattening a more permanent downward trend in the next few years,” Saha said. Trump’s “skinny” budget proposal would eliminate ARPA-E, the federal government’s energy innovation arm. “There are critical [federal] programs that have major impacts on these industries and ecosystems,” said Muro. "There’s a clear need to sustain the surge” in cleantech innovation. “In the last decade the country has developed a pretty solid, effective platform for supporting clean and low-carbon technology development, so it would be a shame to lose that momentum,” said Muro. States and the private sector could pick up some of the slack. But many agree that fundamental energy research and development is best done by the federal government. The Brookings report lays out a few recommendations for Congress. They include continued support for the Department of Energy’s Lab to Market initiative and the ARPA-E program, as well as the 17 national laboratories in the U.S. “Congress has the opportunity now to come together around a short list of minimum viable supports for cleantech innovation and growth," the report concludes. Muro said there’s also a need for the private sector to argue more forcefully in favor of government research and development in order to provide a funnel of innovation for groups like Breakthrough Energy Ventures, founded by Bill Gates. At Bloomberg’s global energy summit in New York this week, Michael Liebreich noted that global clean energy investing across the board (including project finance and tech investing) was down 17 percent compared to last year. That’s partly because of lower prices for solar and wind. But outside of the U.S., many countries continue to invest heavily in energy research, development and deployment. China invested $17.9 billion into clean energy in the first quarter of 2017, while the U.S. invested $9.4 billion.
News Article | April 30, 2017
It started with a crowdfunding startup, an investment from Prince, and the idea to help new solar companies tackle business challenges that can be hard to overcome on their own. Now, four years later, the idea has morphed into a group called Powerhouse, and notably, in a world flush with tech startups, it’s one of the only incubators out there focused on launching and growing solar companies. Powerhouse runs an accelerator and an incubator program. An accelerator typically provides a small amount of funding, free or low-cost office space, and networking opportunities with investors and customers for young companies that are still developing their first technology and business plans. Since its launch in 2013, Powerhouse has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively into 15 startups, and this summer plans to welcome another few solar entrepreneurs into the program. The group’s incubator division rents office space to more established solar and energy startups across 15,000 sq ft and three floors in downtown Oakland, California. Sometimes the accelerator entrepreneurs graduate into rent-paying companies in the co-working space. Powerhouse now hosts about 15 companies and about 100 people across both groups. Its goal is simple. The organization wants to play a unique role in fostering a new wave of tech innovation in the solar market. Many of the Powerhouse companies are using software, data and the web to make selling or designing solar systems cheaper and easier. They rely on the advice and networking opportunities through Powerhouse to raise money, find customers or exit – through an initial public offering or acquisition. “Powerhouse gave us so much validation and credibility at the beginning, when we didn’t have much to show. It was just enough to get people to believe in us,” says Elena Lucas, the co-founder and CEO of UtilityAPI, an energy data startup. An earlier wave of solar startups was dominated by companies experimenting with different materials and designs for solar cells and panels. Many of those materials-focused solar startups failed in getting the desired technical performance despite large investments from the Bay Area’s venture capitalists. As the price of solar panels dropped dramatically in recent years, the new generation of entrepreneurs and startups are chipping away at other stubborn problems, such as shortening the time it takes to get permits or honing the sales pitch to homeowners. It’s like when fast internet connections finally got cheap and ubiquitous enough to attract the entrepreneurial-minded to build new websites and services on top of it. Tough challenges remain for solar startups. Big utilities and power companies, who are potential investors or customers, don’t generally have experience working with young, renewable energy companies. Meanwhile, US government funding for energy innovation is minimal, particularly with potential federal budget cuts looming and a lack of clean energy support in the White House. But as solar energy becomes cheaper, it’s attracting public and private investments worldwide, evidenced by the $116bn that flowed into solar projects, companies and technologies in 2016, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “The ultimate mission of Powerhouse is to make solar energy the most accessible form of energy in the world,” says Emily Kirsch, co-founder of Powerhouse. Sitting on a bean bag in a nook of the seventh floor of Powerhouse’s headquarters, Kirsch says that despite the rise and success of Silicon Valley-style tech accelerators such as Y Combinator and Techstars, no one else has tried to do the same targeting only the solar industry: “We’re it so far.” The group’s model is showing some success, at least on a small scale, though it’s still early days. Powerhouse takes a small equity stake in its accelerator companies and makes money if they get acquired or go public. Currently Powerhouse gets the bulk of its investment money from a combination of grants, corporate sponsors, like SolarCity and SunPower, and office space rental fees. It’s considering raising money from angel investors so that it could make larger investments and in more companies. None of the companies in its portfolio has gone public or been bought yet, but some of them have attracted funding since going through the accelerator program and increased the value of the companies in the process. Kirsch says the top startups in the accelerator program have seen their values increase by as many as 40 times. Four of the startups in its incubator program have been acquired so far, says Kirsch, though the company doesn’t take a stake in those. But their exits help to build Powerhouse’s reputation among entrepreneurs and investors. Kirsch has been involved since day one. Years ago, when Kirsch was working for Van Jones, an environmental and human rights activist who briefly served as a green jobs adviser to former President Obama, he asked her if she would be interested in helping the then new startup called Solar Mosaic, which provides financing to install solar panels on rooftops, pilot a solar program in Oakland. Meanwhile Jones’s friend Prince was looking to invest a quarter of a million dollars into solar projects in Oakland, and ended up funding Solar Mosaic’s first four solar buildings. Based on that experience – connecting a young solar startup with partners and capital – Kirsch and Danny Kennedy, a former Greenpeace campaign manager who co-founded solar installer Sungevity, launched a company to try to see if the model could work for many more young solar companies. They changed the name of the company, SFunCube, to Powerhouse two years ago. On a visit earlier this year to Powerhouse’s headquarters, dozens of entrepreneurs were heads down working on their products and mingling with potential partners during a weekly open house event. The Powerhouse team connected UtilityAPI with its first investor, Better Ventures, as well as an adviser, Jon Wellinghoff, who is a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. After going through the accelerator program, UtilityAPI, which creates software to collect data about a building’s energy use and deliver it to customers such as solar or energy storage installers, has grown to nine people from the two co-founders. It now has an office space on the sixth floor of Powerhouse after previously using shared desks. Lucas says the co-working space served as a “brain trust” because all the entrepreneurs brought with them different types of expertise. That allowed her to get quick answers about energy policy or technical standards. Another accelerator program graduate, BrightCurrent, which works with big box retailers and solar companies on marketing solar panels and installation services, now employs 120 people and became profitable last year, says John Bourne, the co-founder and CEO of the five-year-old company. Bourne says Powerhouse helped his company connect with investors (like Better Ventures) and customers and hone his sales pitch. During the accelerator program, Bourne met with Kirsch or Kennedy once a week to walk through BrightCurrent’s plans and brainstorm for ways to overcome obstacles. “It can be really isolating, lonely and tough being an entrepreneur. You’re working alone and trying to build something,” Bourne says. When he joined, Powerhouse was operating out of Sungevity’s offices and, he says: “It was a warm great environment, and I found people who cared about what I cared about. That was a huge win for me.” Solar Mosaic’s co-founder and CEO, Billy Parish, says that his company – which is now six years old and employs more than 150 people – has partnered with at least three of the Powerhouse startups on projects, including UtilityAPI, Sunible and BrightCurrent. “Powerhouse is one of the hubs of the solar ecosystem and they are helping bring breakthrough ideas for the industry into existence. Being close to them keeps us in touch with those new ideas and entrepreneurs,” says Parish. In total numbers, Powerhouse is still pretty small. Its companies have contributed to the installation of 242 megawatts of solar, employ 386 people, and have generated $52m in revenue. That’s probably the group’s biggest drawback – it’s limited, it’s very narrowly focused and it’s still operating on a tiny scale. But they’re part of a larger movement to invest and nurture new companies in low-carbon energy. Other companies running energy-related accelerator programs include Cyclotron Road, which has partnered with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Otherlab in the Mission District of San Francisco. Last year, Bill Gates and a group of investors launched Breakthrough Energy Ventures to spend $1bn on early stage breakthroughs in energy. Powerhouse co-founder Danny Kennedy, who now heads up the California Clean Energy Fund, describes the importance of ventures like Powerhouse and the California Clean Energy Fund like this: “We need early-stage energy investing programs now more than ever to enable the energy transition. It’s critical.”
News Article | May 15, 2017
Innovator in edge intelligence for the Industrial Internet of Things receives additional investments from Dell Technologies Capital and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - May 15, 2017) - FogHorn Systems, a leading developer of edge analytics and machine learning software ("edge intelligence") for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications, announced today that it has raised additional Series A funding from Dell Technologies Capital and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV). The extended funding brings FogHorn's total Series A round to $15 million, excluding the conversion of $2.5 million in seed funding. Dell Technologies Capital added to its initial Series A investment. Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures is a new investor in the company. "This investment increases what has already been Silicon Valley's largest initial round of funding for a startup focused on fog computing and edge intelligence technology," said FogHorn CEO David C. King. "Since our series A funding announcement in mid-2016, FogHorn has made significant strides, including the release of FogHorn Lightning -- the industry's leading IIoT edge analytics and machine learning software platform -- a significantly expanded strategic partner ecosystem of industrial OEMs and IIoT systems integrators, as well as numerous industry awards, including Gartner's recent recognition of FogHorn as a 'Cool Vendor in IoT Edge Computing, 2017.' This extended funding will be used to solidify FogHorn's position as the leader in IIoT edge intelligence and to further expand the company's geographic reach and addressable market." "The development of intelligent edge computing solutions driven by analytics and machine learning insights is a strategic game changer for businesses in every industry," said Gregg Adkin, vice president and managing director of Dell Technologies Capital. "FogHorn has made tremendous progress in a short amount of time and the company's proven ability to apply its edge intelligence expertise across a wide variety of IIoT use cases is extremely impressive." According to Cory Steffek, Managing Director North America of Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV): "FogHorn is on the leading edge of IIoT edge intelligence for the energy sector as a whole, especially in the oil and gas industry. We see digital solutions and Industrial IoT as the future for every area of our business -- upstream, midstream and downstream. We are actively investing in companies like FogHorn because of their technology vision and ability to bring breakthrough innovations to our diverse operations." "We are extremely pleased to have Dell Technologies Capital and Saudi Aramco Ventures as investors in FogHorn," said David C. King, FogHorn CEO. "Both Dell and Saudi Aramco have been massively successful in their respective domains and we look forward to forging deep strategic ties with both companies. Gregg Adkin has been a highly valued FogHorn board observer for over a year and I look forward to working closely with Cory Steffek (SAEV Managing Director and new FogHorn board observer) and the whole SAEV team going forward." For additional information or a product demonstration Visit the FogHorn web site at www.foghorn.io or send an email to email@example.com for an individual demonstration. In addition, FogHorn will be exhibiting at IoT World in Santa Clara, CA, May 16-18, 2017. FogHorn CTO Sastry Malladi will be speaking at IoT World on May 18 in a panel titled "Edge to Core Computing: Where are the Analytics Taking Place?" About FogHorn Systems FogHorn is a leading developer of "edge intelligence" software for industrial and commercial IoT application solutions. FogHorn's Lightning software platform brings the power of advanced analytics and machine learning to the on-premises edge environment enabling a new class of applications for advanced monitoring and diagnostics, machine performance optimization, proactive maintenance and operational intelligence use cases. FogHorn's technology is ideally suited for OEMs, systems integrators and end customers in manufacturing, oil and gas, power and water, transportation, renewable energy, mining and agriculture, as well as Smart Building, Smart City and connected vehicle applications. http://www.foghorn.io About Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures is the corporate venturing subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), the world's leading fully integrated energy and petrochemical enterprise. Headquartered in Dhahran, with offices in North America and Europe, SAEV's mission is to invest globally in startups and high growth companies with technologies of strategic importance to its parent, Saudi Aramco. www.aramcoventures.com FogHorn and Lightning are trademarks of FogHorn Systems. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
News Article | May 18, 2017
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Erin Energy Corporation (“Erin Energy” or the “Company”) (NYSE MKT:ERN) (JSE:ERN) announced today the results of the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders held on May 17, 2017 and changes to its board of directors (Board) and management team. “I am honored to be returning to Erin Energy as Chairman and thank John Hofmeister for all his contributions to the Company over his seven years of service. I plan to take a very active role in working with the Erin management team and the Board to efficiently and economically deliver on its development plans. The Company is blessed with world class assets that can deliver value in both the short and long term. I will focus all my efforts on maximizing the value of our portfolio by staying focused on growing production, reserves and thereby significantly growing shareholder value.” Mr. Frank C. Ingriselli replaces John Hofmeister as the Chairman of the Board. Mr. Ingriselli serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Blackhawk Energy Ventures Inc., a position he has held since founding the company in 2016, and has more than 36 years of experience in the energy industry with wide ranging oil and natural gas exploration and production company experience in diverse geographies, business climates and political environments. Mr. Ingriselli was the founder in 2011 of PEDEVCO Corp. a NYSE MKT listed company and the founder of Pacific Asia Petroleum Inc. in 2005 (Erin Energy’s predecessor entity). Mr. Ingriselli began his career at Texaco, Inc. (Texaco) in 1979 and held management positions in Texaco’s Producing-Eastern Hemisphere Department and Middle East/Far East Division and Texaco’s International Exploration Company. While at Texaco, Mr. Ingriselli negotiated a successful foreign oil development investment contract in China in 1983. In 1992, Mr. Ingriselli was named President of Texaco International Operations Inc. and over the next several years directed Texaco's global initiatives in exploration and development. Mr. Ingriselli graduated from Boston University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University in both Finance and International Finance in 1977 and a Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1979. Mr. Femi Ayoade, Dr. John Rudley and Mr. Mahmud Yayale Ahmed were elected to fill vacancies resulting from the retirement of Mr. William J. Campbell, Mr. Ira Wayne McConnell and Mr. Segun Omidele. At its meeting, following the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the Board elected Mr. Ayoade as Chief Executive Officer of the Company to replace Interim CEO, Jean-Michel Malek. Mr. Ayoade has served as Vice President of Production Operations for the Company since 2016 and the Managing Director of Erin Petroleum Nigeria Limited since 2013. He has more than 20 years’ of experience in the oil and gas industry and possesses in depth knowledge on the regulatory and political environment of Nigeria, and extensive experience on exploration and production operations offshore Nigeria. From 2008 to 2013, he was a Senior Technical Executive at CAMAC Petroleum Limited and Allied Energy Plc Nigeria and from 2006 to 2008, he was a Senior Drilling Engineer at Nigeria Agip Exploration (a subsidiary of ENI). Mr. Ayoade also served as a Senior Petroleum Engineer at Allied Energy Resources Nigeria Limited. Mr. Ayoade earned a Master of Science in petroleum engineering from the University of Houston and a Higher National Diploma from the Petroleum Training Institute and has had extensive training in drilling, completion and subsea engineering. Dr. Rudley served as the President of Texas Southern University from February 2008 to July 2016, where he was responsible for instituting substantive and far-reaching changes via administrative, academic, student and outreach initiatives. From June 2007 to February 2008, Dr. Rudley served as the Interim Chancellor for the University of Houston System and the Interim President for the University of Houston. Dr. Rudley has also held administrative positions for Tennessee Board of Regents, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has served as a Senior Technical Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education. In addition to his experience in education, Dr. Rudley held positions at Arthur Andersen / Arlington McRae and Coopers and Lybrand, Certified Public Accountants. Dr. Rudley served on the board of directors and audit committee of AMSouth Bank. Dr. Rudley is a Certified Public Accountant in Texas, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Toledo and a M.Ed. and Ed.D. from Tennessee State University. Mr. Ahmed has an extensive history of government service on behalf of the Republic of Nigeria and has served at the highest levels of the Nigerian Government. Mr. Ahmed served as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, a role that involved serving as Secretary to all Councils and bodies chaired by the President of the Republic, such as the Federal Executive Council and the Council of State. Mr. Ahmed served as the Minister of Defense and as the Head of Civil Service, where he was responsible for instituting fundamental reforms. Mr. Ahmed has served on the board of directors of Industrial and General Insurance since 2014 and assumed the role of chairman of the board of Industrial and General Insurance in 2016. Mr. Ahmed holds an undergraduate degree in social science with a specialization in government and a master’s degree in public administration with a specialization in public finance from Ahmadu Bello University. At the meeting, Erin Energy shareholders passed the Company’s proposed resolutions including, appointing PKF as the Company’s auditors for 2017 and approving, on a non-binding advisory basis, the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers as set forth in the Company’s Proxy Statement. The option that received the greatest number of votes for the frequency to hold an advisory vote to approve the Company's executive compensation was three years. Based on the recommendation of the Board of Directors in the Company’s proxy statement and the voting results with respect to the advisory vote on the frequency of future advisory votes on executive compensation, the Company has decided to hold an advisory vote on executive compensation every three years. Erin Energy Corporation is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on energy resources in sub-Saharan Africa. Its asset portfolio consists of 9 licenses across 4 countries covering an area of 19,000 square kilometres (~5 million acres), including current production and other exploration projects offshore Nigeria, as well as exploration licenses offshore Ghana and The Gambia, and onshore Kenya. Erin Energy is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and is listed on the New York and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges under the ticker symbol ERN. For more information about Erin Energy or to request a hard copy of the Company’s most recent complete audited financial statements free of charge, please call +1 713 797 2940 or visit www.erinenergy.com.
News Article | May 4, 2017
Spray on, printable and other new thin film technology looks set to provide a major boost to the global solar market. Currently being developed by researchers and a small number of companies, the new film materials offer the potential of lighter and cheaper manufacturing. With big names including Panasonic, Fujifilm, Statoil ASA and Legal & General Capital now investing in the technology, energy experts expect the first panels to be on sale within five to 10 years. “This field is moving so rapidly that I’m sure in a few years you will start seeing products you can actually hold in your hand,” says Dr Jao van de Lagemaat from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. The most promising of the new film technologies is perovskite cells, named after the 19th century Russian mineralogist Lev Perovski. Unlike silicon-based photovoltaic (PV) cells, perovskite cells are soluble in a variety of solvents so can be easily sprayed on to a surface, similar to inks or paints. That potentially makes the cells much cheaper to manufacture and means that the light-gathering film can be attached to flexible materials, opening up a range of new applications. “You could, in a factory, print these solar cells using a similar process as is used for printing newspapers,” says Van de Lagemaat. “Your solar panels would come out as a roll at the end.” What has really got people excited about perovskites though is the rapid increase in efficiency that materials scientists have achieved with them in the lab. In seven years they have gone from converting 3.8% of the light that falls on them into electricity, to more than 20%. That figure might not sound hugely impressive but consider that traditional silicon-based cells, with their decades of research behind them, only achieve 24% or 25% efficiency in the lab and around 18% in real-world applications. The theoretical maximum is around 33% energy conversion. Although recently touting it as a “gamechanger” for the solar market, Prof Yang Yang at the department of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles remains cautious: “We have to face reality. To put them on the rooftop and the power plant requires a significant improvement in the material.” One problem is connected with the material’s inherent advantage – their solubility. That, combined with heat sensitivity, means the cells are not as stable as silicon PV. Instead of lasting for 25 years or more they degrade over a period of months or a few years. That might not matter for short-lived disposable products such as cellphones, but would exclude the technology from the large-scale solar farm market, for example. Researchers are working to improve the material’s inherent stability or come up with coatings that would encapsulate the perovskite, but that may add cost. Another issue is disposal. Perovskites typically contain small amounts of lead – not enough to prevent their development (the lead in a single car battery is apparently enough for hundreds of square metres of perovskite solar cells), but enough to make the search for non-toxic alternatives an active line of research. Oxford PV, a spin-off from researchers at Oxford University, announced two large investments (£8.1m and £8.7m) in late 2016 from investors including Statoil Energy Ventures and Legal & General Capital. The company has also announced it is partnering with an unnamed major global solar manufacturer and intends to bring a product to market by the end of next year. Aside from perovskites, organic PV can also be printed as a thin film on to a flexible substrate. In this case though the light-activated layer, or layers, are made up of conducting organic materials, usually polymers. Like perovskites, organic PV has stability issues and, at around 13%, the efficiencies that scientists have achieved in the lab are not as good. But it does have other advantages. It does not contain toxic elements, for example, and can be engineered to be transparent and coloured. That means it could potentially be retrofitted to buildings as a tinted window coating. Another new approach is so-called quantum dots, which are semiconducting particles that can be coated on to a surface. The technology is further from commercialisation but theoretical work from Van de Lagemaat’s team suggests that, in combination with perovskites, it may be possible to manufacture a panel that is 30% efficient. Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the UK’s Solar Trade Association, believes the industry in general is adopting a wait-and-see posture. “There are lots of areas of research and we wait to see which can make it out of the lab into commercialisation,” she says. “We shouldn’t forget,” she adds, “that commercially available solar, where conversion efficiencies of over 20% are commonly available, are already providing power cheaper than other sources of power in many parts of the world.” Sign up to be a Guardian Sustainable Business member and get more stories like this direct to your inbox every week. You can also follow us on Twitter.
News Article | May 5, 2017
PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Maana, the pioneer of digital knowledge technology, will participate in a speaking session on May 9th at Forrester’s Digital Transformation Forum in Chicago, IL. Maana President, Donald Thompson, will join Shell IT General Manager, Manufacturing, Mary Jarrett, to discuss how Shell is using the Maana Knowledge Platform to drive its digital transformation journey. Shell is leading the energy industry in technology innovation by driving one of the most comprehensive digital transformation initiatives. Using Maana’s Knowledge Platform, Shell is turning subject-matter expertise and data from across silos into digital knowledge, to enable employees to make better, faster decisions. This session will take deep dive into use cases that have demonstrated business value and are optimizing assets and decision workflows across the enterprise. What: “How Shell is Accelerating Digital Transformation with Digital Knowledge Technology” Who: Mary Jarrett, IT General Manager, Manufacturing, Shell; and Donald Thompson, President and Founder, Maana For more information about Maana, visit booth #10 during the event. To learn more about Forrester’s Digital Transformation 2017, visit: https://events.forrester.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=197927& Maana pioneered “digital knowledge technology” for the enterprise. The Maana Knowledge Platform turns human expertise and data into digital knowledge for employees to make better decisions faster. Maana’s patented Knowledge Graph™ combined with Maana’s proprietary algorithms, expedite extracting knowledge from data silos, to reveal the relationships in the context of optimizing assets or processes. Customers include Fortune Global 500 companies such as Chevron, GE, Maersk, and Shell. Maana’s investors are comprised of Chevron Technology Ventures, Frost Data Capital, GE Ventures, Intel Capital, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, and Shell Technology Ventures. Maana is privately held with offices in Palo Alto, California; Bellevue, Washington; and Houston, Texas. Visit us at https://www.maana.io/
News Article | June 12, 2017
MINNETONKA, Minn., June 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunrise Energy Ventures announced today it has expanded operations in Canada by opening an office in Toronto, Ontario. "The Canadian solar market is growing rapidly as the country embraces renewable energy," said Dean Leischow, chief executive officer of Sunrise Energy Ventures. "We are pleased to have a presence in Toronto to respond to and serve the expanding demand for solar installations." When embarking on a solar installation, a company or investor must first understand the individual requirements and laws of the local community, including permitting, land use agreements, regulatory and zoning compliance, community relations, constructions contracts, and more. Sunrise Energy Ventures has a large network of relationships and manages every last detail necessary to bring a project from start to finish. Sunrise has kept pace with the Canadian market and is in a unique position to serve customers in Canada with its proximity and industry expertise. The new office is located and can be contacted at: 88 Queens Quay West, Suite 2500 Toronto, ON MSJ-OB8 Tel (647) 256-5183 Sunrise Energy Ventures has developed 65 solar installations generating 100 megawatts, which is the equivalent to 25,000 households. Sunrise Energy Ventures currently has over 50 megawatts under development. About Sunrise Energy Ventures. Sunrise Energy Ventures is a solar energy development company bringing high-quality solar energy installations to communities across the United States and Canada. It brings vast expertise, industry knowledge, and business acumen to build and deliver solar energy projects that provide communities a sustainable source of clean energy and investors a viable and high-value asset providing a meaningful and stable return on investment. www.sunriseenergyventures.com To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sunrise-energy-ventures-opens-office-in-toronto-ontario-canada-300472546.html
Mitsubishi Group and Energy Ventures | Date: 2012-02-29
A method for flue gas treatment includes causing a combustion in a boiler (15, 19) using at least a part of a flue gas (12) emitted from a gas turbine (11) and introduced from at least one of an upstream side and a downstream side of an exhaust heat recovery boiler (13), which recovers a high-temperature heat of the flue gas (12), so as to increase a concentration of carbon dioxide in the flue gas, and recovering carbon dioxide in a carbon dioxide recovery apparatus (18).
News Article | February 27, 2017
SEATTLE, Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) today announced Eric Toone as executive managing director and science lead and David Danielson as managing director for science. The two are the first employees hired on the BEV science team since the $1 billion fund launched in December to finance emerging technology with the potential to deliver affordable, reliable, zero-carbon energy. "BEV's vision to transform the energy market requires the deep in-house scientific expertise that Eric and David provide," said John Arnold, BEV board member, founder of Centaurus Advisors and co-chair of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. "They understand the unique complexities of the energy technology landscape and what it will take to build the breakthroughs that will power the world in the future." As the core of the scientific team, Toone and Danielson will work with investors, entrepreneurs, and managers as part of the BEV leadership group, which is currently being hired. Together, the BEV team will make investments that align to the leadership and strategic direction established by the fund's board. Toone was most recently the leader of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative at Duke University. In 2009, he was a founding member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) where he created and led the agency's electrofuels program. Toone, who holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Toronto, has also founded three pharmaceutical companies—Vindica Pharmaceuticals, Valanbio Therapeutics and Aerie Pharmaceuticals—that scaled novel research into commercially-viable products. Danielson joins BEV from Stanford University, where he is a Precourt Energy Scholar. Prior to Stanford, Danielson spent seven years at the U.S. Department of Energy, including four years as assistant secretary of energy heading the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy—the world's largest government funding agency devoted exclusively to energy innovation. In 2009, Danielson joined ARPA-E as its first employee and worked closely with Toone to build the organization. Danielson holds a PhD in materials science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In December 2016, members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition formed Breakthrough Energy Ventures as a vehicle to help satisfy the world's growing demand for affordable, reliable, zero-carbon energy. The investor-led fund is currently focused on building its management team, which is being recruited from a global talent pool of entrepreneurs, scientists and investment experts. As a for-profit, private-sector effort, BEV builds on the foundation of research laid by efforts such as Mission Innovation—a commitment by 22 nations and the European Union to double their investment in clean energy R&D. About Breakthrough Energy Ventures Founded by members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) invests in next generation technologies to provide reliable, affordable, zero-carbon energy, food, and products to the world. BEV is led by investors, guided by science, and equipped with patient and flexible capital needed to transform the energy market.