The CEFC is now well established as Australia’s largest dedicated investor in clean energy innovation. Through the $200 million Innovation Fund, we support the growth of an exciting range of innovative clean energy technologies and businesses which are critical to Australia’s clean energy transformation.
The Innovation Fund targets venture capital-like longer-term capital returns.
Having reviewed many hundreds of high quality clean energy innovation opportunities, we have committed venture capital of more than $56 million to nine companies in the 18 months since the Innovation Fund began investing. Together, these companies have raised more than $140 million of new capital for clean energy projects, a welcome injection of capital to this emerging sector.
The Innovation Fund targets technologies and businesses that have passed the research and development stage, and which can benefit from early stage or growth capital to help them progress their development.
We invest in companies with experienced and capable management teams, a competitive edge in technology and innovation and the potential for both domestic and global market application of their technologies. These companies illustrate the strength of Australian innovation in the clean energy space, and are pursuing diverse opportunities – including behind-the-meter and storage technologies, and low emissions transport solutions.
The Fund invests using CEFC capital and draws on the technical expertise of ARENA. We thank ARENA for its valuable contribution.
|CEFC direct finance||$56.2m||$26.2m|
|Projects via channel partner||N/A||N/A|
|Investment via channel partner||N/A||N/A|
|Lifetime MtCO2-e abatement estimated*||6.6||6.5|
Figure 2: Clean Energy Innovation Fund commitments
Early stage innovation
Through our cornerstone investment in the Australian-first Clean Energy Seed Fund managed by Artesian, the Innovation Fund is supporting very early stage innovators through business incubators such as EnergyLab, Australia’s first dedicated clean energy accelerator program.
In 2017-18, EnergyLab tripled its intake of start-ups, including its first Brisbane base, offering office space, financial and mentoring support to start-up companies in the Brisbane area. The new EnergyLab Brisbane office is co-located with the CEFC, as part of our goal to accelerate investment in Australian clean energy innovators.
Start-ups joining EnergyLab’s 2018 program include Sydney’s PowerPal which is tapping into the Internet of Things using big data and artificial intelligence with the aim to build Australia’s largest energy engagement platform. Its goal is to eliminate energy waste for all Australians, reducing grid demand by five per cent.
Ohm Power, based in Melbourne, has launched an online platform that helps homeowners find their best performing solar and/or battery storage system from a range of trusted Australian solar retailers.
Smarter approach to watts
Wattwatchers is expanding production of its real-time electricity monitoring and control devices to help consumers better manage their energy use and costs. The Wattwatchers devices and data streams, combined with software tools and analytics, allow rooftop solar generation, grid power and overall household and business consumption to be managed remotely through the cloud.
Second life batteries
Electric vehicle battery packs that are no longer useful in vehicles can retain as much as 80 per cent of their capacity. Relectrify’s ground-breaking technology gives used batteries a second life, optimising energy from stronger cells to unlock unused capacity. The recycled batteries can be used in the home as well as for utility-scale grid backup.
Intelligent Zen tech
The Zen Ecosystems intelligent energy management solutions could save Australian businesses up to 25 per cent on their energy use. Zen’s cloud-based Zen HQ and Zen Thermostat products allow smaller footprint operations – such as retailers, hotels and motels, schools, universities, car dealerships and fast food outlets – to manage energy-intensive assets across single and multiple locations.