Published: 6 February 2012
Venture capital ready to flow for clean energy start-ups
The Krafla Geothermal Power Plant in the North of Iceland. Iceland’s National Energy Fund provides “venture loans” to support the development of the industry.
The Federal Government has appointed Southern Cross Venture Partners to manage the nation’s largest Renewable Energy Venture Capital (REVC) fund, a key element of the government’s clean energy strategy.
The aim of the $200 million Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund is to provide critical, early-stage equity investments to Australian renewable energy start-up companies to help them ‘overcome capital constraints, develop technologies, increase skills and forge international linkages’.
The fund forms part of the government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), set up to support the development, commercialisation and deployment of Australian renewable energy and enabling technologies.
The government’s commitment of $100 million to the fund will be matched dollar for dollar by Softbank China Venture Capital, which has experience in venture capital cross the Asian region.
‘While Australia has many innovative companies developing renewable energy technologies, early-stage companies with a limited operating history have found it difficult to source venture capital,’ explained Australia’s Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson.
The Fund will have offices and staff in Sydney, Palo Alto and Shanghai, and a network of contacts and investment relationships across the three regions, including access to an Advisory Council, comprising members of a number of leading US venture capital funds.
Source: Ministerial media release