Centrica invests in energy management AI startup Grid Edge
Centrica’s impact investment fund, Ignite, has pledged £200,000 to help fund cloud-based energy management software startup Gridge Edge.
The company created its software during three years of development, using artificial intelligence (AI) to forecast business energy requirements in order to optimise the energy consumption of buildings.
The company claims to be able to reduce energy usage by up to 25%, helping to reduce both costs and emissions.
With the three investors having previously worked on Grid Edge on the side, the six figure investment will now provide the startup up with enough investment to be able to work on the venture full time to help it maximise its commercial potential.
“This investment is a game-changer for us. We can now focus on accelerating our product development and establishing a real footprint in the commercial market. Our ambition is to be in more than 500 large-scale buildings within five years,” said Grid Edge CEO Tom Anderson.
“Ignite is the perfect partner for us and we have a shared vision for the future of this venture. In addition to the financial support, the expertise and industry insight provided by the Ignite team is already proving invaluable.”
Centrica’s Ignite investment fund is the first of its kind with a focus on energy, with Grid Edge the 25th firm to be supported by the venture since its inception in 2014, providing both investment and expertise to clean and renewable energy startups.
“We believe Grid Edge is a fantastic example of an enterprise that could truly benefit society, which is the key reason why we’re backing the team,” said Sam Salisbury, Ignite’s Investment Principal.
“The technology could have huge potential for the commercial and public sector and we’re particularly excited about the opportunity it offers housing associations and local authorities; helping them to cut carbon emissions, reach energy efficiency targets and create warmer, healthier places for tenants to live.”
Grid Edge is one of a stream of startups weighing into the clean energy market, with the Carbon Clean 200 stock index showing significant sector growth in its first annual report.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.