Seed capital for off-grid renewable leaders SteamaCo
SteamaCo, a market leader in technology for managing off-grid renewable energy networks in emerging markets, has completed a £640,000 seed capital round with the help of London’s ClearlySo impact investment bank.
SteamaCo plans to use the funding to expand access to its smart metering and data analytics technology that enables electricity providers – from mini grid operators to agricultural irrigation businesses – to reach up to 1.3 billion people living beyond the grid.
To date, the company has built more than 30 rural microgrids in developing nations and currently operates 70 percent of Kenya’s microgrid market.
Its universal smart meter technology allows microgrid owners to operate like utilities – monitoring performance remotely, operating machinery remotely and collecting cashless payments on a per-unit basis.
Tamsin Chislett, Investment Manager at ClearlySo, said: “We are extremely proud to have advised SteamaCo on their recent successful investment raise. SteamaCo's metering technology is critical for the growth of the renewable off-grid energy sector in emerging markets, and their innovation will give more people access to reliable, green, and affordable energy than ever before.
“This is a business that truly serves people and planet as well as profits - and is exactly the kind ClearlySo and our investor network seeks to support.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.