What’s it all about?

I first reached out to Mike as I saw the incredible work he was doing as CEO of Ice Energy. As you’ll know, as much as I love traditional battery storage technologies, I also have a passion for thermal storage solutions, and Ice Energy has a great product. I’ve kept in touch as Mike moved on to new ventures, and had the opportunity to meet recently in San Diego at Energy Storage North America. Here we extend that conversation, into some possible controversial territory.

About our guest

Mike Hopkins is CEO of Bakken Midstream (www.bakkenmidstream.com), a company he and his partners launched in late 2018 to develop and own value-added natural gas infrastructure in North Dakota.

Prior to launching Bakken Midstream, Mike was the long-serving CEO of Ice Energy (www.ice-energy.com). Ice Energy is the leading provider of thermal energy storage for the electricity grid, with its award-winning Ice Bear system deployed in more than 40 utility service territories. During his tenure as CEO, Mike secured the largest ever thermal energy storage contract, expanded the product line, arranged over $55 million in funding and increased revenue over 700%.

Prior to joining Ice Energy, Mike practiced law for 18 years as a partner with Bennett Jones LLP, a preeminent Canadian law firm recognized internationally as a leader in the fields of energy and climate change. He helped his clients successfully develop and finance over $12 billion of natural gas fired power plants in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. Mike served on the law firm’s Executive Committee and led their Utilities, International and Independent Power Groups. Mike left Bennett Jones at the end of 2002 to lead the workout of a private data center developer. After the successful sale of that company, Mike co-founded a geomatics company and assisted several other startups, including Ice Energy which he joined in 2009.

Mike is a member of the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board, the Board of Chancellors of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada, and the Board of Directors of OGL Engineering, Nelumbo, Inc and Plus Power, LLC.

Mike is a member of the American Bar Association.

He has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning and been a featured speaker at many conferences, including the Infrastructure Investors Forum, Grid Modernization Forum, Energy Storage Association, Energy Storage North America, Peak Load Management Association, Community Storage Initiative, SXSW Eco, Electric Power Research Institute, Association for Demand Response and Smart Grid, NY-BEST, EUCI, PlugVolt, World Energy Engineering Congress, US Energy Bar Association, Law Seminars International, and various investment bank sponsored private events.

Mike received a B.A. and a law degree from the University of Ottawa, an M.A. (Law and Economics) from the University of Miami and an MBA from the University of Alberta

GUEST LINKS HERE

Mike Hopkins on Linked In – www.linkedin.com/in/michaeljustinhopkins/
Bakkan Midstream on Linked In – www.linkedin.com/company/bakkenmidstream/
Bakkan Midstream website – www.bakkenmidstream.com
Plus Power on Linked In – www.linkedin.com/company/plus-power/
Nelumbo on Linked In – www.linkedin.com/company/nelumbo-inc/

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What’s it all about?

I first met Robert and the IP Group team as we were both pitching at EcoSummit in Berlin. An event that brings together the best investors, VCs, CVCs and corporate venturing teams, with the best cleantech start-ups across Europe. IP Group are a bit different from most investors, making very early bets, often with university spin-outs. Robert and his team are deeply embedded in early cleantech start-up ecosystem.

About our guest

Robert is Head of Cleantech at IP Group, which over the last seven years has become the largest cleantech venture capital investor in the UK. Building on IP Group’s relationships with universities, the focus of the portfolio is deep technology solutions based on scientific breakthroughs. Most companies are developing distinctive, IP-protected hardware solutions, and aim to achieve scalability – and put a dent in climate change – by partnering with large corporates committed to the energy transition. Technologies range from fusion energy to off-grid solar in emerging markets. In addition to his work at IP Group, Robert serves as a Commissioner for the Energy Transitions Commission, a diverse, global group of leaders from industry, finance and public life who are working to accelerate the transition to zero-carbon energy, industry and transport.

About IP Group

IP Group is a leading intellectual property commercialisation company which focuses on evolving great ideas, mainly from its partner universities, into world-changing businesses. The Group aims to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges through the companies we back, allowing us to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. The Group has pioneered a unique approach to developing these ideas and the resulting businesses by providing access to business building expertise, capital (through its 100%-owned FCA-authorised subsidiaries IP Capital and Parkwalk Advisors), networks, recruitment and business support. IP Group has a strong track record of success and its portfolio comprises holdings in early-stage to mature businesses across life sciences and technology. IP Group is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the code IPO.

GUEST LINKS

IP Group Website – www.ipgroupplc.com/
IP Group on Linked In – www.linkedin.com/company/ip-group-plc/
IP Group on Twitter – twitter.com/IPGroupplc
Robert Trezona on LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/robert-trezona-12b0b86/
Robert Trezona on Twitter – twitter.com/trez97

EPISODE LINKS

Principles: Life and Work – www.amazon.co.uk/Principles-Life-…io/dp/1501124021

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What’s it all about?

At Hyperion we love all things energy storage, and we’re always following new companies and technologies that can and will enable the energy transition. I recently met the team from Gravitricity at a trade show I was speaking at, and liked the look of their solution, anything that uses old and established technologies for new and innovative solutions is good as far as we’re concerned, so we asked their MD Charlie Blair to share more.

About our guest

Charlie joined Gravitricity as a founder shareholder in 2015, having worked with co-founders Peter Fraenkel and Martin Wright while in the Innovation Team at the Carbon Trust.  The team has grown since then and he’s been instrumental in developing the strategic relationships with manufacturing partners that will allow the technology to get to market fast.  Gravitricity is currently building at 250Kw, 50 tonne, Concept Demonstrator in Leith, Edinburgh.   Charlie has a Geography degree from Durham University and an Energy Systems MSc from Imperial College. He was elected a Fellow of the Energy Institute in 2019. 

Gravitricity is an energy technology company based in Edinburgh developing groundbreaking underground storage.  Grid-scale electricity storage spend is projected to grow from around $3 billion per year today to over $50 billion per year by 2040.   

Gravitricity’s patented technology is based on a simple principle: raising and lowering a heavy weight to store and release energy. The Gravitricity system suspends weights of 500 – 5000 tonnes in a deep shaft by a number of cables, each of which is engaged with a winch capable of lifting its share of the weight. Electrical power is then absorbed or generated by raising or lowering the weight. Gravitricity technology has fast response (<1s), extremely long life, high efficiency and levelised cost of storage almost half that of chemical batteries.   The technology will initially be deployed at existing mine-shafts; later on in purpose-sunk shafts exactly where the grid needs storage.   

GUEST LINKS HERE

Website – www.gravitricity.com    

Twitter – https://twitter.com/gravitricity

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/gravitricity 

EPISODE LINKS HERE

How UK’s disused mine shafts plan to store renewable energy https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/21/how-uks-disused-mine-shafts-plan-to-store-renewable-energy

Edinburgh company generates electricity from gravity https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-50146801

Gravitricity are Crowdfunding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WE2vgFZY5A

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What’s it all about?

The success of the eMobility revolution hinges on many things, more vehicles of course, the charging infrastructure, and of course the brains that connect everything and make it all work. This week I’m speaking with Doran Frenkel, CEO of a company that is the brains behind the eMobility revolution.

About our guest

Doron Frenkel is the Founder and CEO of Driivz. An experienced entrepreneur, Doron has over 20 years’ international experience in various roles across the IT, telecoms and EV sectors.

Prior to founding Driivz, Doron was Co-Founder and CEO of We! Secure, a cybersecurity solution provider for enterprise customers. He has also held management roles at major organisations such as Sphera, Amdocs and MTS Systems Corporation.

Doron has served as an advisory board member for Micronet, a leading fleet management solutions provider, while he also holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Tel Aviv University.

Driivz is an operating system for global EV charging. The company’s cloud-based platform supports over 120 types of EV chargers and includes billing capability, roaming interoperability and self-healing functionality. The Driivz platform is also vehicle-to grid enabled, allowing EV drivers to act as virtual power plants by becoming suppliers, receiving compensation and reducing energy consumption.

Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Driivz’s team of EV experts are working for customers in 17 countries. The company already counts global industry players such as EVgo, ElaadNL, ESB and Centrica as customers, while it manages some of the largest public EV charging networks in North America and Europe. In total, tens of thousands of EV chargers are linked to Driivz’s platform, which is also used by more than 300,000 EV drivers.

Links:

Website: driivz.com/
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/driivz/
Twitter: twitter.com/Driivz_EV
Doron LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/doronfrenkel/
Recent news (CEZ Group contract): driivz.com/driivz-cez-group-ma…v-charging-network/
Company milestone (Centrica investment): driivz.com/centrica-ombu-invest-in-driivz/
Company milestone (INVEN Capital investment): driivz.com/inven-capital-invests-driivz/

EPISODE LINKS

Free Electrons freetheelectron.com/

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What’s it all about?

Solar power is my first love, and whilst in recent years it has been battery storage, EV Charging infrastructure and eMobility that has dominated my work at Hyperion, we’ve kept our love for and focus on the solar industry. I was introduced to Haggai by Ulrich Seitz at Bay Wa Ventures, and I love what they are doing. As ever it’s another great start-up story for an entrepreneur with a passion to make a difference to the world.

About our guest

Solar energy has been part of Haggai Hofland’s life for as long as he can remember. The CEO and founder of Raycatch was born and raised on a kibbutz in the Arava Desert in southern Israel, where his father built one of Israel’s largest solar energy companies. Solar energy has been the most installed energy source in the past few years. At Raycatch we believe that cutting-edge software will make it even more cost-effective and will enable a higher global adoption rate. The next leap in solar adoption will be led by the data revolution!

The Raycatch team includes solar industry experts and serial software entrepreneurs and the company is successfully enhancing over 2.5GW in solar assets worldwide. Raycatch’s leading solution, DeepSolar, is a pure SaaS AI solution that provides actionable insights for solar asset owners and operators to significantly enhance yield and improve asset ROI.

Haggai holds a B.A. in economics and management with a specialization in entrepreneurship, and has been working in tech companies in the renewable energy sector since 2010.

He is passionate about creating tech solutions for real-world problems with a global impact. Prior to Raycatch, Haggai co-founded Webper, a start-up that personalizes feeds in content websites and served as VP Business Development at Brighttech, a leading Israeli software developer. Haggai also advises public companies in PV production and data analysis of renewable energy assets.

GUEST LINKS

Raycatch on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/raycatch 
Haggai Hofland onLinkedIn : www.linkedin.com/in/haggaihofland/ 
Raycatch Website: www.raycatch.com/
Raycatch YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCc9FbY2rAPBtiBxDks1qq2w
Raycatch Direct video link: youtu.be/eA8-raT7tpI

EPISODE LINKS

Follow us online, write a review (please) or subscribe. I’m very keen to hear feedback on the podcast and my guests, and to hear your suggestions for future guests or topics. Contact via the website, or Twitter.

If you do enjoy the podcast, please write a review on iTunes, or your usual podcast platform, and tell your cleantech friends about us. That would be much appreciated.

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What’s it all about?

Tom is one of those, like me, that tried to bring business acumen to a very nascent, and very hippy, clean and renewable energy sector in the UK in the late 2000’s. His journey, passion and drivers are fascinating to share, as is the story of Kaluza, a company really creating the Internet of Energy (IoE), across a range of domestic devices, proving new incomes and opportunities for businesses and consumers. Take a listen.

About our guest

Tom Pakenham is Director of Electric Vehicles at Kaluza, OVO Group’s intelligent energy platform. Driving the transition to a distributed, zero-carbon energy system, the Kaluza platform is able to securely connect millions of smart devices and create mass flexibility, helping offset costly and carbon-intensive peaks. Tom plays a crucial role in scaling this unique technology across the fast-growing electric vehicle market.

Before Kaluza, Tom helped lead OVO Energy’s transition from a pure kWh retail business into a diversified energy services company. In 2017 he spearheaded the launch of OVO’s ‘EV Everywhere’ energy bundle and developed industry-leading smart charging propositions for customers. Tom also developed strategic partnerships with key players including Chargemaster, the UK’s biggest provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, Indra Renewable Technologies, and ChargedEV.

Prior to OVO, Tom founded greentomatocars in 2006 – the world’s first low emission taxi company, which he sold to global transport conglomerate Transdev. After selling greentomatocars, Tom launched greentomatoenergy – an energy efficiency and micro-renewables business – which was acquired by a private equity firm in 2013. After this, Tom led the Business Development and Innovation team at Transdev Plc.

Tom graduated from Cambridge University with a History MA and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from BPP Law School. He is a qualified solicitor.

About Kaluza

Our mission is to securely connect all devices to an intelligent zero carbon grid

Kaluza is an intelligent energy platform able to connect and control millions of smart devices across people’s homes, such as electric vehicles, heaters and batteries. The machine learning platform introduces new flexibility into the energy system by optimising individual devices to use energy during off-peak hours, when costs and carbon are lower. An OVO Group company, Kaluza operates end-to-end, providing software, hardware and in-home installation services to a range of partners and is driving the global transition to a distributed and secure, zero-carbon grid.

GUEST LINKS

Kaluza on twitter: twitter.com/Kaluza_tech
Kaluza on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/kaluza/
Tom Pakenham on Twitter: twitter.com/tom_pakenham
Tom Pakenham on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/tom-pakenham-7424b3/
Kaluza home page: www.kaluza.com/

EPISODE LINKS

Small is Beautiful – EF Schumacher – www.amazon.co.uk/Small-Beautiful-…ed/dp/0099225611
The Story of Stuff – Animations – storyofstuff.org/

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What’s it all about?

Limejump are one of the great UK cleantech start-up stories. Recently acquired by Shell Ventures, the company continues to grow and play an active part in the clean energy transition. I talk to CEO and Co-Founder Erik Nygard about the company journey, including how they helped in the recent UK blackout, the future of energy and the part AI will play, how is life as a cleantech start up owned by an Oil major, and his optimism for the future.

About our guest

Erik Nygard – CEO & Co-Founder – Limejump. Erik has worked for Centrica and British Gas; while at Centrica it became clear to him that people did not have much opportunity to try and be more proactive when managing their electricity. Therefore, he decided to set up Limejump, knowing that there was a definite opportunity to provide a better product and proposition for customers. Most recently Limejump has won the Bloomberg New Energy Pioneer award for 2018, S&P Platts Rising Star 2018 and WIRED London Smarter Energy Stage and manages the largest portfolio of battery assets in the United Kingdom. Erik has led the development of the Limejump Virtual Power Plant (VPP) concept to create the Future of Energy. Alumni of University of San Francisco, BSC in Finance an MSC and Cass School in London – Energy Trade finance.

Limejump is a wholly owned, independent subsidiary of Shell New Energies.

GUEST LINKS

Erik Nygard on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/erik-nygard-1685611/

EPISODE LINKS HERE

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What’s it all about?

I first heard Billy Wu speak at a renewable energy event in London about four years, and my inner battery nerd was born and thrust into the world. Dr Billy has the knack of being a fully fledged Dr of batteries, whilst being able to articulate to non scientific nerds like me, and possibly you, if you are reading this.  We talk batteries, supercapacitors, and of course Hydrogen Fuel Cells, where we are, what’s next, and who will win!

About our guest

Dr. Billy Wu is a senior lecturer in the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London where he co-leads the Electrochemical Science and Engineering group. His research activities include: energy storage/conversion technologies (lithium-ion batteries, redox flow cells, supercapacitors and fuel cells) and manufacturing (3D printing, nanofibre electrospinning).

He has published 35 peer reviewed journal papers, 2 book chapters and 4 patents since completing his PhD in 2014 and sits on the editorial board of Scientific Reports. He has been an investigator in research projects worth in excess of £46M, directly managing a budget of >£2M and is a co-investigator for the UK Faraday Institution battery research centre. He directly leads a team of 7 post-docs and 6 PhD students within the wider Electrochemical Science and Engineering group which has >50 researchers. Prior to his PhD in automotive proton exchange membrane fuel cell-lithium-ion battery hybrid systems, he completed his masters in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London in 2010.

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Synopsis

We all know the energy and mobility transitions are happening at a pace. This is the world myself and the team at Hyperion Executive Search live and breathe every day, much like our guest today. Florent has a deep interest and insights into the transitions which he shares with us today.

About our guest

Florent Andrillon, Energy Transition Global Lead of Capgemini Invent:

  • Florent Andrillon is the energy transition global lead for Capgemini Invent, where he advises companies from different sectors on their energy and low carbon transformation projects
  • Capgemini Invent is Capgemini group’s digital innovation, consulting and transformation global business line. Capgemini Invent combines market leading expertise in strategy, technology, data science and creative design, to help CxOs envision and build what’s next for their businesses.
  • Florent has been witnessing the rise of e-mobility for many years now, starting with an mobility market forecasting project where he projected the rise of electric vehicles and the impact on fuel consumption.
  • Florent graduated from EM Lyon in 2001. He started his career at Schlumberger, the giant oil services company, before joining Capgemini Invent in 2005. Since then, he has worked in France and abroad with players in the Energy and Utilities sector: large companies, players wishing to enter this market or parapublic organizations. He has supported these organizations since 18 years now in their strategic projects of energy transition, acceleration, and global transformation. More recently, Florent worked a lot with clients willing to leverage digital technology to accelerate their energy transition projects, especially in the area of smart building, e-mobility and smart energy.
  • At Capgemini Invent, our ambition is to help our clients designing and executing their transformation to achieve their low carbon ambition, enabling the 2°C scenario. Within our portfolio of clients, we partner to be the one
    • Increasing the share of low-carbon fuels for all types of transportation (electric, natural gas, hydrogen…)
    • Helping industrials, buildings and cities to reduce their energy consumption and more widely their CO2 footprint
    • Leveraging AI & digitalization to reduce CO2 emissions and create new business models

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What’s it all about?

Martin Baart has a passion to bring solar projects to the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sector in emerging markets. Fighting against local misconceptions about what solar can do, and bigger issues around how to fund such projects, they found a solution through crowdfunding, and transparency in all areas of the business. Martin and ecoligo have a great business and story to tell.

About our guest

Martin Baart has more than 14 years of experience in the renewable energy industry with more than 10 years in emerging markets. He started his career with a German regional municipality on grid integration of grid-scale solar PV projects. During his Masters he lived and worked in Australia for the global leader in Microgrids, Powercorp, on the technical integration of solar and wind solutions into Microgrids, mainly for remote communities, mining operations and island utilities. Moving into business development he opened up the European office for Powercorp. After successfully entering the market, he supported the management in its sale of the business to ABB. For ABB he build up the Microgrid business unit in Madrid, after which he left to join Berlin based Start-up OneShore Energy as CTO and first employee. With them he developed the East African markets and technologies suited for the risk minimization of Off-Grid Solar PPA’S. After building up the company, he left in 2015 to prepare for the foundation of ecoligo, addressing the key barrier for solar projects in emerging markets: a fully serviced and financed solution, taking away all worries from the clients. Since then, he led the business into regional hubs in Central America, West Africa and East Africa and introduced the solution also for energy efficiency projects in the markets.

Martin is a qualified Electronics Technician, has a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Trier University of Applied Science, a Master of Business and Engineering from Steinbeis University in Berlin and a Global Executive Master of Business Administration from IE business school in Madrid. He also is a Certified Expert for Climate & Renewable Energy Finance from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

ecoligo provides a fully financed solar-as-a-service solution for businesses in emerging markets. With a complete digital platform for financing and delivering solar projects, ecoligo removes the barriers that prevent such projects from being realised. Supplying businesses with affordable electricity enables them to grow and boost the local economy. The solar projects are financed through the crowdinvesting platform www.ecoligo.investments, offering fixed and attractive returns to private investors. Investments start from 100€ and save tonnes of CO2 emissions, enabling impactful citizen participation in the global energy transition.

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