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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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.

News stories discussed this week

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What’s it all about?

Sven has a great story to tell, from a 5 person academic start up, to IPO and international expansion in just 10 years. Sven shares the highs and lows of the journey, what it takes to build a battery Gigafactory in Europe, and some possibly controversial thoughts on electric flight.  A slightly longer than usual episode, but there was so much to cover. Tuck in.

About our guest

Sven has a great story to tell, from a 5 person academic start up, to IPO and international expansion in just 10 years. Sven shares the highs and lows of the journey, what it takes to build a battery Gigafactory in Europe, and some possibly controversial thoughts on electric flight. A slightly longer than usual episode, but there was so much to cover. Tuck in.

Sven Schulz has been the CEO of AKASOL AG since May 2018. He co-founded and was the sole investor of AKASOL GmbH in 2008 and served as Managing Director since that time, playing a key role in the development of the company.

An industrial engineer by trade, Sven has been active in the automotive industry since 2001 and is an excellent generalist in terms of technology. He completed his management training at the University of St. Gallen, where he holds an MBA.

AKASOL is a leading German manufacturer of high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for buses, commercial vehicles, rail vehicles, industrial vehicles, ships and boats. With almost 30 years of experience AKASOL is a pioneer in the development and manufacture of lithium-ion battery systems for commercial applications. AKASOL AG’s shares are traded on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since June 29, 2018.

Based in Germany, AKASOL operates a production facility in Langen (Hesse) with an annual production capacity of up to 300 MWh, which will be expanded to 800 MWh by 2020. According to AKASOL, this is Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery system production plant for commercial vehicles, which can currently produce battery systems per year for up to 1,500 fully electric buses or for up to 3,000 medium-sized commercial vehicles, depending on battery size. AKASOL systems are manufactured according to the requirements of the industry standards of leading OEM customers. Current customers include Daimler, a Scandinavian bus and truck manufacturer, Alstom, Bombardier, Rolls-Royce Power Systems (MTU Friedrichshafen) and several more. AKASOL has a technology-independent product portfolio. This allows the company to use the best battery cells and battery chemistry according to the clients’ individual needs.

Sven Schulz on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/sven-schulz-72a121137/

Sven Schulz on Twitter  https://twitter.com/svenschulz

Akasol GmbH on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/company/akasol-ag/

Akasol GmbH website https://www.akasol.com/en/

Akasol GmbH on Twitter  https://twitter.com/AKASOL_PR

News stories discussed this week

Akasol opening manufacturing facility in Detroit. https://www.akasol.com/en/news-akasol-location-usa

AKASOL CELEBRATES GROUND-BREAKING CEREMONY FOR NEW HEADQUARTERS IN DARMSTADT https://www.akasol.com/en/news-akasol-headquarters-ceremony

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I’m sure you get frustrated with all the EV and battery haters telling you how dirty and wasteful they are, and how they can’t be, or aren’t recycled. I do. So I approached an industry expert to shed some light on the life and uses of a lithium-ion battery. The answers even surprised me a little. Take a listen.

About our guest

Hans Eric Melin is the founder of the London-based Circular Energy Storage (CES) which is a consultancy focused on lifecycle management of lithium-ion batteries. He is also the main contributor to the company’s report “The lithium-ion battery end-of-life market” covering volumes, prices, market and technical development in the recycling and reuse industry.

Prior to starting Circular Energy Storage Hans Eric served as Vice President New Markets at Battery Solutions in Michigan, USA where he primarily worked with collection solutions and reuse of lithium-ion batteries. Before that he was the CEO of Refind Technologies in Gothenburg in Sweden which is a leading company in intelligent sorting of batteries and electronics. Besides batteries and recycling Hans Eric has long experience from working with eco design and renewable energy. He holds a BSc in Communication Studies and Business administration from Gothenburg University.

Circular Energy Storage Research and Consulting is a London-based consultancy specialized in life cycle management of lithium-ion batteries. We help battery companies, car and device makers, utilities and recyclers to develop end-of-life strategies for lithium-ion batteries, and advise investors and the raw material industry on how the the end-of-life sector affects the overall energy storage market. We do it through reports and monthly updates as well as through bespoke consulting projects.  As a foundation of the work lies a continuous data collection of what’s happening on the energy storage and raw material markets as well as trends in mobility and consumer electronics

News stories discussed this week

This is the state-of-the-art in lithium-ion battery reuse and recycling research https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/state-of-the-art-lithium-ion-battery-reuse-recycling-research-melin/

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What’s it all about?

This week I travel to one of my favourite cities, Berlin, in a balmy 36C degree heat, to meet sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann. The sonnen story is a highlight of the cleantech sector, from bootstrapping, through many rounds of fundraising, to a significant sized acquisition from Shell. I’m delighted to have worked with sonnen as a client, since their first expansion out of Germany, and to meet Christoph again to share this super success story.

About our guest

Christoph Ostermann is Co-Founder and CEO of sonnen, the global market leader for residential energy storage systems. In 2008, when even in Germany the market for storage systems was still non-existent, he and his co-founder Torsten Stiefenhofer decided to join forces and to use their complementary skills to turn their vision into reality. Since the launch of the first prototype in 2010, Christoph is now on the mission to create a global one stop shop for decentralized energy and to disrupt the energy market. Christoph is a serial entrepreneur and started his first venture at the age of 18. Before launching sonnen, he had already built and developed four companies. In addition, Christoph spent five years in consulting, focussing on marketing and sales. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

The sonnen Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of smart energy storage systems and a pioneer of clean, decentralised and networked energy system technologies.  As one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe, sonnen has received numerous internationally recognized awards. With its virtual battery, which consists of digitally networked home storage systems, sonnen offers new and highly innovative energy services for network operators and customers. sonnen’s products are available in many countries and has offices located in Germany, Italy, Australia, the UK and the USA.

Christoph Ostermann on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/christoph-ostermann-bb804976/

Sonnen on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/company/sonnen-gmbh/

Sonnen website https://sonnenbatterie.co.uk/(UK)

https://sonnenusa.com/en/    (USA)

https://sonnen.de/(DACH)

News stories discussed this week

Christoph Ostermann at EcoSummit 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z30_Ij4TEM

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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?

This week I’m in Berlin, speaking at the 10th anniversary Ecosummit, and took the opportunity to record this podcast on the banks of the Spree, with leading cleantech investor Petr Mikovec, or Inven Capital. I think his insights into what an investor is looking for before investing is invaluable to any start-up, but also gives great insight into the challenges we all face to bring Cleantech to the mainstream.

About our guest

Petr Míkovec is Managing Director and co-founder of INVEN CAPITAL where he is responsible for overall fund strategy including fundraising, deal sourcing, investment process and portfolio value enhancement. Petr was directly responsible for the successful raising of EUR 50 million from the European Investment Bank, investments into sonnen https://www.sonnenbatterie.de/en/start, tado° https://www.tado.com/de/ and Cloud&Heat technologies https://www.cloudandheat.com/de where he serves as an Advisory Board Member. In addition to this, Petr represents INVEN at the Corporate Club of Environmental Technologies Fund based in London.

Petr has over 10 years of experience in the Energy sector, and over 5 years in Investment Banking. Prior to joining INVEN, Petr worked at various positions in CEZ a.s. where he, as Corporate Development Director, implemented the corporate venture fund as one of the key building blocks of CEZ group strategy and raised EUR 190 mil from CEZ group. He introduced the scenario approach to valuations and supervised/led valuations of large investments and divestments between EUR 100 million and EUR 1 billion.

Prior to his energy career, Petr worked as the Head of Online Business at Patria Finance (leading investment bank in CZ, member of KBC Group), where Petr turned firms Patria Online and Patria Direct to profitability within two years.

Petr holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and Managerial Information Systems at the University of Economics in Prague. He graduated with the highest GPA in his class and completed an eight month Professional Diploma Program in Business administration,  including taking part in an International Internship program as equity analyst at Technovision management fund (hedge fund based in Los Altos Silicon Valley) at UC Berkeley XT (California).

News stories discussed this week

Petr Míkovec on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/petr-m%C3%ADkovec-ba654a14/

Inven Capital on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/company/invencapital-cz/

Inven Capital website http://www.invencapital.cz/

Inven Capital at EcoSummit 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfr_YbtQIPM

Guy Kawasaki https://guykawasaki.com/

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?

Last time I saw Logan was in a pub around the corner from Euston station, London, just before he moved to California to take up his present role with BNEF. Logan’s knowledge and experience in the global energy storage market is second to none, and we explore his thoughts on market forces, economics, future energy storage technologies, and the Lithium and Cobalt supply chains.

About our guest

Logan heads up the Energy Storage insight team at BloombergNEF. He leads the company’s analysis on the global energy storage markets, providing insight on technology, markets, policies and regulation, and the competitive landscape. He also oversees BNEF’s Supply Chain focus area, a cross-company effort to provide insights on the battery supply chain, manufacturing, sustainability and advanced materials.

He advises utilities, technology companies, investors and policymakers across these fields. He has authored numerous research papers and regularly speaks at international conferences and in the mainstream media. He was previously a Senior Associate within the Energy Smart Technologies team and regularly works on consulting projects for clients. He joined the company in 2009 as an analyst focused on the wind and solar sectors across the Middle East and Africa. Logan holds an MA (Hons) from Edinburgh University in Arabic

Prior to joining the company, he has previously worked at the Next Century Foundation which is a nonprofit political think tank focused on conflict resolution.

With a team of experts spread across six continents, BloombergNEF (BNEF) leverages the world’s most sophisticated data sets to create clear perspectives and in-depth forecasts that frame the financial, economic and policy implications of industry-transforming trends and technologies.

BNEF clients include corporate strategy and business development professionals, finance professionals (traders, analysts, portfolio managers), as well as policy makers and regulators. They work with the largest corporations across utilities and generation, oil & gas, equipment manufacturers, banking and finance, and government.

Their team of experts, spread across six continents, provides independent analysis and insight by looking at specific sectors in depth, as well as cross-sector and cross-geography trends and implications.”

Logan Goldie-Scot on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/logan-goldie-scot-95724216/

Logan Goldie-Scot on Twitter  https://twitter.com/LoganGoldieScot

BloombergNEF on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/company/bloomberg-new-energy-finance/

BloombergNEF on Twitter https://twitter.com/BloombergNEF

BloombergNEF website  https://about.bnef.com/

News stories discussed this week

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World – Peter Frankopanhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Silk-Roads-New-History-World/dp/1408839970

The Powerhouse: America, China, and the Great Battery War – Steve Levine https://www.amazon.com/Powerhouse-America-China-Great-Battery/dp/0143128329

The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future – Levi Tillemann https://www.amazon.com/Great-Race-Global-Quest-Future/dp/1476773505

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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?

It was very flattering when a Google Moonshot company, invested in by Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos funded Breakthrough Energy Ventures, called to ask for help to scale their team. I took the opportunity whilst in Boston, MA, meeting the team, to record this episode with CEO Ramya Swaminathan, and to hear what’s it like to have such auspicious origins and investors, and what pressure that brings.

About our guest

Ramya Swaminathan joined Malta from Rye Development, where she was CEO, co-founder and Member of the Board of FFP New Hydro. Under her leadership, Rye Development grew to be the leading developer of new hydropower projects in the United States and its portfolio of development projects, held at its holdco affiliate, FFP New Hydro, advanced from concept through FERC licensing and late stage development financing. She was also responsible for the expansion of Rye’s platform into energy storage, with the addition of two sizable pumped hydro storage development projects in the Pacific Northwest. At Rye Development, Ms. Swaminathan led a multi-disciplinary team, with specialists in engineering and construction, regulatory and environmental aspects, and power marketing.  She also led the company through several financing rounds, both at the platform and the project levels.

Prior to her work in the hydropower space, Ms. Swaminathan was a public finance banker, most recently as a Director at UBS, where she focused on public power clients and senior managed more than $10 billion in financings. Ms. Swaminathan holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Anthropology from Amherst College.

The Malta concept is built upon well-established principles in thermodynamics for a system that stores energy as heat (in molten salt) and as cold (in a chilled liquid). The project was incubated at X, Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory, which applies audacious thinking and radical new technologies to solve the world’s most challenging problems. Based on the research they’d seen, X identified the Malta system as a product that had the potential to unlock a wealth of inexpensive clean energy to address global energy demands.

X’s team designed individual system components and evaluated whether the concept could work in the real world at a competitive price-point. The next two years were spent incubating the concept with a focus on derisking the most challenging concepts first. When it became clear that the technology had potential to be commercially viable at grid scale, Malta was formed outside of Alphabet as its own independent company.

Ramya Swaminathan on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/ramya-swaminathan-6a52a8b/

Malta Inc website  https://www.maltainc.com/

News stories discussed this week

3 things to know about Malta, the Google-incubated and Bill Gates-backed startup https://www.greenbiz.com/article/3-things-know-about-malta-google-incubated-and-bill-gates-backed-startup

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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?

On route to Boston, via London, I took the opportunity to meet Javier Cavada at the Highview Power offices in central London. We thought we might be able to break some big news, but alas that will have to wait for a future episode, but nonetheless we had a great conversation around long duration energy storage, and the prospects of a 100% renewable energy grid.

About our guest

Dr. Javier Cavada joined Highview Power as CEO and President in September 2018 with the mission to drive the ambitious global expansion strategy for the company’s proprietary cryogenic energy storage technology. Cavada previously spent 17 years in leadership positions at Wärtsilä Corporation, one of the world’s top technology companies in the energy market. As president of Wärtsilä’s energy division and member of the corporation’s executive board, Cavada led the company’s drive toward 100% renewables, spearheading a deep transformation that enabled the company to become a leading system integrator.

Under Cavada’s leadership, Wärtsilä’s global market share in gas and liquid fuel power plants grew from nine percent to 21 percent. His long career at Wärtsilä also included extensive international experience, including executive roles in China, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Finland. In combination with these executive roles, Cavada chaired the board of Greensmith Energy Management Inc. He has also held leadership roles within the German multinational firm Robert Bosch in the fields of automotive technology and manufacturing. Cavada holds a PhD in industrial engineering and among other awards has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumni by the University of Cantabria in Spain.

Highview Power is a designer and developer of a proprietary cryogenic energy storage technology that delivers reliable and cost-effective long-duration energy storage to enable a 100% renewable energy future. Its proprietary technology uses liquid air as the storage medium and can deliver anywhere from 20 MW/80 MWh to more than 200 MW/1.2 GWh of energy has a lifespan of 30 to 40 years. Developed using proven components from mature industries, it delivers pumped-hydro capabilities without geographical constraints and can be configured to convert waste heat and cold to power.

Javier Cavada on Linked In https://www.linkedin.com/in/javiercavadacamino/

Javier Cavada on Twitter https://twitter.com/CaminoCavada

Highview Power on Twitter    https://twitter.com/HighviewPower

Highview Power website  https://www.highviewpower.com/

News stories discussed this week

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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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