We are ecstatic to publicly announce our first investment in Germany - nuventura is a Berlin-based startup that produces SF6-free GIS switchgear for medium voltage applications. Read on to learn more about our investment thesis!
Switchgear, often referred to as the backbone of electrical power systems, plays a vital role in safeguarding the integrity and reliability of electricity distribution. It acts as a crucial intermediary between power generation sources and end-users, ensuring the efficient flow of electricity while offering protection against electrical faults and abnormalities.
The energy transition's focus on decarbonization and renewable energy is driving increased demand for switchgear. Every new renewable energy source requires its own connection to the grid, thus requiring supporting switchgear in order to enable reliable and safe grid operation.
Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) is the best solution where there are space limitations, but they use the highly controversial gas SF6 to operate safely. SF6 is 25.200 times more potent in terms of warming potential than CO2 and there is significant urgency to implement alternative technologies as regulators start to phase out SF6’s use in energy infrastructure.
This is where Nuventura comes in. They have completely redesigned the GIS switchgear to make it work with dry air instead of SF6, without compensating on size. They are the only player in the market who has successfully commercialised a 36kV GIS without the use of SF6 - worldwide.
The capital will be used towards expanding Nuventura’s product portfolio and the further development of its manufacturing capabilities around the world, as the company continues to drive the global energy industry’s transition away from harmful greenhouse gas-based technology infrastructure.
For the above reasons you can see why we think that Nuventura makes an exceptional addition to our portfolio. As told by our Investment Manager, Beau-Anne Chilla: "I have been on the board of Nuventura for over three years and have been impressed with the team’s achievements and drive for growth. It is their ambition to eliminate the use of SF6 in switchgears entirely and they have a huge technological headstart in a market that will be forced to change due to regulations”.
Dr Fabian Lemke, Nuventura Co-founder and CEO, comments: “This is an extremely exciting time to be in this sector. Greater appreciation for the environmental threats posed by SF6 and accompanying regulatory oversight means that Nuventura, with our dry-air alternatives, is very much in the right place at the right time. This funding round is evidence of that and puts us in an ideal position to expand our operations internationally and continue providing sustainable switchgear alternatives for different use-cases together with our valued business partners around the globe.”
The round is led by Mirova through its impact private equity Mirova Environment Acceleration Capital fund, alongside new investors Forward.one and EIC Fund, and existing investors IBB Ventures, ADB Ventures, Cycle Group, Future Energy Ventures, and DOEN Participaties B.V.. The funding brings total investment in Nuventura to more than €35 million.
The team at FORWARD.one are very excited to back Nuventura in their journey to accelerate global energy industry’s transition away from harmful greenhouse gases!
For more information, check out their website here.