Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Saudi Arabia's Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, led a $10.5 million funding round in Australian energy software company Evergen as part of efforts to support the global transition to a clean energy model.
FRV-X, the innovation and venturing division of FRV, accounted for $7.17m of the total funding while the remainder was contributed by Evergen's shareholders.
The investment, Evergen’s largest to date, will enable the company to further develop its software to support the “smarter utilisation of more large-scale renewable energy and battery projects and partnerships in Australia and overseas”, a statement on Wednesday said.
“Our investment in Evergen represents our … commitment to supporting innovative concepts that are driving the global energy transition towards a more sustainable model,” Fady Jameel, deputy president and vice chairman at Abdul Latif Jameel, said.
“We look forward to combining our skills and expertise to deliver on Australia, the Middle East and the rest of the world’s renewable energy targets, which are crucial for climate resilience and continued societal and economic development.”
Evergen aims to connect the entire energy supply chain. Its software platforms control, monitor and optimise the energy performance of residential, commercial and utility-scale solar and battery systems.
Its software also enables utilities — including energy generators, retailers and distributors — to change the way energy is delivered and traded by orchestrating fleets of batteries, generators and loads, as virtual power plants, the statement said.
Investments in renewable energy have picked up pace and are expected to exceed $1.4 trillion in 2022, accounting for almost three quarters of the growth in overall energy investment, the International Energy Agency said in its latest report this week.
While clean energy investment has risen about 2 per cent annually in the five years since 2015 after the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, the pace of growth has ramped up to 12 per cent since 2020 amid an increase in government fiscal support, the IEA said.
The gains have also been supported by the increasing cost-competitiveness of many clean energy technologies to support the transition.
Renewables, grids and storage now account for more than 80 per cent of total investment in the power sector, the report said.
FRV is boosting its portfolio of generation assets — globally, FRV and its affiliated companies have installed 2 gigawatts of renewable energy generation with another 560 megawatts under construction. It plans to double the installed capacity to 4 gigawatts by 2024.
“They [Evergen] … have built software products that provide significant opportunities to enhance the way renewable generation and storage assets perform at scale in a variety of contexts internationally,” Felipe Hernandez, managing director of FRV-X, said.
“We are excited to partner and scale together as the transition to renewables accelerates around the world.”