German renewables and energy retail giant Innogy SE stepped up its investment in “disruptive” clean technology start-ups last year, backing 61 companies through its innovation arm and growing the value of its portfolio by more than 50 per cent, it revealed today. Set up in 2014 with a focus on investing in companies involved in decarbonisation, decentralisation, digitisation or democratisation of energy, the firm’s Innovation Hub has now funded almost 90 start-ups, creating a portfolio worth €162m in total, it said. But the announcement came as Innogy last week lamented a “turbulent year” across its wider global energy business, which saw its year-on-year earnings fall by seven per cent to €2.6bn due to lower than expected returns from renewables, challenges in its electricity and gas retail business, and the collapse of the planned merger of its UK business with npower. The firm said “unusually low levels of wind across large areas of Europe” acted as a drag on its financial results, with earnings from renewables alone down to €299m in 2018 from €355m the previous year. However, it said it expected an increase in earnings from its renewables business this coming year due to expanding capacity, based on more “normalised” weather conditions.
Business Green 18th March 2019 read more »