New investment and opportunities from Japan lead headlines in Q1 2019

It’s been a busy few weeks for the UK energy sector with a flood of news related to deals from Japanese sources being announced. Here’s our roundup:

14th February:

  • Japan introduces new rules intended to make offshore wind farms a more viable investment. Orix, TEPCO and Germany’s E.ON lead entry into untapped sector.
  • Major Japanese firm Mitsui joined £13M investment in UK energy supplier Tonik Energy. Tonik Energy supplies green power and integrated grid services to around 100,000 households.
  • Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation acquired a 20% minority stake for £200M in British power supplier OVO Energy. OVO has over 1.5M customers in the UK and is considered the largest independent energy supplier in its home market. This investment valuation makes OVO the first of hopefully many new energy unicorns.

15th February:

  • Mitsubishi Corporation signed joint venture deal to provide home repair services in Japan with leading UK-based provider HomeServe.

19th February:

  • Japanese energy majors Jera and TEPCO invest £25M in UK battery storage firm Zenobe Energy. Zenobe Energy operates 73MW of storage assets.

27th February:

  • Oil major Royal Dutch Shell announces the acquisition of leading demand response specialist Limejump for an undisclosed sum. We are particularly familiar with Limejump as they participated in last year’s edition of JEC; we are happy to extend a personal congratulations on this accomplishment.

These significant financial investments and partnerships in new energy-based offers highlight 3 important trends: firstly that there is confidence in alternatives to traditional revenue models; secondly that new technologies are being accepted by large players; and lastly that the energy transition is a global phenomenon. The wealth of opportunities in tech offers held by the UK and Europe has clearly been noticed by these Japanese firms, lending evidence to the wealth of innovation opportunities available.

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