Listen in as host Robert Reiss is joined by Kevin Skillern of GE Energy Financial Services, Rich Germain of ConocoPhillips and Sumit Sarkar of NRG Energy. They’re discussing a new joint venture among GE, ConocoPhillips and NRG Energy called Energy Technology Ventures, created to invest in next-generation energy technologies. Beyond capital, with the resources of three of America’s largest energy companies, this joint venture will help innovative companies accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and achieve the scale needed to benefit energy users, the economy and the environment.
“We want something that has the power to transform our [energy] business,” says Sumit Sarkar of NRG Energy. “We know it’s out there. We need to be aware of it and be ready to adopt it once it does come along.”
“We want something that matters,” adds Kevin Skillern of GE. “We’re not just looking for a small financial return. We want something that can matter at the scale of substance.”
With $300 million in capital, Energy Technology Ventures is thinking big. During the next four years, the joint venture will invest in 30 emerging energy technology companies.
“The interesting thing about this joint venture is that we will be dedicating resources to companies across the energy spectrum,” says Rich Germain of ConocoPhillips. “So we’ve taken a very broad look at the energy sector and are dedicating our resources across that sector.”
That means that in addition to cleantech, Energy Technology Ventures also aims to make conventional energy more efficient.
The joint venture already has invested in a number of promising technology companies, including Alta Devices, an innovative solar cell manufacturer that “has the potential to up-end the solar business as we know it,” according to Sumit Sarkar of NRG Energy. The joint venture also has invested in CoolPlanetBioFuels, which is working on a technology that converts biomass into fuel and carbon that can be sequestered in an economically advantageous manner. Kevin Skillern of GE explains, “It’s the perfect intersection between brilliant innovations and brilliant innovators.”