Category Archive: Uncategorized

  1. Former UK Minister Claire O’Neill and Head of BA SAF Leigh Hudson join Ikigai Capital Board

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    London, 12 October 2020 – The former UK Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire O’Neill (formerly Claire Perry), has joined the board of Ikigai Capital Limited (‘Ikigai’ or the ‘Company’), the London-based strategic consultancy that makes Net Zero investable by helping clients reduce carbon emissions and improve profitability while future-proofing assets for a truly sustainable economy.

    Claire O’Neill joins Ms Leigh Hudson, Head of Sustainable Fuels at IAG/British Airways, as a Non-Executive Director of Ikigai to guide its co-founders Roberto Castiglioni and Helena Anderson in their mission to bridge the divide between investors, technology companies, large energy users and the public sector and thereby address ‘stranded asset’ risk for industry and infrastructure.

    Ms O’Neill, a Harvard University MBA graduate, has held senior roles not only in Government but also in management consulting and banking and is now Managing Director for Climate and Energy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).  While in Government she authored the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy, negotiated the world’s first offshore wind sector deal, brought forward the UK’s world leading Net Zero legislation and led the UK Government in its successful bid to host COP26 for which she served as President-Designate until her departure from politics in 2020.

    Commenting on her decision to join the Ikigai Board, Claire O’Neill said: “The UK’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 has focused minds on how to translate talk into action and I have long been impressed with the Ikigai team’s ability to turn theoretical commitments into the practical steps needed to help companies structure and source secure funding for technology-neutral, integrated energy and transport decarbonisation solutions.  In less than two years, thanks to their commitment and passionate approach, they have positioned themselves at the heart of the energy transition by delivering practical and investable solutions, linking key public and private stakeholders and the funding community. I look forward to helping them move the business to the next stage.”

    “As the home of the Industrial Revolution and energy-led industrial clusters, Britain is now leading the Energy Revolution, decarbonising its economy to make it fit for the 21st century and delivering data-led Infrastructure 2.0,” said Roberto Castiglioni. “Huge steps have been taken to reduce stranded asset risk on the electricity supply side through solar and wind generation, but the next big challenge is decarbonising industrial and transport demand for heat/cool and fuel and balancing the system through behind-the-meter solutions. From these challenges we see a massive opportunity for investors to increase the profitability and competitiveness of their core assets by acting now with bankable, holistic solutions.”

    According to a research by ShareAction[1], out of more than US$70 trillion of assets under management by the top 75 fund managers, $35 trillion are exposed to climate change risks. Investment managers should be acting now to future-proof their portfolios to withstand changes in regulations and consumer mood, as governments are moving towards Net Zero economies and increasingly, people don’t want their personal investments holding carbon-heavy assets.

    The Ikigai team guides investors, asset operators and public authorities to diversify into new energy-related revenue streams and mitigate unforeseen or premature write-downs, asset devaluation, illiquidity and refinancing risk. Ikigai is currently working on several Net Zero-focused projects – for industrial clusters, city innovation zones, regional airports, ports and foundational industry – in each case aiming to deliver economic development, social impact and carbon abatement on a privately financed basis.

    Jon Matthews, Head of Energy and Innovation at AGS Group, owner of Glasgow, Southampton and Aberdeen airports, said: “Ikigai has taken a hands-on, practical, collaborative and bankability-led approach to designing and implementing a holistic strategy for AGS to become a Net Zero airport group. They have helped us to devise a framework for sustainable growth of regional connectivity, tailored to the particular characteristics of each airport and neighbouring developments. In the wake of the pandemic and in the lead-up to COP26 in Glasgow, we believe the data-led, cost reducing and revenue generating all-energy decarbonisation solutions championed by Ikigai and funded off balance sheet, will play a crucial role in the future of flight and will future-proof the airports.”

    Helena Anderson commented: “We are reaching a tipping point: it is no longer sufficient for investors and industry to talk about what a future carbon-constrained economy will look like and then ignore these predictions when it comes to live deals. It is not enough to attend webinars and write about thought-leadership. We need to move beyond the forecasting business and work collaboratively to address ‘stranded asset’ risk in transactions and on the ground, catalysing a combination of public and private investment. Whether we are advising investors on carbon-related refinancing risk; asset owners on optimising their portfolios through integrated power, heat and fuel solutions; or devising funding plans for Net Zero industrial clusters or city networks, our aim is to accelerate the move from theory into practice.”

    Ikigai Capital

    Ikigai Capital is a UK-based international strategic adviser that is advancing the energy transition by facilitating investment into data-led, integrated energy, transport and decarbonisation solutions for heavy industry, city and industrial zones and core infrastructure owners (water, waste, airports, ports). 

    Ikigai Capital is part of a wider group of companies whose complementary activities help in delivering a sustainable future. Ikigai Energy is a co-development and financing platform for behind-the-meter energy projects and Ikigai AXL is a bankability accelerator for cleantech enterprises looking to commercialise their proven technologies.


    [1] Point of No Returns, March 2020

  2. Structuring a bankable project: energy storage

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    by Caroline Saul, a partner at Osborne Clarke LLP and Ed Pateman-Jones Commercial Director at Ikigai Capital

    Ed Pateman-Jones joined Caroline Saul to explain the principal technologies used for energy storage solutions, with a particular focus on battery storage, and the role that energy storage plays in the renewable energy sector.
    They also describe a typical project finance structure used to finance energy storage projects and highlight the key issues investors and financiers should consider when financing an energy storage project.

  3. Ikigai Capital Joins KTN SME Programme to Foster Net Zero World

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    Calling on early and late stage innovators in chemistry and industrial biotech solutions for a #NetZero world! Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) launched an SME Accelerator Programme to provide training, support and access to funding for a cohort of 10-15 promising companies, in order to accelerate their pathway towards commercialisation. 

    Ikigai Capital is proud to be a partner organisation for the programme, alongside Unilever, Croda, The Lubrizol Corporation, IBioIC, CPI, Earlymarket LLP, Carbon Limiting Technologies, Clean Growth Fund, UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund and Sustainable Ventures.

    Applications close on 30 September 2020. Don’t miss out!

  4. Ikigai Capital joins Net Zero Leiston consortium to lead the way for Net Zero Towns

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    Ikigai Capital is proud to announce its appointment as net zero bankability adviser in a consortium of international engineering and energy systems experts that have pledged to show a Suffolk coastal town how to increase energy efficiency, tackle fuel poverty and reach net zero carbon emissions.

    Representatives from Leiston-cum-Sizewell and local authorities are leading the consortium on a project that is being launched in the town called ‘Net Zero Leiston’. It aims to help the parish achieve zero carbon emissions by around 2030 and end fuel poverty.

    Climate change is a cause for concern across the world and the UK has a legally binding commitment to achieve ‘Net Zero’ emissions by 2050. Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council along with over 300 local authorities, has declared a climate emergency. Board members of the community partnership organisation Leiston Together hope that by bringing together partners and the local community a blueprint for achieving net-zero can be delivered which will also help similar towns across Britain.

    Since the start of the year Leiston representatives have been working with partners including EDF, East Suffolk Council, Suffolk County Council, Atkins, Ikigai Capital, Opergy and Energy Systems Catapult to work on a ‘route map’ which will outline the timescales and milestones which would need to be undertaken to meet this ambitious aim.

    Initial activities will include a pilot scheme for twenty properties in the town to be retro-fitted with various technologies and materials to help improve their energy performance, such as roof and cavity wall insulation, boilers and solar panels.

    Leiston Town Council is leading the project with financial and project management support from EDF and the Sizewell C project. It is intended that the project will eventually be wholly community-owned and self-sustaining. 

    Helena Anderson, Ikigai Capital co-founder and COO said:

    ‘We believe integrated low carbon solutions – across electricity, heat/cool, fuel and CCUS – can best add value for consumers, investors and regional economies. Data-led, systems-based, demand optimisation is the first step. A technology-neutral approach is essential, given the multiple pathways available to achieve net zero in a particular locality and timeframe. But above all, the energy transition will only be achieved if it is investable and bankable, focusing not only that the projects that can be delivered in 2050, but also the enabling infrastructure that can catalyse change now. Too often, a high impact decarbonisation project is abandoned because creative thinking around the potential revenue stack, funding structures and strategic partners was an after-thought. We set up Ikigai to address this blind spot in the context of energy-led city and industrial solutions. We are therefore honoured that EDF shares this perspective and has chosen Ikigai to work alongside the leading professional advisors in this space, not only to deliver an investable Net Zero Leiston, but to create a blueprint for the financing of net zero towns across the UK.”

    Clerk of Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council John Rayner said:

    ‘Leiston-cum-Sizewell is very pleased to be able to work with EDF and the other partners in this project to make Leiston a Net Zero contributor to climate change by 2030. The ambition, resources and potential of the group is very exciting and Leiston will undoubtedly benefit from this investment.’

    ‘We believe a robust approach is needed to engineer net zero and truly tackle climate change. To achieve we will need the local community to be involved and at the heart of what we do. To that end we have delivered a leaflet explaining the project to all homes in Leiston-cum-Sizewell and we have launched a website to encourage local people to get involved and share their ideas on how our town can become Net Zero.

    Partners in the project include Atkins, the international engineering and project management group who will draft the Net Zero report; Ikigai Capital, a London based net zero bankability adviser; Opergy, a Suffolk-based clean energy consultancy; and Energy Systems Catapult. The Net Zero Leiston Team is planning to publish the route map in Autumn.

  5. The economics of unsubsidised projects – Do they still work as demand and power prices change?

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    Presented by:

    • Aldo Beolchini, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer, NextEnergy Capital
    • Stirling Habbitts, Director, Green Giraffe
    • Julia Gubar, Senior Investment Manager, Octopus Renewables
    • Mikkel Kring, Partner, Our New Energy
    • Chris Pritchett, Partner, Foot Antsey
    • Roberto Castiglioni, Founder & CEO, Ikigai Capital

     Started 21 May at 15:30 BST

    https://cdn.ireland.production.livestorm.io/uploads/media/file/419c4cca-12cd-483e-bcae-2a87d960634e/46eb8041-13f1-460e-9918-b94e1da70087.mp4?v=1590075344

  6. Ikigai AXL supports carbon clean solutions limited in $16M capital raise to fund commercialisation of carbon capture technology

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    London 28 February 2020 – Ikigai AXL (Ikigai) is pleased to announce that Carbon Clean Solutions Limited (CCSL), one of the cutting edge clean technology start-ups within its bankability accelerator, has recently closed a $16m funding round attracting three global investors: WAVE Equity Partners, Chevron Technology Ventures and Marubeni Corporation. 

    CCSL has a technology that absorbs CO2 via a patented chemical absorption solution, allowing CO2 recovery at a higher efficiency and lower cost than conventional recovered solvents. It currently has the world’s highest level of cost-competitiveness in commercialized CO2 recovery technologies. 

    Ikigai supported CCSL to define its offer to space constrained industrial customers in the context of regionalised CO2 re-utilisation solutions and introduced Japanese trading house, Marubeni Corporation as a strategic investor to play a key role in the deployment of CCSL’s technology in the UK and internationally. This round of fundraising will also help CCSL to boost the development of their containerised carbon capture solution to achieve CO2 capture cost of $30 (£23)/tonnes by 2021. 

    Affordable carbon capture technology has a critical role to play in the transition to a low-carbon energy future. It is one of a host of technologies that will be required to tackle climate change. Renewables alone will not be enough if the world is to reach net zero emissions targets whilst also meeting the energy needs of a fast-growing global population still largely reliant on fossil fuels.  

    Aniruddha Sharma, CEO of CCSL said “Ikigai has helped us to shape bankable projects and to create an immediate commercial pipeline in the UK; that in turn has made investors comfortable with our ambitious forecast cash flow. We’re now looking forward to drawing on Marubeni’s global connections and cross-sectoral industrial experience to advance our technology and deliver real impact, on gigatonne or 1 billion tonne CO2 abatement scale”. 

    Satoshi Kanomata, UK General Manager of Waste to Energy in Plant Division at Marubeni Europe also added that “Ikigai supported us to overcome the challenges of being a large industrial investor in innovative technologies. They helped us to identify the strategic synergies of low cost, low energy consuming, compact carbon capture and recycling with our diversified asset base and those of our global customers across chemicals, aggregates and cement, fertiliser, power, steel and waste treatment. They also supported us to understand how carbon is shifting from being regarded as a waste product to a valuable output for use in the food and beverage industries, in glass manufacturing and as a transport fuel, amongst others. We are now looking forward to supporting CCSL to rapidly upscale and deliver their unique technology to decarbonise industries in the UK and beyond”. 

    Helena Anderson, co-founder of Ikigai, pointed out that “Stranded asset risk is real and, as climate change accelerates, industry is waking up to the necessity of reaching carbon net zero as cost effectively as possible, in order to maintain profitability and competitiveness and to continue to attract investment into their operations. CCSL perfectly demonstrates why we founded Ikigai – to connect strategic investors, infrastructure owners, industrial customers and start-ups with proven but innovative technology, to create bankable, scalable, behind the meter solutions to deliver the energy transition. We are looking forward to continuing to support CCSL and its shareholders to develop and finance onsite carbon capture and localised re-utilisation and storage projects as part of Ikigai Energy’s financing platform for data-led, holistic onsite energy solutions”. 

    Ikigai AXL is the bankability accelerator within the Ikigai group, alongside Ikigai Capital (providing energy transition and decarbonisation strategic advisory services to investors and asset owners) and Ikigai Energy, a developer and funder of holistic energy solutions for large energy users. Ikigai bridges the gap between investors, suppliers and energy intensive industry to deliver the energy transition to carbon net zero.  

    For further information visit www.ikigai-axl.co.uk or email info@ikigai-axl.co.uk.  

  7. “Unless you understand the investor point of view, decarbonisation won’t happen”

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    The success of efforts to decarbonise economies in the UK and elsewhere could hinge largely on how governments and business communities – particularly large commercial lenders – engage with the sector in 2020, a UK-based financier of solar and storage has said.

    Energy-Storage.news‘ readers may well recognise Roberto Castiglioni, CEO and founder at UK-headquartered outfit Ikigai Capital from last year’s panel discussion video taken at UK industry event Solar & Storage Live.

    On stage at the exhibition and conference, which took place in the latter part of 2019, the sneakers-wearing former Royal Bank of Scotland funder of solar projects had said that the growing market for energy storage was both challenging to make stack up economically but also “more exciting” than the kind of solar projects he had helped fund for more than a decade.

    Many of the latter had no more complex a financial impetus behind them than subsidy schemes such as the feed-in tariff (FiT) and Castiglioni has described funding for standalone PV as becoming something of a “race to the bottom”.

    Castiglioni gave his views on 2020 and what lies ahead in decarbonisation and the energy transition in a recent interview with Energy-Storage.news.

    Walk the walk

    “What I’m hopeful for, is governments taking a strong position on decarbonisation. The Targeted Charging Review (TCR) in the UK from [national regulator] Ofgem, kind of killed the market for behind-the-meter energy storage and behind-the-meter solar. That’s not something we view as positive for decarbonisation of demand,” Castiglioni said.

    “Hopefully, governments will start walking the walk. We see the energy storage side [of decarbonisation] becoming more efficient, we see prices going down and applications being deployed at the larger scale of what has been done.”

    Technology and finance trends set to make a big impact on the industry this year, the financier and advisor said, will likely include:

    Energy storage working with EV charging

    “We see that as a big thing,” Castiglioni said, for 2020, although in his view, vehicle-to-grid (V2G) won’t become the mainstream within this year, or is unlikely to, despite deployments gradually starting to become a trickle of activity after years of expected potential.

    “[V2G], there are still some issues to be worked around. I don’t think 2020 will see a lot of progression on that. I feel that we really need to go large on EV charging, and then we can think about vehicle-to-grid. There are a lot of things to think about for the networks. These days we don’t have the numbers yet of vehicles into the grid [for it to really count in 2020].

    While V2G will “definitely” become a much more common application for EV owners and fleet operators, Castiglioni’s view is that this is likely to gradually become mainstream over the next five years as innovations develop and manufacturers become more comfortable with warrantying batteries and cars for V2G use.

    Green hydrogen

    There’s been a gradual shift towards including hydrogen in the conversation about renewables, storage and the flexible energy networks of the future over the past couple of years. Castiglioni said Ikigai Capital sees this as one of the year’s other big topics.

    “We’re looking at hydrogen using renewables. So [in other words] green hydrogen, ‘spilling’ renewable energy into electricity to produce hydrogen. What you might call ‘solar spill’ – you can oversize your solar to produce hydrogen. You can use the hydrogen for transportation for example, or for gas – for whatever. So green hydrogen is a big thing as well [for 2020],” Castiglioni said.

    Making investors comfortable

    Perhaps more aspiration than prediction, in a more general sense, Roberto Castiglioni said that “unless you deliver value to the shareholders and the stakeholders, decarbonisation is not going to happen.”

    “My strongest [held] view is that there’s not going to be decarbonisation unless there is a business behind it – a sustainable business behind it. We need to deliver value, if not, no one is going to move the massive funds [of the world] towards decarbonisation.”

    Asset owners want to know if they’ll be holding the deeds to stranded assets in the very near future and Castiglioni said the example of former UK Bank of England Governor Mark Carney going to the UN as a special advisor on this topic was a strong indicator that the business communities of the world are as hungry for knowledge as the pro-renewables groups and environmental groups are for immediate action.

    “[Carney] has the right skillset, the right mindset. Him going to the UN as ambassador on this topic is a good thing. Because unless you understand the investor’s point of view, decarbonisation is not going to happen.”

    Financing structures

    Both project finance and debt finance will have strong roles to play in funding decarbonisation and related projects, Castiglioni said. This is the case and will likely remain so for solar and increasingly for energy storage. Other technologies and project types, such as energy efficiency or even carbon capture, which might offer more in the way of savings made rather than revenues generated, might benefit from other structures such as asset finance.

    “The banking market needs to move towards that as well. We [at Ikigai Capital] are talking with one smart and flexible, forward-thinking German bank, working with them to find out other potential banking instruments and products that can support the decarbonisation piece.”

    Asked whether investors can really get comfortable – or even excited – about the returns on offer in this new and sustainable paradigm, Castiglioni said banks and others are realistic about what can be achieved.

    “It’s all about making the technology bankable, the right allocation of risk, having the right track record, being forward looking,” Castiglioni said.

    “But then you can structure a product that can support that. In 2020 we will be looking at that closer working relationship with commercial lenders.”

  8. UK innovators link to drive energy transition

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    Many agree that climate change demands major, sustained, global action – governments have been discussing their responses since the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992.

    Businesses and advisers have been marshalling their resources too, not least in building the networks to ensure innovators have the support to make the green economy a reality.

    Entrepreneurs and finance providers see an opportunity, and they’re driven by the same environmental concerns that prompted the UK Government’s commitment, announced this month, to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and its plans for a ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ to encourage investment in renewable-energy technologies.

    While support for such measures is far from universal, ministers are acting in response to public unease, particularly among the young, as shown by the popularity of the teen campaigner Greta Thunberg, who addressed the Extinction Rebellion protests that disrupted London in April.

    With an estimated £79 trillion infrastructure spending required by 2030 to shift to a low-carbon economy, oil majors and asset managers are investing in renewable energy on an unprecedented scale. Even resources companies are looking to make their mining and gas operations greener.

    But it’s important to note that over two decades the UK has been establishing itself as a hotbed of new concepts and technologies to battle climate change and present alternatives to carbon fuels.

    At two recent events in London, cutting-edge energy and resource-efficiency companies mingled with bankers, investors, accommodation providers and others to discuss emerging solutions and how best to advance them.

    The first ‘Energy Transition taster’ evening, at Fried Frank, provided a platform for the CEOs of three battery companies – Connected EnergyCumulus Energy Storage and Sunamp – to pitch to assembled investors. There followed a discussion led by the Castle Rock Edinvar housing association and Macquarie Group.

    The event organiser, Ikigai Capital, a boutique adviser headed by project finance lawyer Helena Anderson and ex-fund manager Roberto Castiglioni, has established an ‘energy transition bankability accelerator’ to kick-start the most promising technologies and platforms.

    The second evening, at Osborne Clarke, focused on technologies digitising energy for residential, commercial and industrial applications and featured two ‘Internet of Things’ companies – IoT Systems Group and Switchee.

    Delegates then heard from energy and infrastructure specialists at Aviva Investors, Macquarie, Downing LLPBDO and Circularity Capital. Reflecting the forward-looking nature of the events, James Nettleton, Smart Cities VC lead at Downing LLP, said entrepreneurs seeking funds should be ready to ‘paint a picture of the future’.

    An earlier seminar in December, on circular-economy technologies, featured a Norwegian plastics-to-fuel company, Quantafuel, which last week secured a major investment by the oil trading group Vitol.

    Some key themes emerge from these events. First, all industry sectors are affected by the energy transition – transport and property, obviously, but also financial services, food and drink and others. Insurers have already begun spurning perceived pollution risks. Emerging sectors such as ‘smart cities’ are built around the change.

    Further, most or all of the transition will be delivered using data – so it will be global of course, but also driven by coders as much as by scientists and engineers.

    Helena Anderson, the founder of Ikigai Capital, said: “Data technologies have transformed the way we look at the energy sector and are fundamental to our business model. Digitisation and optimisation of energy, in front of and behind the meter, and the role of the internet of things, AI and machine learning, are among the hottest topics for investors and customers alike – another key to unlock the energy transition.”

    Britain – and the world economy – may be in for a rough patch, but for entrepreneurs and their backers, the energy transition is well underway. 

  9. VIDEO: UK energy storage providers, optimisers and financiers on the routes to market

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    ‘Routes to market for energy storage’, a panel discussion that took place at this year’s Solar & Storage Live 2019, in Birmingham, England. Sponsored by Kiwi Power and hosted by Terrapin Events. 

    Energy-Storage.news was delighted to be asked to moderate a session in which participants and pioneers of UK energy storage – and solar – gave their perspectives on everything from the right technologies and what they can do, how financiers view the market today, to how we can all join together to create a modern, clean and sustainable energy sector.  

    Moderator: Andy Colthorpe, Editor, Energy-Storage.news

    Panel: Thomas Jennings, Energy Storage Lead, KiWi Power
    Mark Turrell, Asset Finance Business Development Director, Wyelands Bank
    Ed Porter, Energy Assets Director, RedT
    Roberto Castiglioni, CEO, Ikigai Capital

    Watch the 30 minute video below, which is an edited version of the live event.