Energy giants invest €250M in startups

 In Companies, News, Oil and Gas, Start-Up

Energy companies like the Spanish Cespa and the Portuguese Galp have earmarked €250 million for startups to help them in their green energy transition.

According to business daily Negócios, energy transition is not something they can do alone. “We need to cooperate with startups, universities, public administrations, and venture capital funds”, says Muñoz García head of Open Innovation at Cespa who was in Lisbon for the Web Summit and returned to Madrid with a list of 50 potential startups from various companies, including Portuguese, to help Cespa in its transition.
Cespa currently works with 20 to 30 startups, particularly Spanish ones, after opening its Open Innovation unit at the start of 2023. “It’s a recent area, but we are already starting to make some noise in the ecosystem with the first tests on the concept with AI technologies, blockchain, and quantum computation”, adding that the petroleum company had a budget of over €500,000 a year to invest in innovation.
“We have mapped out the needs of the different areas of the company’s business (Mobility and New Commerce, Commercial and Clean Energies, Trading and Energy Parks), and are looking at emerging technologies to solve these problems and challenges”, she added, emphasising that the “digitalisation of different areas of the business was the basis of energy transition at Cespa”.
The Spanish petroleum company has already announced that it is looking for “100 startups whose solutions promote decarbonisation” and at Web Summit found around a half of its requirements.
The Portuguese petroleum and gas company Galp, which is also investing in innovation as one of the best ways to decarbonise and make the company greener, has €150 million to invest this year.
Galp brought to Web Summit the winners of the second edition of its international innovation programme Startup the Future promoted through the platform Upcoming Energies (created in 2021)
Ana Casaca, Director of Innovation at Galp said: “Innovation can create opportunities on the road to decarbonisation. We are testing new solutions and new business models towards sustainability”, adding that 80% of energy consumption in the world was still fossil fuel based, hence the “obligation” to continue to innovate. “It can’t be a revolution, it has to be a fair and inclusive transition, and this where innovation comes in.”