30 August 2022 | 3 min. readingtime
Impact Investing is defined by the Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN) as: ‘investments made with the intention of generating a positive, measurable social and environmental impact in addition to a financial return.’ At a.s.r. asset management we are fully engaged in impact investing. We regularly provide examples of this in our quarterly reports.
As power prices surge across Europe, HYDROGRID, a leading Austrian tech company providing software for optimal real-time planning & dispatch of hydropower plants, has completed an investment round led by SET Ventures with the participation from existing investor CNB Capital.
The recent surges in power market prices across Europe once again drive the need for intelligent, renewable power generation and storage to lessen the dependency on fossil fuels. With an installed capacity of 1,330 GW and an annual generation of 4,370 TWh globally, hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy there is, accounting for more than 60% of all renewable generation. Moreover, a unique feature of hydropower (pump) storage plants is that they have the capacity to store and release energy as required by the grid, and in this way can act as a ‘Green Battery’, significantly dampening the reliance on fossil fuel generation. By allowing long-term storage of renewable energy, hydropower provides an ‘insurance’ of sorts for consumers against sky-rocketing oil and gas prices. However, the full potential of hydropower oftentimes remains untapped due to the lack of digitalization. HYDROGRID’s intelligent real-time software solution closes this capability gap.
The fully automated software acts similar to an autonomous driving assistant for cars – weather and power market data are combined with local sensor measurements from the hydropower plant to deliver an optimal power plant dispatch plan in real-time. As a result, power plant operators benefit from a reduced daily operational workload while at the same time increasing their revenues by up to 18% compared to manual operation. In addition, the solution also provides a positive effect for the power grid as a whole, by dispatching hydropower in line with times of highest demand and thereby providing a mitigating effect on supply shortages and price spikes.
The HYDROGRID Insight solution is currently deployed by power generators across 6 European countries for hydro assets ranging from 1 to 150 MW and is quickly becoming the technology leader in this asset segment, as the industry is moving towards digitalization driven by an increased need to
react quickly to changes in the volatile power markets.
With the current investment round led by SET Ventures with participation from existing shareholder CNB Capital, the company now aims to further
strengthen its leading position in Europe.
A.s.r invests via SET ventures in these new technologies.