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Klaas de Boer, Managing Partner at Entrepreneurs Fund and Board Member at General Fusion

Former IVC Chair and President of the Cleantech Summit – Energy Transition 2018


Aruna Sabrumanian, Senior Portfolio Manager at SABIC Ventures

VP Selection Committee of the Cleantech Summit – Energy Transition 2018


This summer we witnessed many record breaking weather events in the Northern Hemisphere.  Although they do not constitute hard evidence of climate change, most experts agree that climate change is making these events more likely. The need to decarbonize our society, and in particular the energy sector, is more urgent than ever.


Solar and wind energy, the main constituents of the first cleantech investment wave, have made great strides and today are often competitive at the point of supply in many geographies.  However, from a global energy perspective it is too little, too late.  A recent MIT Technology Review article published in March 2018 states that at the current rate of deployment of renewables, it would take the world 400 years to transform the energy system and reach the COP21 targets. Furthermore, the cost implications at a systems level are poorly understood, in particular as it relates to intermittency.


Solar and wind also only target electricity production, which currently accounts for about 20% of global energy consumption. With a shift to e-mobility and the increased use of heat-exchanges in (residential) heating, this may go up to 30%. In all scenarios, non-electricity remains the dominant demand on the global energy system.


The challenge, but therefore also the opportunity, in a transition towards a low carbon energy sector is huge. And urgently needed. These are the very reasons why we are focusing this year’s Cleantech Summit exclusively on energy transition.


In the past 5 years, the Cleantech Summit in Rotterdam has seen 849 start-ups and scale-ups reviewed, of which 205 cleantech entrepreneurs have presented their innovations to European VCs and corporate investors. According to Tech Tour impact research conducted in April 2017, the presenting companies have since 2013 raised venture funding of €462 million, debt financing of €43 million, grants of €16 million and €58 million in IPO. Some of the prime success stories and those tackling the huge challenges we face include Avantium, Electro Power Systems, Elaphe, FRX Polymers, Green Biologies, GLO, New Motion, Skeleton Technologies, and Sol Voltaics.


We hope you’ll join us in Rotterdam on the 21-22 of November for the 2018 Cleantech Summit – Energy Transition to discover the next wave of innovators.


Additional links: Cleantech Summit Energy Transition 2018

MIT Technology Review Report