Norwegian oil major Statoil has made its first investment in solar power technology, stepping up efforts to gradually complement its petroleum portfolio with renewable assets, the company said on Tuesday.
“We are taking a first cautious step into solar with an investment in Oxford PV,” Statoil Chief Executive Eldar Saetre told and industry conference on Tuesday.
Statoil declined to disclose the price, but said it was a smaller venture investment.
Oxford PV, a solar technology company, said in a separate statement it had received investments totalling 8.1 million pounds ($10.33 million) from three investors including Statoil.
“We are hoping to make money on this investment,” Irene Rummelhoff, head of Statoil’s New Energy Solutions unit, later told Reuters. The unit has previously made larger investments in wind power.
In February, Statoil launched a venture fund that will take direct positions primarily as a minority shareholder in growth companies, preferably as a co-investor with other venture firms.
Statoil also considers making bigger investments in solar projects or farms.
“There is tough competition for the projects and there are too few projects,” Rummelhoff said, adding that Statoil was looking at investments in all renewables, but that she expected the big growth to come from solar and wind. ($1 = 0.7844 pounds)