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Oxford Photovoltaics founder talks renewables ahead of New Energy & Cleantech Awards



The seventh annual New Energy & Cleantech Awards take place in London this week (April 30). For the second consecutive year, the evening awards ceremony will be preceded by a cleantech forum.

Cleantech and clean energy companies looking for growth finance will present to an investor audience, drawn from the venture capital, private equity, business angel, crowd funding and investment bank communities. Each will have 15 minutes to deliver their firm’s ‘elevator pitch’ and explain why it is an attractive investment opportunity.

Kevin Arthur, founder and CEO of one of the presenting companies – Oxford Photovoltaics – tells Blue & Green Tomorrow about his business.

What problem does your business uniquely solve? How do you solve it?

We provide an aesthetically attractive, low cost and high efficiency coating that can be applied directly to glass to generate electricity.  This ‘Perovskite’ photovoltaic (PV) technology was invented at Oxford University and is being scaled into production by our company.

Describe your primary drivers for working in renewable energy or cleantech.

With the incredible performance that we are seeing with our new Perovskite PV technology we believe that we can revolutionise the generation of electricity from PV modules at a cost that competes with fossil fuels.

Is the government doing enough to support your sector? What should it be doing?

We are eternally grateful to the TSB for providing the £100K grant that enabled us to start our company in 2010, and for supporting us through our development since then. However, our government needs to find ways to provide capital to companies like us that are scaling-up and needing to purchase capital expenditure and hire people at the fastest rate possible.

Why do you think your business is attractive to investors?

We have invented a revolutionary new material and have the fundamental intellectual property.

What will the renewable energy and cleantech sectors look like in 10 years’ time?

It will be a Perovskite dominated World!  Distributed generation of electricity will severely reduce the dominance of the big utility companies, and energy storage will finally reach a price point that enables its deployment on an industrial scale.

Kevin Arthur is founder and CEO of Oxford Photovoltaics.

Further reading:

Energy security, fuel poverty and social change: the lowdown on renewables

McKinsey: ‘cleantech sector is gaining steam’

IPCC climate report means cleantech ‘an attractive proposition for any investor’

Global cleantech industry worth $170bn after growing 18% in 12 months

New Energy & Cleantech Awards 2014 unveils shortlist