Sitra has invested in Savo-Solar Oy, a manufacturer of solar thermal solutions based in Mikkeli, Finland, whose innovative technology is already making waves across the world.
The goal is to promote the production of cost-effective renewable energy integrated into buildings and district heating systems. The systems are equally applicable to the domestic Finnish and export markets. In addition, the amount of local energy produced near the end consumers will also be increased.
With this investment, Sitra is backing the introduction of renewable sources of energy to Finland, especially solar energy. The opportunity to involve solar heat as part of district heat production is especially interesting. Solar energy also supports emission-free and inexpensive decentralised energy production.
The business of Savosolar essentially supports Sitra’s goals by promoting all three aspects of sustainable development:
Economical: Savosolar introduces a more cost-effective method of solar thermal production to the market. The company’s collector is technically advanced and has a competitive price.
Social: With effective solar collectors, people can themselves produce renewable heating energy in their homes.
Ecological: Solar energy is a renewable source of energy and its production has a very small impact on the environment.
“The growth of Savosolar supports the goals of Sitra’s Energy Programme in terms of increasing the use of renewable energy, particularly solar energy, integrated in communities and buildings in Finland. Savosolar’s innovative, award-winning technology has good potential to find success in the rapidly growing international market,” says Jukka Noponen, Director at Sitra. “Solar-based district heating could also boost Finnish district heating know-how and its export.”
Savosolar has already received recognition in the international market. In June 2011, the company’s products received the Intersolar Award, the most distinguished award in the market. This recognition from Central Europe indicated the enthusiasm for something genuinely new being introduced into the solar power field after such a long time. Savosolar’s achievement has been to introduce the world’s most effective full-aluminium absorber and flat plate collector to the market.
The Finnish innovation is based on an experienced international team and top-class technology. In addition to the key people, the company’s shareholders include Cleantech Invest Oy (CTI), a venture capital investment company that focuses on cleantech companies, and the Clean Future Fund I (CFF 1) managed by Cleantech Invest Oy. Although it is hoped that the market will warm up more to the sun in Finland too, the main market of Savosolar’s products is global.
“We are extremely pleased that Sitra has come onboard. Sitra’s competence and its extensive networks in the venture capital investment field will be valuable to us in the growth path we seek,” says Jari Varjotie, CEO of Savosolar.
Jari Varjotie, CEO, Savo-Solar Oy, phone +358 400 419 734, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lassi Noponen, Chairman, Cleantech Invest Oy, phone +358 40 501 5127, email email@example.com
Savo-Solar Oy is based in Mikkeli, Finland; it develops and manufactures innovative, effective solar energy collectors and absorbers for OEM partners throughout the world. Central Europe has been Savosolar’s main market area at the initial stage. The mission of Savosolar is to help resolve the climate change challenge by using solar energy and to improve living conditions by creating a clean and secure environment. Savosolar is growing rapidly and its goal is to become the leading solar thermal technology company in a few years through its award-winning flat plate collector and its new products currently under development.
Cleantech Invest Oy has acted as an advisor to financial institutions and companies investing in cleantech and has provided support for the development and commercialisation of companies in the sector since 2005. In November 2009, Cleantech Invest started as an enterprise accelerator of Finnish cleantech companies and as an early-stage venture capital investor as part of the VIGO programme. Cleantech Invest has a unique position in being able to accelerate the development of early-stage Finnish cleantech companies by combining private investment from the CFF 1 Fund with public innovation funding.
Sitra’s Energy Programme contributes to improving the energy efficiency of the built environment and the energy awareness of Finns, in addition to creating new business opportunities from the transition that the energy sector is undergoing. The programme will seek innovative operating models and technologies to attain improved energy efficiency and invest in companies in the sector to accelerate their growth and internationalisation.