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Utilities spark investment surge, in defensive renewable strategy

European and North American utilities tripled their investments into distributed energy startups between 2010 and 2016, investing $2.9bn in 130 companies since 2009, according to GTM Research – with 2016 seeing $1bn invested alone. Utilities are eager to expand their cleantech portfolios, investing in a range of areas to support their energy transition – while at the same time investing as a defensive strategy, to protect their market share. Wind and solar costs now rival conventional fossil fuels, and are cheaper in some markets. Customers want renewables and greater control of their energy use, and utilities are transitioning to enable both trends. But transition creates new challenges that startups are in the perfect position to address. These issues often center…

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