Thames Valley and Oxford host top four of the top 5 UK clean energy generation companies

Tokamak Energy, Milton Park

Oxford-based clean energy companies Tokamak Energy and First Light Fusion have been named the top two clean energy generation companies in the UK, according to research and development company Beauhurst. In first and fourth place are Swindon-based Recycling Technologies and LAT Water which is based at Thatcham, near Reading.

Tokamak Energy was spun out of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) near Abingdon. It is now based at based at Milton Park, it is working to develop energy through compact fusion power, using a Tokamak which combine plasma in a magnetic field along with superconductors. Nuclear fusion is one of the most promising options for generating large amounts of carbon-free energy in the future.

Beauhurst has revealed that to date, Tokamak Energy has secured £123 million in equity fundraisings, across 10 rounds, and at least £11.4 million in innovation grants. The company’s January 2020 raise, totalling £67 million, is being used to accelerate its plans to build a fusion reactor by 2030.

First Light Fusion, based at Oxford Technology Park at Yarnton near Oxford is researching a new approach to inertial confinement fusion for power generation. Unlike other sources of renewable energy, such as wind power or solar power, fusion can produce baseload power regardless of the weather.

Spun out from the University of Oxford in 2011, First Light Fusion has so far raised £53 million in equity investment, across seven rounds. It secured a £18.7 million round in December last year, from Oxford Sciences Innovation, follow-on investor IP Group, and Australian fund Hostplus, at a pre-money valuation of £49.9 million. The money will be used to make 23 new hires, upgrade resources, and accelerate existing workstreams.

Third in the Beauhurst list is Recycling Technologies. Spun out of the University of Warwick in 2012, Swindon-headquartered Recycling Technologies has developed modular technology that can convert mixed plastic waste into feedstock for new plastic production. The company wants to create a circular economy for plastic by installing its chemical recycling technology at existing waste sites.

Recycling Technologies has so far raised at least £23.3 million in equity investment, across 13 funding rounds, plus more than £6m in innovation grants. In March 2020, it secured a £8.69 million equity fundraising from Mirova and Neste, at a pre-money valuation of £33.7 million. This latest funding enables the company to start building its technology on a commercial scale in Scotland.

And fourth in the list is yet another regional company, Thatcham-based LAT Water which develops and implements renewable energy technologies for desalination and water treatment. The company has secured £5.57 million in equity investment to date, through two funding rounds, alongside numerous innovation grants.

LAT Water’s latest fundraising, in April 2020, was a £5 million investment from environmental investment fund Earthworm, at a pre-money valuation of £12.4m. The money will be used to fund the expansion of the company into international markets, with units so far being installed and operating in the UK and China.

The Beauhurst research has also revealed the UK’s top five energy reduction technology companies and at the top is Reading-based Carbon Clean Solutions.

Carbon Clean Solutions develops CO2 capture and carbon separation technology for the industrials and gas industries. Through its modular design plants, the company aims to help large-scale emitters become carbon neutral and leverage the growing value of captured carbon.

It has raised £34.3 million in equity investment so far, across four funding rounds, and at least £3.35 million in innovation grants. In 2020, Carbon Clean secured two equity deals, to grow the team and expand its technology to heavy industry. The first of these was in February, totalling £12.4 million, whilst its latest £17.6 million raise in July saw involvement from multiple funds, including follow-on investors Chevron Technology Ventures, Marubeni, and WAVE Equity Partners.