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Energy> Cleantech 12 Apr 2024

Antonio Bravo: “BBVA is committed to financing cleantech to facilitate its growth on an industrial scale”

“Decarbonization is a technological revolution that requires innovation and financing. Its scope is global and it will affect all industries and sectors,” said Antonio Bravo, Global Head of Sustainability Strategy and CIB at BBVA. In the framework of the Energy Tech Summit, which ended yesterday in Bilbao, Bravo emphasized “the key role” of financing new clean technologies. “BBVA is committed to financing cleantech to facilitate its growth on an industrial scale,” he stressed.

“In the next two decades, a massive deployment of capital into innovative technologies will take place. At BBVA, we are very aware of the relevance of new clean technologies and of the immense business opportunity this ecosystem represents. In order to accelerate it, we have connected investors, funds, venture capital firms and startups at several events that took place in parallel to the Energy Tech Summit in Bilbao,” Antonio Bravo said.

“We have some of our partners here, who at the same time are among the most important investors in some of the most promising low carbon technologies. We also have cutting-edge cleantech entrepreneurs,” he added.

Bravo participated in a round table discussion on the "opportunities of Catalytic Capital, Government-Backed Financing, and Blended Finance" that startups and entrepreneurs encounter in the cleantech field as part of the forum that in its fifth edition has been established as the most important in Europe.

Antonio Bravo, Global Head of Sustainability Strategy and CIB at BBVA, during his participation at the Energy Tech Summit. - Author: Energy Tech Summit

“The startups that are here are innovating in the value chain of all sectors and in a variety of topics, such as energy, sustainable mobility, construction materials, technologies that facilitate dynamic management or monitoring of renewable infrastructure, grid efficiency, etc. They are innovations that directly address the challenge posed by climate change and the energy transition,” said Santiago Muguruza, Head of Venture Capital Investments at BBVA Spark. “This entire ecosystem needs financing that allows solutions to be commercially viable at competitive costs,” he added.

In the framework of the conference, BBVA and Contrarian Ventures organized two parallel events, exclusively for mature climate technology businesses. Specifically, at these Growth Meets Capital and Growth Meets Industry meetings, the founders of new climate technology companies, investors, clients, and corporate and investment banking managers at BBVA participated in thematic round table discussions and personal meetings designed to promote innovation and its financing.

Santiago Muguruza, Head of Venture Capital Investments at BBVA Spark, during the Growth Meet Capital, one of the parallel events organized by BBVA and Contrarian Ventures, at the Energy Tech Summit, held in Bilbao. - Author: Energy Tech Summit

The risk of these projects was also a topic of discussion at another round table. In this regard, Amaya López-Durán Viani, Head of the Industrial Sector Observatory in BBVA’s Sustainability Area, underscored “the importance of mitigating the technological risk of a project through specialized insurance companies. This would help entrepreneurs and startups to be able to coexist with the risk policies of financial institutions, helping them to obtain financing.”

Meanwhile, the cofounder of the Energy Tech Summit, Skaiste Knyzaite, was very satisfied with the event that put Bilbao in the center of the cleantech ecosystem, bringing together over 1,000 participants from 40 countries. “While we reflect on the extraordinary journey of the Energy Tech Summit 2024, I am very proud of our partnership with BBVA. Together we have created a vital space for climate technology companies to converge, collaborate and boost innovation. This initiative not only accelerates the energy transition, it also embodies our shared commitment to building a sustainable future for future generations,” she stressed.

Relevant international actors from the cleantech ecosystem in different sectors participated in the two-day event. Some of the participants in the event included energy companies like Repsol, Iberdrola, E.ON, EDP Ventures; large climate funds like Breakthrough Energy, founded by Bill Gates, FifthWall, Decarbonization Part Templewater; large international corporations at the cutting edge of climate innovation, such as Wallbox, the American company Ember, and Spanish companies like H2Site and Matteco; and startups, such as Antora, Ascend Elements, and the Argentine startup Uali.