BP invests $3.6m in AI energy efficiency firm

BP has invested $3.6 million in Chinese energy management specialist R&B as it explores the uses of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in improving energy efficiency.

The move by BP Ventures, which is the energy giant’s first foray into the Chinese AI market, led R&B’s latest funding round and was supported by investment from CLP Innovation Ventures and JAFCO Asia.

R&B has developed technology aimed at improving energy use in buildings, which would benefit BP’s efforts to build a complete digital energy value chain as an energy-as-a-service (EaaS) provider.

Buildings currently account for one third of the world’s total energy consumption, according to BP, with new software helping to track energy usage and make recommendation for more efficiencies, with a view to cutting carbon emissions.

BP Ventures last year made an investment in PowerShare, a leading software solution provider for electric vehicle sharing, and a $10 million investment in NIO Capital to explore opportunities in advanced mobility in 2018; as the company looks to widen its range of interests into sustainable technologies.

Overall, BP Ventures has invested over $500 million in technology companies across mobility, power and storage, carbon management, low carbon products and digital transformation.

Dev Sanyal, BP Alternative Energy chief executive and executive vice president, said: “Digital technology, smarter consumers and bold decarbonisation targets are together rapidly changing the world’s energy systems.

“Our investment in R&B, a business developing and deploying innovative technology to improve energy efficiency, is fully aligned with this strategy.”

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