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Japan Energy Fund invests in Natel Energy, provider of fish-safe hydro turbine and hydropower SaaS solution

Natel's Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT) features uniquely thick blades that allow fish to

London, 26 April 2023 — Japan Energy Fund has invested in Natel Energy through its Decarbonized Tech Fund managed by Japan Energy Capital.


Natel Energy is a US-based sustainable energy company that offers both a proprietary, fish-safe Restoration Hydro Turbine design and a SaaS solution called HydroForecast.


(Image Source: Natel Energy)


Decarbonizing our energy system by switching to renewable energy sources is paramount to reaching net zero. Although Japan’s Green Growth Strategy, issued in 2020, emphasises solar, offshore wind, and geothermal energy as renewable energy sources,* hydropower has untapped potential as part of a diversified energy mix. By combining hydropower with wind and solar, we can decarbonise our grids without sacrificing reliability. Natel Energy’s technology also addresses some of the key drawbacks of hydropower by significantly improving environmental performance and by reducing CapEx and operating costs.


In 2021, Natel Energy received 20M USD in Series B funding from investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Since then, they have installed and tested their turbine technology in the US and Europe and have contracts to design turbines for deployment in DR Congo. Considering their impressive technology and strong backers, we are confident that Natel Energy presents a real opportunity to help Japan decarbonise.

* Green Growth Strategy Through Achieving Carbon Neutrality in 2050, 

About Natel Energy's technology

Natel Energy’s low- and medium-head hydropower solution is a rapidly-dispatchable generating resource that can be ramped up and down to meet electricity demand fluctuations. Natel’s sustainable approach to development, including the fish-safe Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), which provides safe downstream passage for fish, can be combined with their digital streamflow forecasting service, HydroForecast, to maximize efficiency while maintaining the functional integrity of watersheds.

About Natel Energy

Natel Energy is expediting the energy transition with modern, sustainable hydropower that supports healthy rivers, and with accurate, timely decision-making tools that improve water resource management. Natel’s core innovations include fish-safe high-performance hydropower turbine designs and highly-accurate AI-powered water intelligence software. By applying these technologies to upgrade existing hydropower sites and develop new, low-impact projects around the world, Natel is working to save our planet with solutions designed to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss. Natel is a privately held company located in Alameda, California in the United States. 



Yohei Kiguchi, Founder and CEO of Japan Energy Fund and ENECHANGE Ltd.
We are pleased to invest in Natel Energy through Japan Energy Fund. Their technical expertise in the field of hydropower systems is impressive and their technology presents a new opportunity through their significant cost savings. The addition of Natel broadens the JEF investment portfolio, and we are excited to continue investing in ventures that can help further decarbonisation.

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