French energy group Engie acquired a 13 percent stake in Israel's HomeBiogas, a provider of household biogas solutions, the company announced Tuesday.
The acquisition was made through the group's corporate venture capital fund, Engie New Ventures.
According to Engie's press release, HomeBiogas, an Israeli startup founded in 2012, developed HomeBiogas 2.0, a small biogas digester that can provide up to two hours of cooking gas daily "with as little as two kilos of food scraps or leftovers".
The system, which comes with a cooking stove, can be ordered online and "easily self-assembled" in one hour.
"HomeBiogas 2.0 gives ordinary homeowners the capability of utilizing unused resources and creating their own energy,” the statement read.
According to the press release, with customers in over 90 countries, the HomeBiogas waste-to-energy solution targets both emerging and developed countries.
"It is a life-changing technology for the 540 million families living in emerging countries, currently without access to clean cooking fuels. Still burning charcoal and wood for fuel, millions of people face long-term detrimental health effects," it said.
Moreover, the technology could enable 200 million families in developed countries to take steps towards reducing their carbon footprint and living a more sustainable lifestyle, it added.
"Each family can reduce their carbon footprint by six tons by using HomeBiogas 2.0 for one year," it claimed.
The investment is in line with Engie's goal to provide access to sustainable energy for 20 million people by 2020 with HomeBiogas adding a green gas component to Engie's ongoing projects in this area including Power Corner, a mini-grid offer in Tanzania, and Fenix International which offers solar home systems in Africa.
Additionally, HomeBiogas 2.0 creates a second by-product: organic, liquid fertilizer to nourish home crops and gardens.
When used regularly, the return on investment for the digester is only one year, Engie added.
Director of Engie New Ventures Hendrik Van Asbroeck said this investment illustrated "Engie's commitment to providing low-carbon and reliable energy access to people globally, as well as to developing green gas solutions".
"The HomeBiogas business model is smart and simple, two qualities that convinced us to invest in their company and to help them boost their development both in Europe and in developing countries," he added.
HomeBiogas also contributes to the goal of the Engie Group "to develop biogas at a larger scale, as green gas and green electricity are both necessary for a decarbonized and decentralized energy world, and thus to foster a more harmonious progress".
According to the statement, Engie New Ventures is a €170 million fund focused on making minority investments in "high-performing" startups. The fund has so far deployed €75 million of capital across 19 investments.
By Hale Turkes