Clean, Safe, Affordable and Secure Energy:
Why We Invested in X-energy
By: Kurt Scherer, Managing Partner, C5 Capital
C5 Capital believes that we are at the forefront of a dramatic transformation of the world’s energy infrastructure, and advanced nuclear innovation is at the center of this paradigm shift. For the first time in our history, there is an unprecedented alignment among multiple stakeholders, including federal and state governments and the private sector, to allocate resources, set agendas, and challenge behaviors to support an irreversible transition to a more resilient, sustainable, and smart energy infrastructure.
At the center of this transformation is the now near universal call for decarbonization and the burgeoning global awareness of the critical gap between energy demand and supply. To solve these twin problems simultaneously necessitates new technologies and business models developed from the bottom-up to leverage proven technologies, but to do so in a revolutionary new way. And unquestionably, advanced nuclear energy innovation is at the center of this solution set.
After reviewing all the emerging participants in the advanced nuclear energy sector, C5 chose to invest with X-energy. We believe X-energy represents an important and highly remunerative investment for our investors and for the C5 Impact Fund.
X-energy has distinguished itself in the emerging field of small modular reactors (SMRs) in three ways:
- Creation of two reactors based on Generation IV nuclear design, which includes new design and safety features, including the fact that these SMRs cannot melt down;
- Creation of an advanced fuel fabrication facility to produce an elegant and improved version of fuel – not only for X-energy reactors but also for a range of external customers;
- Contract wins, including a $1.2B+ win with the DOE and a contract downselect with DoD.
In a field of dozens of competitors, X-energy is unique in that no company has achieved this level of success.
X-energy is well-positioned to solve both the decarbonization challenge and the energy gap. First, X-energy is responding to the realization that “advanced nuclear power = clean energy” and will be a central solution to meeting recently stated decarbonization goals by several countries. As clean energy begins to play an important role in national security and alliance strengthening, X-energy will serve as an important bridge among allied nations to achieve these goals.
Second, current supply projections of fossil fuel and renewable sources are not enough to meet forecasted demand. X-energy is well-positioned to fill this gap through the generation of clean, safe, secure, and affordable continuous energy. This is accomplished with a relatively simple product that is 1/10th as complex as a historical nuclear reactor and has 1/20th the footprint, saving significant design and operational costs and reducing risk.
X-energy has a world-class management team. The company’s leadership possesses an unparalleled combination of business, technical, political, and regulatory experience and understanding. The breadth and depth of the leadership team’s experience lends itself to proactive problem-solving and minimization of any risks that could compromise X-energy products.
C5 Capital is uniquely positioned to support the company’s growth aspirations into new geographies and new markets. X-energy’s technology and platform are built to be highly scalable across the globe and we believe the UK, Middle East, Europe and Asia are near term expansion opportunities, where C5 has existing networks and proven capabilities to help X-energy.
C5 Capital is investing in a safe, secure future and X-energy is now a core part of that thesis. We look forward to participating in this journey.