This file photo taken on February 26, 2014 in La Defense district in Courbevoie near Paris shows a view of the French energy giant EDF logo taken on the EDF tower. AFP / ERIC PIERMONT
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Europe's biggest energy companies have ploughed more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) into startups, according to Reuters calculations, with several deals announced in the past month as they accelerate a quest for new technologies to outpace rivals.Among deals announced in the past month, Norwegian power firm Statkraft's fund, Statkraft Ventures, has invested in smart meter software company Greenbird, while French utility Engie's fund has bet on U.S. home services startup Serviz and Canadian smart grid management platform Opus One Solutions.TEV is one of the oldest European corporate venture funds in the energy industry, launched in 2008, and has invested 150 million euros in more than 25 startups, ranging from energy storage companies like LightSail Energy to off-grid solar firm Powerhive.TEV investments, which typically start at 2-3 million euros, have to be signed off by a group of Total managers, and some startups are directly working with Total, such as solar power storage company Sunverge whose products are sold by Total's SunPower.
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