New year, new DOE office #84

Infrastructure spending ramps up for first-of-a-kind demonstrations

Happy Monday, Happy 2022! This year brings a new government agency to distribute 1/3rd of the DOE’s infrastructure bill dollars towards first of a kind climate tech demonstration projects.

Kicking off the year in deals, a flurry of $100m+ rounds in alternative dairy, e-scooters, and solar, and two climate software cos are scooped up as hot ESG acquisition targets. In the news, Biden’s EPA bumps automobile efficiency minimus to 44-55 mpg, Chile rewrites its constitution for climate, and Mercedes-Benz unveils a new EV concept with an expected range of 600+ miles.

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DOE’s newest Ministry of Clean Energy Magic

The Department of Energy spawned a new office over the holidays: the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations.

The new office will oversee $20b+ to support demonstration  projects in areas including clean hydrogen, carbon capture, grid-scale energy storage, small modular reactors, and more. This accounts for roughly one-third of the $62b the DOE received in the infrastructure bill.

Ultimately, the goal of the office is to serve as the Department’s hub for speeding the maturation of near- and mid-term clean energy technologies, with the goal of quicker commercial adoption to improve the US’ chances of reaching net zero by 2050.

Moreover, this new office will…

🤝 Work with demonstration projects that address energy challenges that cut across technology silos rather than displace existing DOE demonstration projects

👯 Complement the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) research on advanced energy technologies and budget for next-stage demonstration projects

The DOE keeps on innovating new funding solutions to help bridge the (many) valleys of death faced by emerging clean energy companies. From our Climate Capital Stack guide, readers were surprised and excited by the number of well-organized and well-capitalized government innovation funding opportunities. With the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations Sec. Granholm and team have added yet another one to the list.


Deals of the Week (12/20-1/9)

🥛 Remilk, an Israel-based alternative dairy product company, raised $120m in Series B funding from Hanaco Ventures, Precision Capital, Rage Capital, CPT Capital, Intercap, OurCrowd, Aliya Capital, Chartered Group, Indorama Ventures, Tal Ventures, and others.

🛴 Voi, a Sweden-based e-scooter startup, raised $115m in Series D funding from Raine Group, VNV Global, Inbox Capital, Nordic Ninja, Stena Sessan, Kreos Capital, Ilmarinen, Nineyards Equity, and others.

⚡ Posigen, a New Orleans, LA-based provider of renewable energy and efficiency solutions for LMI households, raised $100m in funding from Magnetar Capital, Emerson Collective, Irradiant Partners, Activate Capital, The Builders Fund, SJF Ventures, and The Kresge Foundation.

🔋 StoreDot, an Israel-based developer of fast charging battery technology, raised $80m in Series D funding from VinFast and other investors.

♻️ RoadRunner Recycling, a Pittsburgh, PA-based sustainable waste management company, raised $70m in Series D funding from General Atlantic.

📦 TIPA, an Israel-based compostable packaging startup, raised $70m in Series C funding from Millenium Food-Tech and Meitav Dash.

🌱 Stenon, a Germany-based real-time soil sensing tech startup, raised $20m in Series A funding from Founders Fund, The Production Board, Cherry Ventures, and Atlantic Labs.

♻️ Umincorp, a Netherlands-based plastics recycling startup, raised $17m in funding from Invest-NL and Energietransitiefonds Rotterdam.

💨 SupplyShift, a Santa Cruz, CA-based startup helping companies reduce their supply chain emissions, raised $10m in A3 funding from Buoyant Ventures, HSBC, Impact Engine, AiiM Partners, Working Capital, Valuestream Ventures, and Supply Chain Ventures.

⚡ ChargeNet, a San Francisco, CA-based EV charging startup, raised $6.2m in Seed funding from Aligned Climate Capital, San Diego Angels, Tech Coast Angels, and the LACI Impact Fund.

♻️ GreenSpark, a New York, NY-based software platform for the metal recycling industry, raised $5m in Series A funding from Tiger Global, Bienville Capital, and angel investors.

🐑 Woola, an Estonia-based startup creating wool-based packages to replace bubble wrap, raised $2.8m in Seed funding from Future Ventures and angel investors.

📦 Bambrew, an India-based sustainable packaging company, raised $2.4m in Seed funding from Supack Industries and Blue Ashva Capital.

🔋 Cling Systems, a Sweden-based battery marketplace and logistics startup, raised $2.3m in funding from Trucks and First Venture.

Exits & New Funds:

EV charging startup Driivz was acquired by Gilbarco Veeder-Root for $200m.

💨 Planetly, a climate action and carbon management platform, was acquired by OneTrust.

☔ Climate risk consulting firm The Climate Service was acquired by S&P Global.


In the News

The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office is open for business! Jigar Shah and team conditionally committed $1B to Monolith Materials to expand its first ever commercial scale project to deploy methane pyrolysis tech which converts natural gas into carbon black and hydrogen.

After Trump lowered Obama-era tailpipe emissions standards in 2020, Biden’s EPA will raise the auto emissions standards back up from a minimum efficiency of 44 to 55 miles a gallon by 2026, an instrumental change that could avoid 3.1B tons of CO2 emissions through 2050.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs awarded $35m to 158 small businesses developing clean energy solutions. Funding recipients included hydrogen storage company Greenway Energy and carbon capture firm Novoreach Technologies, among other climate tech startups.

Are new nuclear and natural gas plants “green investments”? Out of desperation during Europe’s current energy shortage, EU leaders plan to classify new nuclear and natural gas investments as “sustainable investments”. Until a new zero-carbon emitting technology can replace its fossil fuel-burning counterpart, we will have to live with GHGs and hazardous waste as part of the clean energy transition.

Before the end of the 2021, the European Commission released the long-awaited Hydrogen and Decarbonized Gas Package, a roadmap on hydrogen implementation for Europe. The package establishes definitions for “low-carbon fuels” and “low-carbon hydrogen” and formalizes hydrogen network operators to facilitate the continued growth of the new market.

Chile, the second-largest producer of lithium, is rewriting its constitution to confront climate change. The 155 elected Chileans must determine at what cost mining the metal essential to the energy transition should be for the environment and Indigenous people to bear.

Since announcing the new electric F150 in May 2021, Ford has doubled (1) its market valuation and (2) the F150 Lightning’s production capacity from 75k to 150k vehicles a year by 2023. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz finally unveiled its electric sedan (concept) capable of 620 miles per charge, the longest range EV today! At CES, Sony announced its entrance into the EV market - Sony Mobility - utilizing their specialization in digital sensors. They even brought a prototype vehicle to the stage, but industry insiders are calling their bluff.

California’s newest state law aims to divert all food waste to compost - so check your bins for banana peels soon or risk being fined!


Pop-up

New Caledonia, a tiny French territory in the South Pacific, plays a major role in Tesla’s scramble for battery minerals and further control over its supply chain.

More than 40 percent of Americans live in counties hit by climate disasters in 2021.

“At some point, the idea of climate tech will disappear.” Azeem Azhar explains why the climate tech label may become obsolete.

Oh Deere… Building on its acquisition of Bear Flag Robotics, John Deere shows off its first commercially available, fully autonomous tractor.

Tastes like chicken: KFC debuts Beyond Fried Chicken across US stores after two years of development.

Beta Technologies is flying high with battery-powered cargo planes.

Sifted spotlights Europe’s fastest growing climate tech startups, by 2021 headcount growth.

HolonIQ’s updated list of climate tech unicorns now boasts a collective value of $130B+.

Despite the rise in climate tech investing, less than 2% of 2020 philanthropic giving worldwide went to climate change mitigation according to ClimateWorks’ Funding Trends report.

Who will pay for Direct Air Capture? Here are some possible revenue streams for companies that build and operate DAC plants.

Innovative EV charging technology energizes the crowd at CES.

The Atlantic’s Rob Myer thinks that passing the infrastructure bill without Build Back Better will lead to a Very American Climate Tragedy, surrendering our technological advantage to China.


Opportunities & Events:

🗓️ Evergreen Climate Innovations: Join virtually on Jan 20th to hear leading Climate Tech investors’ takes on what to expect from 2022. Paul Seidler is joined by Shayle Kann, Dr. Johanna Wolfson, and Shilpi Kumar in their efforts to predict the future for Climate Tech.

💡 Empowering Diverse Climate Talent (EDICT): Apply by Jan 12th to host an intern in the summer of 2022. The EDICT pledge enables employers to play a role in creating a more diverse and inclusive climate workforce.

💡 MIT Water Innovation Prize: Apply by Jan 14th to this annual startup competition run by MIT students focused on jumpstarting student-led teams innovating around water.

💡 Carbon Removal Accelerator: Apply by Feb 6th to join a cohort of European entrepreneurs armed with CDR solutions in this year-long accelerator.


Jobs

Chief of Staff @Glacier

Director, Asset Management @Wunder Capital

Business Development Lead @Evergrow

Business Development Manager @Pano

Director, Carbon Portfolio @DroneSeed

Partnerships Analyst @Elemental Excelerator

Product Manager @ClimateView

Head of Science, Climate @Stripe

Sr Software Development Engineer @Pano

Sr Business Development Manager @Pano


Feel free to 📩 send us new ideas, recent fundings, events & opportunities, or general curiosities. Have a great week ahead!

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