🌍 Methane monitoring goes stratospheric #185

From land, sky and space, new regulations launch methane hunt


Happy Tuesday! 

And we’re officially one month out from the official start of spring, and maybe even an early one as the groundhogs tell us.

Responsible for nearly a third of global warming and a quarter of global energy, methane matters. Last week set off a flurry of methane MRV announcements as Google partners with EDF to monitor methane from space, Kairos raises $52m for methane detecting planes, and the DOE and EPA announce a $1bn fund for monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) infrastructure. 

In other news, the largest US asset managers leave Climate Action 100+, the EU puts up $7.4bn for renewable hydrogen infrastructure, and geothermal enjoys a hot spring of funding and project success. 

In deals this week $145m for lithium extraction, $52m for methane emissions detection, and $40m for sustainable aviation fuel.  

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Methane tracking takes off 

Global methane tracker (Source: IEA)

Climate tech has methane on the brain these days, and for good reason. Recent regulations have driven investment in space, air, and ground-based monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) technologies. These three approaches complement each other in scope and accuracy, helping to create the clearest picture yet of global methane leaks. Since the start of the year: 

  • Satellites. Google announced a partnership with EDF’s MethaneSAT last Tuesday. MethaneSAT will integrate Google’s Maps AI to swiftly identify large-scale gas plumes and chart oil and gas infrastructure as it orbits Earth 15 times a day.
  • Aircraft. BlackRock led a $52m funding round for Kairos Aerospace on Wednesday. Kairos’ spectrometer-equipped, high-altitude planes survey oil producing regions. Their instruments can detect smaller leaks than satellites, and are more efficient than ground sensors and handheld cameras.
  • On the ground. In January, Longpath secured a $189m conditional US Department of Energy loan guarantee. The startup builds laser-equipped towers to continuously monitor networks of exploration and production (E&P) facilities, filling temporal and spatial gaps left by aerial and satellite imaging.
  • Funding the future. The US DOE and EPA just released a notice of intent to distribute $1bn for technical and MRV infrastructure projects.

This list is far from representative of the biggest methane MRV players. Kayrros detected the enormous 6-month leak last year in Kazakhstan and Project Canary provides sensor-based methane detection at the oil and gas operations of Chevron and Southwestern Energy. But these new developments are the result of recent regulatory-driven developments in the field as lawmakers crack down on methane worldwide.

Rules rule

New methane detection rules, triggered by the IRA’s Methane Emissions Response Program (MERP), were finalized last December and came into effect January 1st. Regulations include stricter monitoring, excess emissions penalties, and establish a new leak accountability protocol.

  • Made to measure. The EPA will use site-specific monitoring instead of emissions factors in methane measurement methodologies which previously underestimated methane emissions. New rules encourage all three levels of novel technology solutions.
  • The IRS just called. The Waste Emissions Charge, which applies to facilities releasing more than 25k tons of CO2e methane per year, should incentivize O&G to closely monitor and reduce methane emissions.
  • Super duper emitters. The EPA now allows third parties to report methane leaks through the Super Emitter Response Program. Alleged offenders have 15 days to respond with an action plan or proof of non-culpability.
  • Not just the US. The European Commission also reached a tentative agreement on their methane MRV rules last November meant to improve data transparency and establish a similar super emitter program to the US. Importantly, Europe will begin holding gas imports to the same MRV standards starting in 2027.

Double duty

Methane monitoring has the potential to unlock more than just emissions benefits. Since methane acts as both a greenhouse gas and valuable fuel source, O&G facility operators are increasing their bottom line by plugging methane leaks.

But not all O&G companies will be able to respond equally. While oil majors already have the resources to monitor and plug leaks with accuracy and speed, smaller operators may still need to play catch up. And methane isn't just an O&G issue, with underestimates likely existing in other industries as well. The uptick in monitoring services could spill over into landfill, wastewater, and cattle production emissions that so far have flown under the radar. 

Deals of the Week (2/12-2/19)

Late-Stage / Growth

⚒️ Lilac Solutions, a Middletown, RI-based lithium extraction technology provider, raised $145m in Series C funding from Breakthrough, Emerson Collective, Engine Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, Mercuria, and other investors.

Kairos Aerospace, a Mountain View, CA-based methane aerial monitoring platform, raised $52m in Series D funding from BlackRock, Climate Investment, DCVC, Energy Innovation Capital, and Hartree Partners.

Velocys, an Oxford, UK-based Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAFs) developer, raised $40m in Growth funding from Carbon Direct, GenZero, Kibo Ventures, and Lightrock.

🌾 Hippo Harvest, a Half Moon Bay, CA-based indoor farming operations and equipment provider, raised $21m in Series B funding from Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, Collaborative Fund, Congruent Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, Hawthorne Food Ventures, and other investors.

Rimere, a Newport Beach, CA-based plasma-based methane reconfiguration platform, raised $10m in funding from Clean Energy Fuels Corp.

CTC Conductors, an Irvine, CA-based advanced grid conductors developer, raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Endeavor Capital and Greenbelt Capital Partners.


Camus Energy, a San Francisco, CA-based grid management software platform, raised $25m in Series A funding from Congruent Ventures, Wave Capital, Align Capital, Groundswell Ventures, and Remarkable Ventures.

🛵 Roam, a Nairobi, Kenya-based electric mobility solutions platform, raised $24m in Series A funding from Equator, At One Ventures, One Small Planet, Renew Capital, TES, and in Debt funding from US International Development Finance Corporation.

Sage Geosystems, a Houston, TX-based geothermal systems developer, raised $17m in Series A funding from Chesapeake Energy, Arch Meredith, Helium-3 Ventures, Nabors, Virya, and other investors.

🐄 Agriloops, a Paris, France-based aquaponics farm developer, raised $14m in Series A funding from SPV Aqua Invest, Breizh Up, Transitions First and Good Only Ventures, Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA), BNP Paribas Développement, and other investors.

🥩 FreezeM, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based insect farming technology platform, raised $14m in Series A funding from European Innovation Council.

Fever, a Stockholm, Sweden-based smart grid software developer, raised $11m in Seed funding from General Catalyst, La Famiglia, and Norrsken VC.

🌬 Aegir Insights, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based offshore wind intelligence platform, raised $9m in Series A funding from Seaya Andromeda and Climentum Capital.

🛵 Pure EV, a Sangareddy, India-based electric vehicle and battery manufacturing platform, raised $8m in Series A funding from Bennett Coleman and Company, Hindustan Times Media Ventures, and Ushodaya Enterprises Pvt Ltd.

🏠 Arch, a San Francisco, CA-based HVAC installation software platform, raised $6m in Seed funding from Coatue, Floodgate, Gigascale Capital, MCJ Collective, and ReGen Ventures.

💨 Banyu Carbon, a Seattle, WA-based novel light-driven carbon capture developer, raised $6m in Seed funding from Carbon Removal Partners, Grantham Foundation, Propeller, ReGen Ventures, and United Airlines Ventures.

📦 Sway, a Berkeley, CA-based seaweed-based packaging developer, raised $5m in Seed funding from Third Nature Ventures, Alante Capital, BAM Ventures, Superorganism, and The Helm.

Celadyne, a Chicago, IL-based hydrogen fuel cell technology developer, raised $4m in Seed funding from Dynamo Ventures, Maniv Mobility, and EPS Ventures.


SunKing, a Nairobi, Kenya-based off-grid solar energy company, raised $7m in Debt funding from Lendable.

🔋 Electra Battery Materials, a Toronto, Canada-based battery materials refining and recycling platform, raised $5m in Grant funding from Government of Canada.

OX Delivers, a Cheltenham, UK-based electric logistics service provider, raised $2m in Grant funding from The Energy Catalyst.

Eden Geopower, a Somerville, MA-based natural resource recovery, raised $1m in Grant funding from ARPA-E.

New Funds

WovenEarth Ventures, a Palo Alto, CA-based investment firm, closed its first fund at $152m for early stage climate funds.

Can’t get enough deals? See full listings and deal analytics on Sightline Climate

In the News

JPMorgan Asset Management, State Street, and BlackRock (excluding its international arm) walked away from the Climate Action 100+ a group that coordinates investor action on climate emissions. The dissociation follows anti-ESG political pressure in the US  in recent years. The departing firms cited a shift in strategy to a more activist agenda by Climate Action and their own internal sustainability practices maturing as their reasons for leaving

The EU approved $7.4bn in state aid for renewable hydrogen infrastructure projects. The aid is provided by seven different countries and will fund 33 large scale production and transportation projects operational by 2029, including 3.2GW of electrolyzer capacity, 2,700km of distribution and transmission pipelines, and handling terminals and port infrastructure.

The DOE awarded $60m for advanced geothermal projects with money going to Chevron New Energies, Fervo Energy, and Mazama Energy. At the same time, Fervo blew expectations out of the water with their enhanced geothermal system project, achieving a 70% reduction in drilling times that drove a reduction in well costs of nearly 50%.

Following on from the Oil & Gas consolidation of last year, Diamondback Energy bought rival Endeavour Power for $26bn, to become the third largest producer in the Permian Basin. 

Ionna, the EV charging network consisting of 6 major OEMS including BMW, Mercedes and GM received approval to start commercial operations. The network is deploying a minimum of 30,000 high powered chargers across the US, approximately 1.2 times the current number of publicly available chargers, with the hope of making charging stations more accessible. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management finalized two floating offshore wind sites off Oregon's coast, with a capacity to generate 2.4 GW of energy. Floating platforms unlock higher offshore wind potential in deeper waters where traditional fixed platforms can't reach. This decision has received backlash from indigenous communities as the sites encroach upon ancestral territories.  

Nine House Democrats joined Republicans to pass a bill overriding Biden’s LNG production pause, with a 224 to 200 vote. Though the bill is unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate, the LNG pause has emerged as more of a wedge-issue.

The US Senate approved $2.7bn for domestic uranium enrichment. Pending approval from the House, this funding would bridge a vital gap in expanding domestic production of low-enriched uranium (LEU), the dominant fuel-type used by reactors today, and High-Assay Low Enriched Uranium (HALEU), the fuel needed by many next generation small modular reactors. 


America, land of the…sea. The NYT maps the East Coast’s sinking feeling.  

Tuvalu election, where climate issues will top the agenda, delayed 2 weeks due to dangerous weather. 

Blocking the sun may be controversial, but Ben James argues it's also inevitable.

Dr. Michal Mann, and the landmark climate science defamation case he won, in his own words.  

Wall street warms to climate tech. 

Using cocoa byproducts may be the key to guilt-free chocolate.  

GMO OMG, Europe’s future supercrops set to sprout a patent war. 

Who are you wearing just took on a whole new meaning. 

At 23, the oldest wild platypus ever discovered. 

Wolves in Chernobyl develop resistance to cancer.

Quebec calls off ice-fishing, melting away winter traditions.

A Polar Bear’s pov.  

Opportunities & Events

💡 Y-Combinator Climate Tech: Apply to participate in YC’s summer 2024 cohort by Feb 20th for early admission into one of the top five startup buckets: Energy Related, Science Required, Climate Adaptation, Green Fintech, and Carbon Accounting & Offsets.

💡 5050: Apply to this program to help scientists and engineers translate breakthrough science and start deep tech startups, by Feb 25th.

📅 Climatebase Job Fair: Register to attend the Climatebase virtual job fair on Feb 22nd for an opportunity to meet employers hiring for roles, including urban residential solar, DAC, and sustainability consulting, in the clean energy industry.

📅 Distributech International: Register to attend the Distributech International conference in Orlando, FL, from Feb 26-29th for opportunities to learn from and network with industry leaders and top companies in the electricity transmission and distribution community.

📅 SAF Investor London: Register to join the 2024 SAF Investor London conference from Feb 27-28th for two days of TED-style presentations, fireside chats, and networking opportunities in the sustainable aviation fuel industry.

📅 Decarb Connect UK: Register to attend the UK’s Leading Industrial Decarbonisation event from Feb 27-29th to join key stakeholders and experts actively innovating industrial decarbonization for site visits, discussions, and networking opportunities.


Commercial Associate; Founder in Residence, Industrial Water Supply @Deep Science Ventures

Analyst @G2 Venture Partners

Senior Full Stack SWE @Arch

Process Engineer; Engineer, Electrochemistry & Energy storage @Marble

Finance Lead; Chief of Staff/ Ops Lead; Mechanical Engineer @Pacific Fusion

Compliance Analyst @Energy Impact Partners

Associate Investor; Senior Associate Investor @Westly Group

Head of Sales, Homeowners @Quilt

Marketing Manager @Forum Mobility

Director, Climate and Sustainability Planning @MBTA

Senior Associate/ Associate Principal @CrossBoundary Group

📩 Feel free to send us deals, announcements, or anything else at [email protected]. Have a great week ahead! 

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