🌍 TL;DR on SMRs #143
After decades without much movement, SMRs could bring new nuclear capacity online in North America and Europe by 2030
Reacting to the economically awkward policy gulf left by IRA, the EU unveiled the Green Deal Industrial Plan to simplify regulation and incentivize investment in Europe. The Deal is hardly a done one yet, and faces significant political and structural challenges - starting with no new authorized funding yet.
Elsewhere this week, the SEC may be softening climate disclosures, more pushback for domestic mining projects, and Burning Man v. Bureau of Land Management. In deals, $350m for EV charging, $300m for battery storage, and $150m for wooly mammoth resurrection… among other climate-relevant bioengineering.
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Earlier this past week, the European Commission got back swinging into the climate ring and unveiled the Green Deal Industrial Plan, an effort to drive climate infrastructure and tech investments in the EU to compete with the US and China. European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced the plan, declaring “We have a once in a generation opportunity to show the way with speed, ambition and a sense of purpose to secure the EU's industrial lead in the fast-growing net-zero technology sector.”
The Commission’s plan outlines 4 key pillars:
Sizing up the competition. The European Commission is hoping to retain and attract climate tech manufacturing to the EU, but how does the plan stack up against the IRA?
It’s hardly a done deal. On Feb 9-10 when the Summit reconvenes, the Commission will need to work to resolve a couple of key concerns from member states.
Race to the top. Although the proposed Plan will likely undergo some changes to address the challenges above, the Green Deal even in its draft form demonstrates how domestic climate policies have reverberations far beyond the country’s borders. A climate subsidy space race benefits the planet first and foremost, regardless of who comes out on top. While there are guaranteed to be more growing pains as countries aim to attract climate tech investment to their shores, friendly competition in the name of climate mitigation will continue to be a net positive for climate tech deployment. In the words of John Kerry at Davos earlier this year, “Everybody's got to do the same thing to accelerate this process even more.”
⚡ ABB E-mobility, a Zurich, Switzerland-based provider in EV charging solutions, raised $350m in pre-IPO funding from BeyondnetZero, GIC, Just Climate, and Porsche.
🔋 Our Next Energy, a Novi, MI-based developer of next-gen EV and stationary storage batteries, raised $300m in Series B funding from AI Capital, Coatue, Fifth Wall, Franklin Templeton, Riverstone Holdings, Sente Ventures, and Temasek Holdings.
🌳 Colossal Biosciences, an Austin, TX-based genetics and biosciences platform bringing back the Dodo and wooly mammoth, raised $150m in Series B funding from Animal Capital, Animoca Brands, Bob Nelsen, Bold Capital Partners, Breyer Capital, In-Q-Tel, Jazz Venture Partners, Peak 6, US Innovative Technology Fund, and WestRiver Group.
🏠 Luxwall, a Michigan-based maker of glass solutions to reduce heat loss, raised $33m in Series A funding from 2150, Khosla Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and Prelude Ventures.
☔ Risilience, a Cambridge, UK-based climate risk platform , raised $26m in Series B funding from IQ Capital, National Grid Partners, and Quantum Energy Partners.
⚡ NT-Tao, a Hod Hasharon, Israel-based compact nuclear fusion technology, raised $22m in Series A funding from Delek, Grantham Environmental Trust, Honda Motor, Nextgear Ventures, and OurCrowd.
⚡ Sunstone Credit, a Baltimore, MD-based C&I solar loan financing platform, raised $20m in Series A funding from Cross River Digital Ventures, Earthshot Ventures, Forbright Bank, Greenbackers Investment Capital, and Grotech Ventures.
🏠 Gradient, a San Francisco, CA-based provider of a climate-friendly heat pump, raised $18m in Series A funding from Ajax Strategies, At One Ventures, Climate Tech Circle, Impact Science Ventures, Safar Partners, Shared Future Fund, and Sustainable Future Ventures.
♻️ Recycleye, a London, United Kingdom-based maker of recycling robots, raised $17m in Series A funding from Atypical Ventures, Creator Fund, DCVC, MMC Ventures, Playfair Capital, Promus Ventures, and Seaya.
🏠 Energy X, a Seoul, South Korea-based ESG platform for zero-energy buildings, raised $16m in Series B funding from Enlight Ventures, Honest Ventures, JJBM, Ljovi, Shinhan Capital, VTI Partners, and Welcome Ventures.
🛵 WeMo Scooter, a Taipei, Taiwan-based smart motor rental service, raised $15m in Series A funding from AppWorks and National Development Fund of Taiwan Government.
⚡ HySiLabs, an Aix-en-provence, France-based liquid hydrogen carrier, raised $14m in Series A funding from CAAP Creation, EDP Ventures, EIC Fund, Equinor Ventures, KREAXI, PLD Automobile, and Région Sud Investissement.
🥩 New School Foods, a Toronto, Canada-based maker of plant-based seafood, raised $12m in Seed funding from Alwyn Capital, BaseCamp Ventures, Blue Horizon Corporation, Clear Current Capital, Climate Capital, Good Startup, HackCapital, Hatch, Joyance Partners, Joyful Ventures, and Lever VC.
🌾 Enko Chem, a Boston, MA-based crop health platform, raised $10m in Series C funding from Akroyd LLC, Eight Roads Ventures, Endeavor8, and Nufarm.
🛰️ Orbital Sidekick, a San Francisco, CA-based hyperspectral monitoring service, raised $10m in Series A funding from 11.2 Capital, Energy Innovation Capital, In-Q-Tel, ONEOK, Syndicate 708, University of Minnesota, and Williams.
💧 Greyter, a Mississauga, Canada-based provider of water reuse systems, raised $10m in Series B funding from Ferguson Ventures and LenX.
🚗 Tau Group, a Torino, Italy-based maker of EV motors, raised $10m in Series B funding from Finindus and Solvay Ventures.
🌾 BloomX, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup providing AI pollination for crops, raised $8m in Seed funding from Ahern Seeds, BioBee, Israel Innovation Authority, and Vasuki Tech Fund.
⚡ Eavor, a Calgary, Canada-based startup developing closed loop geothermal, raised $7m from BP Ventures.
☀️ Enteligent, a San Jose, CA-based startup maximizing solar output, raised $7m in Seed funding from Saint-Gobain NOVA and Taronga Group.
🥩 Michroma, a Rosario, Argentina-based company producing fungal biofactories for natural ingredients, raised $6m in Seed funding from Be8 Ventures, Boro Capital, Fen Ventures, GridX, Groundswell Ventures, HackCapital, IndieBio, New Luna Ventures, Portfolia, Siddhi Capital, Supply Change Capital, and The Mills Fabrica.
👕 Ever Dye, a Paris, France-based sustainable dyes, raised $4m in Seed funding from Asterion Ventures, Entrepreneur First, and Maki.vc.
⚡ SunFi, a Lagos, Nigeria-based platform providing solar energy access and financing, raised $2m in Seed funding from Factor[e] Ventures, Norrsken Impact Accelerator, SCM Capital Asset Management, Sovereign Capital, Ventures Platform, and Voltron Capital.
⚡ VOOL, a Tallinn, Estonia-based provider of EV charging station hubs, raised $2m in Seed funding from Opus11 VC, Specialist VC, and angels.
💨 Maya Climate, a Bellevue, WA-based project platform for nature-based solutions, raised $1m in Pre-Seed funding from Antler, Berlin Angel Fund, and High-Tech Grunderfonds.
🌱 Greenspark, a London, UK-based climate impact platform, raised $1m in Seed funding from 1818 Venture Capital, Anthemis Group, BBVA, Capital Pilot, Fuel Ventures, Great Stuff Ventures, Perivoli Innovations, and Pitchdrive.
Lithium Americas, a Vancouver, Canada-based lithium mining company, raised $650m from GM to develop a mine in Nevada.
ArcLight Capital Partners committed $150m in new equity funding to Elevate Renewable Energy to develop battery storage co-located with existing power infrastructure.
Lotus Technology, the EV division of British sports car maker Lotus, announced a $5.4B SPAC merger with L Catterton Asia Acquisition.
Energy Capital Partners acquired British waste management and recycling firm Biffa for $2.5B.
CropX, an ag-tech software startup, acquired Tule, a smart irrigation company, for an undisclosed amount.
Buoyant Ventures, a Chicago-based climate venture firm investing in digital solutions to climate risk, closed its first fund at $76m.
Sustainable biofuel is taking flight. The US Department of Energy invested $118m in 17 sustainable biorefinery projects from pre-pilot to demonstration stage. United Airlines, Tallgrass, and Green Plains also formed a $50m JV to develop SAFs using ethanol as its feedstock.
In more mining blockages, the EPA blocked a big gold and copper mining project in Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed, citing risk to salmon fisheries and other ecological threats. Meanwhile, tribal groups in Arizona are fighting a copper mining project whose backers consider crucial to EV batteries. The battle highlights a growing dilemma for policymakers and investors eager to move from fossil fuels to clean energy, while locals defend sacred lands and the environment.
VPPs with a side of fries. McDonald’s and partners announced a 189 MW virtual power purchase agreement purchase with Enel Green Power’s Blue Jay solar project in Texas that will cover 100% of McDonald’s U.S. logistics supply chain’s electricity load with renewable electricity. This is the first time a corporation acted as the anchor buyer alongside its suppliers.
The Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance (NZAOA), an investor group with $11T in AUM, banned members from counting carbon removal schemes towards their emissions reduction targets before 2030, prioritizing abatement among portfolio companies.
EV price wars. After Tesla slashed global prices on its EVs by 20% last month, competitors Rivian and Lucid are cutting operational costs to keep up. Rivian is laying off 6% of its workforce, scrambling to stop losing money for every car it builds.
The SEC’s climate disclosure ruling may be softened following investor and corporate pushback. The final version of the SEC rules (expected this year) will still mandate climate disclosures in financial statements, but will likely raise the threshold at which companies must report climate costs.
Combined power from wind and solar overtook natural gas in the EU for the first time last year, according to climate group Ember’s latest report. Solar energy surged by 24%, with 20 EU nations achieving a record share of generation.
New York City will require Uber and Lyft to have a zero-emissions fleet by 2030 (which would cover 100,000 vehicles).
60 second timelapse of a 4 year, $65m project to drain and fill an iconic Amsterdam harbor to create an underwater parking facility for 7,000 bicycles.
Is Norway the next clean energy superpower? After netting $131 billion in 2022 from oil profits, Norway eyes a future as a primary hydrogen supplier. Meanwhile “Sweden’s 27 year old climate minister is ready to quit if climate goals are missed”... and we’re feeling wildly old and underperforming!
Economists Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel have a proposal for a tax on 62,380 people that could raise $295 billion for adaptation and mitigation financing in small and developing countries.
The aptly-named SeaTwirl will make its debut off the coast of Scandinavia at the end of 2023, with its floating, industrial-scale vertical axis turbine expected to outcompete current off-shore wind models - despite looking perpetually off balance.
Burning Man v. Bureau of Land Management… over geothermal.
Curious about all of the wooly mammoth funding and questioning “what’s Climate Biotech?” New non-profit Homewood Collective aims to define, fund, and organize the space.
Lithium prices skyrocketed in 2022, and China cashed in.
The US only needs 1 coal plant. In large part thanks to IRA, the other 209 plants can be replaced with clean energy at a net savings to consumers.
If you’ve ever felt like you ate jetfuel the morning after a 2am burger, you might have been onto something. Used cooking oil is the latest to decarbonize the aviation industry.
When you spend 550 hours on the apps, and still can’t find a connection. Berkeley looked at over 1,100 projects and estimated grid connection costs have spiked 8x since 2019.
This week, on the Volts podcast. What’s the deal with electrolyzers? And a Magic (electric) School Bus financing structure that would make Ms. Frizzle proud.
🗓️ Canary Media: Join on Feb 8th for Canary Media’s live discussion with three experts on how to electrify your home.
🗓️ ClimateHack: Join ClimateHack’s meetup on Feb 15th in London to meet fellow entrepreneurs, innovators, and funders.
🗓️ Ocean Visions: Register by Feb 15th for early bird rates to Ocean Visions’ biennial summit for ocean-based carbon dioxide removal science & technology.
💡 The EDICT: Apply to Elemental Excelerator’s EDICT’s internship program by Feb 20th for an immersive program at various climate organizations.
🗓️ Keyframe and Energy Impact Partners HH: Join Keyframe and EIP’s climate-focused happy hour in NYC on Feb 23rd.
🗓️ World Ocean Summit & Expo: Attend the World Ocean Summit from Feb 27th - Mar 1st in Lisbon, Portugal.
💡 The C2V Initiative: Apply by Mar 31st to C2V Initiatives’s carbon tech startup accelerator, focused on startups developing solutions for carbon capture, management, and removal.
💡 Breakthrough Energy Fellows: Apply to Breakthrough Energy Fellow’s Cohort 3 to receive various support on technologies reducing carbon emissions. Applications and interviews will continue on a rolling basis till June.
Summer Intern @G2VP
Full Stack Developer @ChargePass
Sustainable Investment Associate @Fidelity
Summer Analyst Internship @CleanCapital
Summer Internship 2023 @Energy Impact Partners
Business Development Representative @Carbon Title
Software Engineer @Crosswalk Labs
Feel free to 📩 send us new ideas, recent fundings, events & opportunities, or general curiosities. Have a great week ahead!
After decades without much movement, SMRs could bring new nuclear capacity online in North America and Europe by 2030
For the first time, the US could put strict limits on PFAS levels in drinking water
And a long exhale after a high-strung weekend