🔋 ClimateHack Vol 3: The great energy transition

PLUS: Climentum Capital launches a €150M fund and France bans 'meaty' terms

Hey ClimateHackers - week 3 of ClimateHack and I'm learning just how little I know about this space. 

This week I reached out to Tsung Xu to get his insights on the great energy transition - you can find the key takeaways of that discussion below in Conversations x Climate

Anyone else up to give me 30 minutes of their time to educate me on some part of the Climate Tech sector? I'd love to chat and feature you here next week.

What’s in today's edition? 

🔋 TLDR of the great energy transition 🇫🇷 France bans 'meaty' terms in plant-based💸 Danish Climentum Capital launches a €150M fund

Digest x Climate

📈 Whats up? Data from Cornell University shows that consumers are ready to support QR codes on packaging which help them to better understand how long milk is safe to consume, getting rid of the need for “use by” dates and potentially reducing food waste.

📉 Whats down? The European Commission’s first-ever deeptech investment scheme isn’t going too well, leaving some startups short of cash and at risk of going out of business.

💡 Debate: I put out my predictions for what’s next in vertical farming, cultivated meat and precision fermentation - which made quite the debate online. Feel free to jump into the discussion and share your inputs there too. 

Funds x Climate 

 🇩🇰 Climentum Capital is launching a €150 million fund to invest in early-stage startups across Europe that are working on climate tech solutions to “drastically” cut CO2 emissions.

🇩🇪 Pirate Impact is evolving into AENU an impact tech fund with €100 million to invest in companies solving the climate crisis and advancing social equality, and is aiming to have the fund reach €500 million by 2026.

🇬🇧 Veganuary co-founder Matthew Glover has launched Sentient Ventures, a new £30 million fund to invest in early-stage plant-based and fermentation-based meat startups across the globe

👉 Check out this article from TechCrunch, in which four climate tech investors give their views on the Supreme Court’s recent decision re greenhouse gas emissions.

Food x Climate 

🌴 British gene-editing startup Tropic Biosciences secured $35 million in a bridge round led by Swiss impact investor Blue Horizon. Its technology will “promote cultivation efficiencies, enhance consumer health, and improve sustainable environmental practices” in tropical agriculture.

🍅 Hors Normes, based in France, raised €7 million seed funding to rescue rejected fruit and veg from food producers and deliver them directly to consumers. It has already onboarded 7,000 regular customers since its inception in 2020.

🇫🇷 France is planning to ban the use of ‘meaty’ terms like ‘sausage’ and steak’ for plant-based foods from October, making it the first EU country to impose such restrictions. Similarly, in Turkey, plant-based cheese producers are facing a ban on sales and production following a new law by the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

🥖 UK platform Earth & Wheat, which connects bakeries with consumers to save bread and baked goods that would otherwise have been wasted, has introduced a new compostable bioplastic packaging.

🇺🇸 California Governor Gavin Newsom allocated $5 million of the California Budget Act 2022 towards alternative protein research at universities in the state, including UC Davis and Berkeley.

🧬 A new study involving researchers from North Carolina State University, Iowa State University and the US Army Corps of Engineers shows that younger consumers are more likely to try gene-edited foods. We dived deeper into the crossover of CRISPR x Food and AG this week over on FoodHack+

Materials x Climate

👟 Simplifyber Inc. raised $3.5 million seed funding for its 3D-printed clothing and footwear made directly from a cellulose-based liquid “in a lab, not a factory” to disrupt the fashion industry.

👗 Magnum and Iris van Herpen have developed what they claim is the world’s first vegan haute couture dress, made with upcycled cocoa bean husks and inspired by Magnum vegan ice cream.

👖 James Cropper has developed a cotton-based packaging paper from used denim fibres and recycled fibres from coffee cups, which could help to reduce the textile waste issue.

🧪 Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have shown that carbon atoms in mixed waste can replace all fossil raw materials in the production of new plastic.

Carbon x Climate

🔎 Barcelona-based FlexiDAO secured €6.1 million for its software tools which offer companies 24/7 electricity and carbon tracking capabilities, aiming to “decarbonise every electron, every hour of every day”.

📏 Parisian greentech Traace closed a €2.5 million seed funding round led by Orange Ventures. Its platform is designed to help businesses to measure, monitor and reduce their carbon emissions.

🌳 Pina Earth, based in Munich, secured €2.5 million seed funding to build its online platform for European forest owners to get certification to sell carbon credits and support sustainable forestry management.

☀️ Aussie startup AspiraDAC just secured a $700,000 contract from Stripe to install its solar-powered carbon capture system, which it claims is a world’s first, to capture and store 500 tonnes of CO2 by 2027.

🚲 Amazon unveiled its first UK-based “micromobility” hub in central London, which will house its e-cargo bikes, walkers, and electric vehicles that replace vans on the road.

💨 Norwegian green tech Ocean GeoLoop AS has completed a pilot test for its carbon capture technology, and is working towards commercialisation.

Energy x Climate

🌊 Scottish firm Orbital Marine Power raised £8 million to support its O2 tidal turbine, which has 10-meter blades and it claims is the world’s most powerful, which will help with energy transition.

🔋 Copenhagen-based Reel raised €2.3 million pre-seed funding in a round led by UVC Partners to transform energy procurement and drive the transition to a society powered entirely by renewable energy.

🇳🇱 Shell is set to build Europe’s “largest” renewable hydrogen plant in the Netherlands as part of its commitments to “become a net-zero emissions energy business” by 2050.

👨‍⚖️ New Jersey could become a new ocean energy hub, thanks to a bill launched this week that could make it the first US state to receive government support for wave and tidal energy.

🏖 Finland’s Polar Night Energy has installed the world's first fully working "sand battery" which can store green power for months at a time thanks to sand’s ability to retain heat.

Conversations x Climate: 1 key takeaway about energy transition 🔋

This week I asked Tsung Xu to get me up to speed about energy transition. He put together a great 4 point summary here for our readers, adapted from his in-depth article here. But for the lazy (like me) here's the 1 key takeaway you need to sound like you know what you're talking about.

Written by Tsung Xu (follow him on Twitter - he puts out the best threads)

Powered by solar, wind and lithium-ion batteries, the energy transition has been quietly reshaping the world. 

Let’s briefly introduce how these energy technologies have, for the first time since the industrial revolution, made it possible to build a cleaner and better future. 

1) Plummeting Solar and Battery Costs Are Now At Tipping Points

Solar has already become the cheapest energy source in history, alongside wind. Since 1976, solar costs (in dollars per watt) have fallen an average of over 12% per year.

Since first being commercialized in 1991, lithium-ion batteries costs (in dollars per kWh) have fallen a similar 12.9% per year on average.

These falling solar, wind and battery prices have recently hit tipping points that will drive continued growth.

The cost of solar or wind-sourced electrons are now cheaper than running existing fossil plants in many parts of the world. This is a tipping point that substantially grows the market size for solar and wind power.

As shown above, this has led to solar and wind surging to over 75% of new global capacity to generate electricity in 2020, up from low single digit percentages in the early 2000s. As costs keep falling, solar and wind will continue to outcompete fossil fuels in more regions

Lithium-ion batteries are now crossing cost thresholds that are powering booms in both EVs and stationary storage.

The Tesla Model 3 is price competitive with gasoline models from Audi, Mercedes and BMW, but outsold them all in 2020. In the next few years, a growing number of pure electric models in more countries will become as cheap as gasoline competitors. Low cost, high performance batteries are making electrified vehicles increasingly cost competitive from two wheelers to electric boats and trucks.

Storing electricity in large batteries is driving down the cost of more consistent clean energy. Battery deployments on grids in the US, China and other areas are soaring, and increasingly being paired with utility-scale solar plants. When paired, solar and batteries are mutually beneficial, being more valuable than batteries alone.

💡Read more on the 4 Key Takeaways here adapted from Tsung's in-depth article on energy transition.

Memes x Climate

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Curated by Nicola & Arman

Until next time 👋

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