1.5° C is here

Plus lots more across climate tech and energy



We ran some birthday festivities in Brooklyn yesterday and last night so I’m moving a bit more slowly today. Good thing I typed most of this up the day before. Endlessly thankful for the wonderful folks in my life. Hope you get a chance to celebrate yourself and the people in your life soon too.

P.S., next weekend we’re hosting a run + coffee shindig for all you climate tech enthusiasts in Brooklyn. More deets here - come through!

In today’s email:

  • One story in a chart and a sentence

  • Climate tech and energy headlines from the week

  • Climate tech fundraising announcements

The Leading Climate Adaptation Summit (NYC): 

Adaptation is a perfect example of a climate tech challenge area that’s critically important but has historically gone under-discussed and underinvested in. Fortunately, that's changing in 2024. 

If you’re looking to get exponentially smarter on adaptation in a short amount of time, then mark your calendar for May 21st in New York City. The Adapt Unbound conference will convene hundreds of leaders and visionary thinkers in the adaptation space for a day of conversations, workshops, and knowledge sharing around how to scale solutions and unlock capital to adapt to the changing climate. 

Whether you’re an operator, investor, policymaker, or want to identify your next career move, Adapt Unbound is the perfect place to explore how your skill set intersects with the multi-trillion-dollar adaptation opportunity. Plus get 20% off with code: KEEPCOOL20 

Want to sponsor Keep Cool? Click here.


One story in a sentence (and a chart)

• Buoyed by El Nino weather patterns, 2023 was already close to 1.5° C hotter than pre-Industrial baselines. Link.

15 headlines

• Expanding on our opening chart, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization notes a "high probability" that 2024 will be the hottest year on record again. The agency's secretary-general also stated, "Never have we been so close – albeit on a temporary basis at the moment – to the 1.5° C lower limit of the Paris agreement on climate change…" Note: Some of the record-breaking changes are amplified by El Niño, which should alleviate again soon and ease the intensity of change a bit… we all hope. Link. Link.

• China's largest utility started construction on a new $3.9B (1,000 km!) transmission line and pumped hydro storage project as it continues to lead both renewable energy and transmission line deployment globally. Link.

• The EPA and Biden Administration formalized new rules that will ratchet up limits on tailpipe emissions (based on grams of CO2 per mile) from cars. The stated goal is to encourage half of new car sales by 2032 to be zero-emissions vehicles. Car manufacturers will likely be most immediately affected; while it's not a ban, OEMs will have to meet new average emissions limits across product lines. As usual, the rules are a bit more gradual than initially proposed. Link. Link.

• TerraPower announced firm plans to build its first molten salt nuclear reactor in Kemmerer, WY, starting as early as June. The goal is to have the plant online by 2030. The company has raised more than $1B so far. Link. Link

• Joe Manchin seems to think permitting reform for energy projects is still on the table this year. Link.

• NVIDIA, the chip-making darling and currently the third-largest public company in the world, announced it aims to improve weather forecasting as part of its AI buildout. Specifically, the company is launching its 'Earth-2' climate digital twin cloud platform, which will help other organizations simulate and visualize weather and climate at new scales. Link.

• Google, Microsoft, and Nucor announced a new financing strategy to support growth in clean energy generation to meet growing demand. They aim to accelerate first-of-a-kind and early commercial projects in advanced nuclear, geothermal, long-duration energy storage, and more. They started by issuing a request for information this week for projects seeking offtake agreements. Link.

• Spiritus, a DAC company based out of San Francisco, announced it will build its first direct air capture project in central Wyoming. The project, Orchard One, aims to capture 500,000 tons of carbon per year at a cost of less than $100 by the end of its second phase of development and 2 million tons per year at less than $75 per ton at full scale. Link.

• Salt River Project and NextEra Energy Resources commissioned two solar-plus-storage plants in Arizona this week. The first is the Sonoran Solar Energy Center, a 260-MW solar farm with 1 GWh of battery energy storage. The second, the Storey Energy Center, is an 88 MW solar plus BESS facility. NextEra operates both plants and will sell electricity to Google for a new data center in Arizona. Link.

• Developers in Ohio also got the green light for a $1B solar + storage + agrivoltaics project. The Oak Run project will span 6,000 acres of farmland and feature 800 MW of solar and 300 MW of energy storage. Elsewhere, in Kentucky, developers are investing $1.3B to build a closed-loop, 287 MW pumped-hydro storage near an abandoned coal mine in Bell County. It's among the first pumped-hydro energy storage projects in the U.S. in three decades. Link. Link.

• Rivian reaffirmed its commitment to building its $5B factory in Georgia, noting the current construction pause is temporary. Link. Link.

• AES reserved up to 10 of Electric Hydrogen's 100 MW electrolyzers, making the agreement worth up to 1 GW of green hydrogen production capacity. Link.

• In a blow to geoengineering research, Harvard paused efforts to conduct small geoengineering and stratospheric aerosol injection experiments. Link.

• State Farm noted this week that it will 'non-renew' 30,000 Californian homeowners, renters, and other property insurance policies. Last year, State Farm stopped accepting new property/casualty insurance policies in California. Link.

• South Africa is once again facing a water crisis, as Johannesburg is, once again, running out of water. Link.


Larger funding rounds

🔌 Moove, based out of Amsterdam, Netherlands, raised $100M in Series B funding for its mobility financing business. The company noted it’s focused on helping fleets and ride-hailing customers access EVs. Uber invested. More here. (Netherlands, Transportation)

📊 Greenly, based out of Paris, raised $52M in Series B funding for its carbon accounting software. Fidelity International Strategic Ventures led. More here. (France, Data Applications)

Medium-sized funding rounds

⬇️ Mission Zero Technologies, based out of London, raised $27.7M in Series A funding for its modular direct air capture devices. 2150 led. More here. (U.K., Carbon Removal)

⬇️ Novocarbo, based out of Hamburg, Germany, raised ~$27.3M in equity funding to build carbon removal “parks" across Europe. Swen Capital Partners invested. More here. (Germany, Carbon Removal)

🚢 Candela, based out of Stockholm, raised $26.6M to make electric hydrofoiling boats and ferries. Groupe Beneteau, EQT Ventures, Ocean Zero, and others participated. More here. (Sweden, Transportation)

🐟 Poseidon Ocean System, based out of Vancouver Island, Canada, raised $20.8M in Series B funding for its salmon farming technologies. Ecosystem Integrity Fund led. More here. (Canada, Food & Agriculture)

📦 Dronamics, based out of Sofia, Bulgaria, raised ~$10.9M in equity funding from the European Innovation Council to operate a long-range drone cargo service. More here. (Bulgaria, Transportation)

Smaller funding rounds

🚚 G2 Reverse Logistics, based out of Pittsburgh, raised $9.6M in seed funding for its reverse logistics technologies. Dell Technologies Capital invested. More here. (U.S., Transportation)

🧪 Renovare Fuels, based out of London, raised ~$7.6M in equity funding to turn biogas into liquid fuels like diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. More here. (U.K., Transportation)

⬇️ AirMyne, based out of Berkeley, CA, raised $6.9M in seed funding for its direct air capture technology designed to pair with heat from geothermal energy or waste heat. Alumni Ventures, Another Brain, Liquid 2 Ventures, and others invested. More here. (U.S., Carbon Removal)

🧪 Cauldron Ferm, based out of Orange, Australia, raised ~$6.2M in Series A funding to use via precision fermentation to make sustainable, plant-based proteins. Horizons Ventures led. More here. (Australia, Food & Agriculture)

⚡️ Blixt, based out of Kista, Sweden, raised ~$5.5M in seed funding to make next-gen circuit breakers. Union Square Ventures and Energy Revolution Ventures co-led. More here. (Sweden, Energy)

⚡️ Buzz Solutions, based out of Palo Alto, raised $5M to automate power line inspections. GoPoint Ventures led. More here. (U.S., Infrastructure)

📊 MarineLabs, based out of Victoria, Canada, raised $4.5M in seed funding for its real-time weather and ocean condition monitoring services. BDC Capital led. More here. (Canada, Adaptation)

📊 Monaire, based out of Boston, raised $3.5M in seed funding to build new building management systems and software. Construct Capital led. More here. (U.S., Built Environment)

🤖 Automated Architecture, based out of London, raised ~$3.3M in seed funding for its robotic home construction startup. Miles Ahead led. More here. (U.K., Built Environment)

🔌 Enapi, based out of Berlin, raised ~$2.7M in pre-seed funding for its EV charging software. Project A Ventures led. More here. (Germany, Transportation)

Crosstown H2R, based out of Baden, Switzerland, came out of stealth with ~$2.2M in equity funding to convert natural gas plants to run on hydrogen and other lower-carbon fuels. More here. (Switzerland, Energy)

🔌 Blitz Electric Mobility, based out of South Jakarta, Indonesia, raised $1.6M in seed funding for its EV logistics startup. ADB Ventures led. More here. (Indonesia, Transportation)

🍫 Nukoko, based out of Guildford, U.K., raised ~$1.4M in seed funding for its cocoa-free chocolate that leverages precision fermentation. Oyster Bay Venture Capital led. More here. (U.K., Food & Agriculture)

🌿 Poseidona, based out of Barcelona, raised $1.2M in equity funding to make sustainable proteins from algae waste and invasive biomass. Faber led. More here. (Spain, Food & Agriculture)

Other funding rounds

🌞 KKR and EIG, two private equity giants, will invest $1B into Los Angeles-based Avantus, a utility-scale solar and battery energy storage project developer. KKR will own a majority stake in Avantus post-close. More here. (U.S., Energy)

⚛️ Constellation Energy, based out of Baltimore, is raising $900M in green bond funding for its maintenance, expansion, and life extension work on its existing nuclear energy projects. More here. (U.S., Energy)

🔋 ZEN Energy, based out of Rose Park, Australia, raised ~$46M in financing from Stonepeak to build the second-largest battery energy storage project in South Australia. More here. (Australia, Energy)

🔥 Dryad, based out of Berlin, raised ~$6.1M in convertible financing for its early wildfire detection technologies. Dryad uses solar-powered gas sensors to detect wildfires in their ‘smoldering’ phase. TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good and others invested. More here. (Germany, Adaptation)

New funds

💰 World Fund, based out of Berlin, raised $325M for a debut fund to invest in climate tech companies. More here. (Germany, Funds)

💰 Acre Venture Partners, based out of Santa Monica, CA, raised $140M for its third fund, with which it will invest in ag and food-tech companies. More here. (U.S., Food & Agriculture)

💸 Mad Capital, based out of Boulder, CO, raised its $50M Perennial Fund II to loan money to farmers to navigate transitions to regenerative and organic farming. More here. (U.S., Food & Agriculture)

💸 Silence, based out of New York, raised $35M for its first early-stage and climate tech-focused fund. More here. (U.S., Funds)

💸 Montauk Climate launched a new climate tech startup incubator with $8.5M in funding. Sheel Tyle led the funding. More here. (U.S., Accelerators)

Parting note – if you’re in Austin, check out this climate meetup on Thursday (the 28th) hosted by David Neff, Terra.Do, and others. Wish I could join.


– Nick