Drill, baby, drill

Plus lots more across climate tech and energy

Hi there,

Happy Sunday. Looking ahead to next week, we hope many of you New Yorkers will join us in Chinatown for our first Keep Cool soirée in a while. Deets here. Come shake off some of that mid-Winter malaise — you know you need it.

In today’s newsletter we cover multiple significant headlines on the drilling front (think geothermal as well as traditional oil & gas), plus more with respect to carbon removal, geoengineering, and climate system tipping points.

In today’s email:

  • One story in a sentence (and a chart)

  • Climate and energy headlines from the week

  • Climate tech fundraising announcements


One story in a sentence (and a chart)

• For a crystallization of acute climate impacts, U.S. air quality is actually worsening again after decades of regulatory-driven improvements as wildfires become more common. Link.

11 headlines

• Enhanced geothermal energy company Fervo announced very positive performance results from its drilling operations in 400 MW ‘Cape Station’ project in southwest Utah, noting a “70% reduction in drilling time from Fervo’s first horizontal well drilled at Project Red in 2022.” Drilling time reductions also spell cost savings. Elsewhere, the DOE also granted three other enhanced geothermal projects $60M in funding to demonstrate “the efficacy and scalability” of their systems. Link. Link.

• Consolidation continues in the Permian, as Diamondback closed a $26B acquisition of Endeavor. Together, the companies noted they’ll be able to produce 800,000+ barrels of oil and oil-equivalents daily (which translates to ~300,000+ tonnes of carbon dioxide and CO2-equivalent emissions, again daily, if that oil and gas is burned). Link. Link.

• More solar + storage! Longroad Energy broke ground on its ‘Sun Streams 4’ project, which will feature 377 MW of solar + 300 MW / 1200 MWh of energy storage in Arizona. The project is expected to be operational by mid-2025. Elsewhere, Equis Australia and Victoria’s State Electricity Commission raised another ~$260M for their Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub battery storage project, which will bring online 600 MW and 1.6 GWh of storage. Link. Link.

• EnerSys announced it plans to invest $500M to build a lithium-ion gigafactory in Greenville, South Carolina. Elsewhere, Stellantis plans to invest ~$110M in an existing Hungarian manufacturing plant to expand production capacity for its EV technologies. Link. Link.

• Google noted it will provide AI and global mapping services to the Environmental Defense Fund’s new MethaneSAT satellite, which launches next months to supercharge methane monitoring services globally. Link.

• American Rare Earths updated its mineral resource estimates at its Halleck Creek project in Wyoming, claiming a 64% increase in tonnage compared to previous forecasts. Said differently, it’s potentially sitting on a ‘motherload’ (the WSJ’s words) of 2.3B metric tons of rare-earth elements and metals. The reserves at Halleck Creek are (potentially) so large they could make the U.S. the world’s largest processor of rare earths like neodymium (our write-up here) and praseodymium. Still, there’s a lot that precedes metals in the ground actually being brought to market Link. Link (paywall).

• The DOE announced $100M in funding to catalyze advanced carbon dioxide removal projects across a variety of tech pathways. Projects can both focus on removal and storage or utilization. Among the noted areas of interest were biomass-based removals and mineralization. Link.

• This month, researchers tested a variety of geoengineering approaches to climate change. One team experimented with marine cloud brightening off the coast of Australia by spraying a briny substance into the air to brighten low-altitude clouds that form over the ocean. Southern Cross University is leading that effort, buoyed by $64.5M in funding from the Australian government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Elsewhere, Stardust Solutions (great name), an Israeli startup, started testing a system to spray reflective particles 60,000 feet into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight (read as solar radiation management). The company didn’t disclose its proprietary particle composition. Link. Link (paywall). P.S. – for our geoengineering take, take a gander at what we published in December; glad to see the conversation accelerating.

• New research from the past week signaled warnings for both the Amazon and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The Amazon holds more than 10% of the world’s biodiversity and a massive amount of carbon. The AMOC is a vast Atlantic Ocean current system that regulates Earth’s climate by circulating water around the globe. New studies suggest both ‘systems’ are vulnerable to tipping points that could turn them from net regulators of Earth’s climate systems into contributors to dysregulation. Don’t worry too much about doom & gloom headlines forecasting any tipping points soon, but it’s worth watching the evolving science here. Link. Link.

• The European farmer protests we’ve been tracking and commented on last weekend have metastasized to India, where farmers are aggitating for additional government support. Climate change and its impacts on crop resilience should be read as undercurrents of this global unrest. Link.

• U.S.-based solar installer Sunworks (previously publicly traded on the NASDAQ) and its three subsidiaries ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy. Link.


Larger funding rounds

⛏️ Lilac Solutions, based out of Oakland, raised $145M to build a pilot project for its ion-exchange lithium extraction technology with brine from Great Salt Lake in Utah. Lowercarbon Capital, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, T. Rowe Price, and others invested. More here. (U.S, Industry)

🔎 Kairos Aerospace, based out of Sunnyvale, CA, raised $52M in an initial close of Series D funding to expand its high-frequency aerial methane leak detection technologies and services globally. Kairos uses aircraft equipped with gas-detecting spectrometers to monitor oil and gas-producing regions. BlackRock led. More here. (U.S., Energy)

Medium-sized funding rounds.

🔋 Lohum Cleantech, based out of Noida, India, raised $23M in Series B1 funding for its battery recycling and repurposing business. Baring Private Equity Partners led. More here. (India, Industry / Materials)

🌱 Hippo Harvest, based out of San Francisco, raised $21M in Series B funding for its indoor agriculture business. Standard Investments led. More here. (U.S., Food & Agriculture)

🤖 Daedalus, based out of Karlsruhe, Germany, raised $21M in Series A funding to make autonomous factories to make precision parts. NGP Capital led. More here. (Germany, Industry) 

♨️ Sage Geosystems, based out of Houston, raised $17M in a first close of Series A funding to make geothermal energy and geothermal energy storage systems. Chesapeake Energy led. More here. (U.S., Energy)

🪰 FreezeM, based out of Nahshonim, Israel, raised $14.2M in Series A funding for its ‘breeding-as-a-service’ insect protein technologies focused on black soldier flies. The European Innovation Council Fund led. More here. (Israel, Food & Agriculture)

🏍️ Roam, based out of Nairobi, Kenya, raised $24M in Series A funding ($14M in equity and $10M in debt) to make electric motorcycles, utility vehicles, buses, and energy storage systems. Equator led. More here. (Kenya, Transportation)

📊 Fever, based out of Stockholm, raised ~$10.7M in seed funding to make an API-based platform designed to “aggregate, orchestrate, and optimize distributed energy resources” into VPPs. General Catalyst led. More here. (Sweden, Energy)

Camus Energy, based out of San Francisco, raised $10M in Series A funding to help utilities integrate renewable energy generation with its ‘grid orchestration’ platform. Congruent Ventures and Wave Capital co-led. More here. (U.S., Energy)

🔁 Rimere, based out of Newport Beach, CA, raised $10M from Clean Energy Fuels for its plasma-based technologies that convert natural gas into hydrogen and graphene. More here. (U.S., Industry)

Smaller funding rounds

🌬️ Aegir Insights, based out of Copenhagen, Denmark, raised ~$9.1M in Series A funding for its offshore wind software business. Seaya Andromeda led. More here. (Denmark, Energy)

🌊 Banyu Carbon, based out of Seattle, raised $6.5M in seed funding for its sunlight-driven process that strips carbon dioxide from seawater. ReGen Ventures led. More here. (U.S., Carbon Removal)

👷 Arch, based out of San Francisco, raised $6.2M in seed funding for its data intelligence platform for HVAC contractors. Gigascale Capital, Coatue, ReGen Ventures, and others invested. More here. (U.S., Built Environment)

🧱 MeduSoil, based out of Lausanne, Switzerland, raised ~$5.9M in post-seed funding for its sustainable construction materials manufacturing business. More here. (Switzerland, Materials)

💦 Celadyne, based out of Chicago, raised $4.5M in seed funding to develop fuel cell technologies. Maniv and Dynamo Ventures led. More here. (U.S., Industry) 

♻️ Getmobil, based out of Sisil, Turkey, raised $4M in seed funding for its refurbished and recycled electronics marketplace. Dutch Founder Fund led. More here. (Turkey, Industry)

🖥️ Simplyblock, based out of Berlin, raised ~$2.7M in seed funding for its cloud-storage products designed to make data centers more efficient. 42CAP led. More here. (Germany, Industry)

🏗️ Pathways, based out of New York, raised $2.5M in pre-seed funding to help companies track emissions associated with construction materials. Pi Labs and Zacua Ventures co-led. More here. (U.S., Industry)

Illumine Industries, based out of Chennai, India, raised ~$2M in Series A funding for its sustainable power and construction system engineering company. Anicut Capital led. More here. (India, Energy / Built Environment)

🧊 Evercloak, based out of Waterloo, Canada, raised $2M in seed funding for its membrane-based HVAC technology that reduces the amount of electricity needed to dehumidify air. Bioindustrial Innovation Canada led. More here. (Canada, Built Environment)

CTC Global, based out of Irvine, CA, raised an undisclosed amount of equity financing from Endeavour Capital and Greenbelt Capital Partners to make conductor cores for high-voltage transmission cables. More here. (U.S., Energy)

Other funding rounds

🔋 Automotive Cells Company, based out of Paris, raised ~$4.7B in debt financing to build three lithium-ion battery cell gigafactories in France, Germany, and Italy. More here. (France, Industry)

🔋 Arevon Energy, based out of Scottsdale, AZ, raised $350M across equity, debt, and tax credit transfers from Blackstone Credit & Insurance for its renewable energy business. Arevon Energy plans to build an 800 MWh energy storage project in Grand Torrance, CA. More here. (U.S., Energy)

🌞 SunPower, based out of Richmond, CA, raised $175M in debt financing and $25M in revolving debt capacity as it seeks to navigate operational challenges and turn around its business. More here. (U.S., Energy)

✈️ Velocys, based out of Oxford, U.K., raised $40M from Carbon Direct Capital, Lightrock, GenZero, and Kibo Investments to make sustainable aviation fuels in a take private deal that follows in the wake of some serious ~headwinds~ for the business. More here. (U.K., Transportation)

🔋 Electra Battery Materials, based out of Toronto, raised ~$3.7M in grant funding from the Government of Canada to build a cobalt sulfate refinery in Ontario to supply materials for batteries. More here. (Canada, Industry)

💸 Catalyst Fund, based out of Nairobi, invested $1.8M in nine early-stage climate companies across Africa that are working on challenges ranging from solar finance to soil testing. More here

New funds

💵 Franklin Templeton, based out of San Mateo, CA, plans to launch a new climate impact fund to make venture and private equity investments. More here (paywall). (U.S., Funds)

💰 WovenEarth Ventures, based out of Palo Alto, raised $152M for its first fund. It will invest in other climate tech funds in a fund-of-funds model. More here. (U.S., Funds)


Here's the latest from the Keep Cool Podcast: ‘Cyclical’ plastic recycling for a more circular economy with MacroCycle Technologies. The MacroCycle team taught me a lot about a needed paradigm shift from mechanical to chemical recycling for plastics, why it matters, and how their team is gearing up to bring a first-of-a-kind plastic recycling facility to market. 

In addition, we covered:

  • How ‘traditional’ mechanical recycling & chemical recycling differ

  • MacroCycle’s plans to finance and build their first commercial plant

  • What else it takes to scale an early-stage climate tech startup

Take a listen if it calls to you!


– Nick