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SMRs spin up; a carbon removal pioneer folds

Plus lots more across climate tech and energy

Hi there,

Happy Father’s Day to all! Appreciate your patience on the late delivery. I got roped into some last minute dog daycare duty. Here’s the news from the week.

In today’s email:

  • One story in a chart and a sentence

  • Climate tech and energy headlines from the week

  • Climate tech fundraising announcements

THIS WEEK IN CLIMATE TECH & ENERGY

One story in a sentence (and a chart)

• Here’s some good news: global electrification is well underway, as electricity has surpassed all fossil fuels individually in terms of how much useful energy it generates (calculated as total energy sans losses during conversion. Link.

15 headlines

The good

• Geothermal energy startup Fervo Energy announced it will develop a 115 MW geothermal power plant for NV Energy (a Nevada utility) and sell electricity to Google via a PPA. Link. Link.

• In the face of massive new energy demand, NextEra is considering restarting the retired 600 MW Duane Arnold nuclear power plant in Iowa. Elsewhere, the only other currently retired nuclear power plant in the U.S. that could be restarted soon is Palisades in Michigan. Link.

• NextEra also recently announced a joint development agreement with Entergy to develop 4.5 GW more solar and energy storage projects in the coming years. Link.

• Radiant Industries, a small modular reactor startup, announced this week it received approval from the DOE for the Safety Design Strategy of its microreactor. While that’s the first approval of many the company will need before it can energize a reactor, it’s a strong signal. Link

• Meanwhile, Terrapower, another small modular reactor startup backed by Bill Gates, broke ground today on its first reactor in Kemmerer, Wyoming. With no larger reactors under construction in the U.S. currently, Terrapower’s could be the next new nuclear reactor in the U.S., and the first of the much-hyped but as-of-yet unproven small modular reactor category. Link. Link.

• A new series of bills with bipartisan support in Congress could set a target for the U.S. as a whole to reduce methane emissions in agriculture by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030. Link.

• The EPA and the Biden Administration announced a new “National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics” last week, with a stated goal of reducing food loss and waste in the U.S. by 50% by 2030 from current levels. The EPA also released new fuel emission standards to improve fuel efficiency in the U.S.; the auto and ethanol industries are predictably preparing to litigate against it. Link. Link.

• Solugen received a $213.6M conditional loan commitment from the DOE’s Loan Programs Office to build a biomanufacturing facility in Minnesota to make less emissions-intensive chemicals. Link.

• Quadrature Climate Foundation, a nonprofit focused on climate tech research, announced it will provide $40M for research into solar radiation management over the next three years. The Environmental Defense Fund also noted it would fund similar efforts. Link. Link.

The in-betweens

• The EU placed new tariffs ranging from 17 to 38% on Chinese EVs, in addition to an existing 10% import tariff. Link.

• The El Niño weather pattern, which likely accelerated a number of extreme weather events and global warming records in recent years, is waning. As it gives way to La Niña, how that change will impact weather and climate systems is often only answerable on a case-by-case basis. Link.

• Some record heat temperatures reported out of New Delhi last week were inflated due to sensor errors. Don’t always believe everything you read right away (including in here). This week did see heat records hit Mexico, where a temperature of 51.9°C was recorded. Link. Link.

The bad

• RunningTide, a carbon removal business that focused on multiple carbon removal pathways, though all were ocean-based, folded on Friday. The company had raised more than $60M in venture capital funding and was an early brand name in the carbon removal world. Link.

• SciFi Foods, a cultivated meat startup that had raised $40M, went out of business. Aleph Farms, another cultivated meat company, also announced it will lay off 30% of its staff. Link. Link.

• The success of far-right parties in European elections last week threatens the ambition of future climate policy out of the bloc. Link.

CURATED DEALS

Larger funding rounds

🔌 Flo, based out of Quebec, raised $136M in Series E funding to expand its EV charging network. Export Development Canada led. More here. (Canada, Transportation)

🔋 Battery Smart, based out of Gurugram, India, raised $65M in Series B funding to build a battery-swapping network for electric two and three-wheelers. LeapFrog Investments led. More here. (India, Transportation)

Medium-sized funding rounds

🔋 Echion Technologies, based out of Cambridge, U.K., raised $35M in Series B funding to use niobium-based anodes in lithium-ion batteries for faster charging and better cycle life. Volta Energy led. More here. (U.K., Energy / Transportation)

📊 Tenderd, based out of Copenhagen, Denmark, raised $30M in Series A funding for its analytics platform for heavy equipment and transportation targeted at increasing efficiency and sustainability. A.P. Moller Holding led. More here. (Denmark, Transportation / Industry)

🌞 Swift Solar, based out of San Carlos, CA, raised $27M in Series A funding to make solar panels with perovskite technology. Eni Next and Fontinalis Partners led. More here. (U.S., Energy)

🦍 Gorilla, based out of Antwerp, Belgium, raised ~$24.7M in Series B funding for its cloud-based platform that helps energy providers process energy data. Headline led. More here. (Belgium, Data Applications)

🧊 Parity, based out of Toronto, raised $19M in Series B funding to use both hardware and software to optimize building HVAC systems and usage. Idealist Capital led. More here. (Canada, Built Environment)

🔎 XONA, based out of Annapolis, MD, raised $18M in equity funding to offer a remote access platform for critical infrastructure companies across energy and manufacturing. Energy Impact Partners led. More here. (U.S., Infrastructure)

ElectronX, based out of Chicago, raised $15M in seed funding to build an hourly clean electricity futures exchange. More here.

🔋 Unigrid, based out of San Diego, raised $12M in Series A funding to make sodium-ion batteries. Transition VC and Ritz Venture Capital led. More here. (U.S., Energy / Transportation)

Smaller funding rounds

🧴 Microcaps, based out of Wagistrasse, Switzerland, raised ~$10.3M in Series A funding for its advanced microencapsulation technology for ethanol-free cosmetics packaging. More here. (Switzerland, Materials)

🔋 Aepnus Technology, based out of Oakland, raised $8M in seed funding to recycle and reuse battery manufacturing materials. Clean Energy Ventures led. More here. (U.S., Industry)

♨️ Rendesco, based out of London, U.K., raised ~$7.6M in equity funding to manufacture ground-source heat pumps. Clean Growth Fund led. More here. (U.K., Energy / Built Environment)

🍺 EvodioBio, based out of Copenhagen, raised ~$7.5M in equity funding to make more sustainable aromas for use in nonalcoholic beverages. EIFO and The March Group led. More here. (Denmark, Industry)

👷 Visibly, based out of London, raised $7.5M in equity funding for its training and education platform built for the infrastructure workforce. Creandum led. More here. (U.K., Industry)

🌿 Kelpi, based out of Bristol, U.K., raised ~$5.5M in equity funding round for its seaweed-based packaging for food & CPG products. More here. Blackfinch Ventures led. More here. (U.K., Materials)

🌱 Downforce Technologies, based out of London, raised $4.2M in equity funding for its soil organic carbon measurement business. Equator VC led. More here. (U.K., Carbon Removal)

🏠 Kelvin, based out of Paris, raised $5.1M in equity funding to use computer vision to make it easier to perform home energy audits. Racine² led. More here. (France, Built Environment)

☂️ Vortex-io, based out of Toulouse, France, raised ~$3.2M for its hydrological data and flood risk analytics business. Banque des Territoires and MAIF Impact led. More here. (France, Data Applications)

💦 Farmbot, based out of Australia, raised ~$3M in equity funding for its IoT platform that helps farmers monitor water and other resource use. Macdoch Ventures and others participated. More here. (Australia, Food & Agriculture)

📊 Alō Index, based out of Hartford, CT, raised $1.9M in pre-seed funding to provide ESG ratings for hotels and other sustainable travel options. Impellent Ventures led. More here (paywall). (U.S., Data Applications)

💄 Radiant Matter, based out of London, raised ~$1.5M in equity funding to make shimmer- and color-effects from cellulose for the automotive, cosmetics, textiles, and packaging industries. Sustainable Ventures and others invested. More here. (U.K., Industry)

🏗️ Dataform Lab, based out of London, raised ~$1.4M in seed funding to make software for offsite building manufacturing. Marathon Venture Capital led. More here. (U.K., Built Environment)

🏠 Haaven, based out of Amsterdam, raised $1.2M in pre-seed funding for its platform that streamlines more environmentally-friendly construction. Speedinvest led. More here. (Netherlands, Built Environment)

🍚 AgriG8, based out of Singapore, raised an undisclosed amount of money from Better Bite Ventures and The Trendlines Group for its gamified platform that incentivizes farmers to adopt practice changes that can reduce methane emissions from rice farming. More here. (Singapore, Food & Agriculture)

Other funding rounds

🌱 The Ancient Environmental Genomics Initiative for Sustainability received ~$85M in grant funding to sequence DNA fragments from global soil samples to better understand historic biodiversity. Novo Nordisk Foundation led. More here. (U.S., Biodiversity)

New funds

💰 Vsquared Ventures, based out of Munich, raised ~$229M for its second fund, from which it will invest across a variety of sectors, including the energy transition. More here. (Germany, Funds)

💰 Collab Fund, based out of New York City, raised $125M for its sixth fund. The firm is a prominent investor in climate tech companies. More here. (U.S., Funds)

💸 CurvePoint Capital, based out of Los Angeles, launched this week as a new independent investment firm “dedicated to advancing climate finance.” More here. (U.S., Funds)

C ya,

– Nick

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