October 27, 2022
Photo: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Happy Thursday, Protopals. (We’re still workshopping it.) It’s a lovely day for a newsletter, isn’t it? Today, we’re exploring the yawning climate tech chasm the world will need to bridge to limit heating to 1.5 degrees Celsius. But it’s not all bad news. We’re also looking at how the electric school bus is coming into its prime. Hop aboard!
The world is gathering in Egypt next month for the United Nations’ annual climate summit. And negotiators will have their work cut out for them, especially when it comes to figuring out how to deploy key climate technology.
Progress is being made, but nowhere near fast enough. The World Resources Institute’s Systems Change Lab broke down the climate action gap sector by sector in a new report published Wednesday. Among the biggest laggards are sectors that the tech industry — and policymakers — are heavily invested in.
Sure, it seems grim. But there are ways to get these industries on track. Getting a strategic alignment of policy action and private investment is a tall task. But then, the world’s future is at stake.
Climate talks are likely to focus heavily on rich countries paying for climate damage in poor countries. But negotiators and companies attending will also have to be busy on the sidelines figuring out how to get more money and policy lined up to support these nascent but needed technologies.
— Michelle Ma
A lot needs to change between now and 2030.
Image: World Resource Institute
Cars and trucks get all the electric love. But electrifying the humble school bus as well could provide myriad benefits, from clean air to grid resilience. The Biden administration just devoted $1 billion to turbocharging school districts’ efforts to electrify their fleets. Now, it’s on the administration and states to get the incentive structure right so the e-bus industry innovates and brings costs down.
Clean buses are coming up in the rearview.Fast. On Wednesday, the administration rolled out a new federal program to fund clean school buses in what could be an inflection point for their adoption.
Rapidly electrifying school buses will be a delicate balancing act. Getting the country’s remaining half-million school buses cleaned up will require carefully designed incentives that give the industry a boost while ensuring it will be able to stand on its own.
Clean buses aren’t just good for the climate. Electrification would come with the added benefit of reducing air pollution from dirty diesel buses, too.
The world is rapidly changing; the scales are imbalanced, and many are feeling the effects. SLB is committed to helping deliver the world’s greatest balancing act—enabling secure, accessible, sustainable energy to meet growing demand.
Chinese lithium-ion battery maker Hithium raised a $278 million series B round led by ABC International.
Green steelmaker H2 Green Steel announced $70 million in new investments to close its series B round at $260 million. The funds will go towards developing the company's plant in northern Sweden.
Indian electric scooter company Ather Energy raised a $50 million series E, led by Caladium investment.
U.K.-based Orbex Space raised $45.8 million in a series C round led by the Scottish National Investment Bank. The company is developing a low-carbon small launch vehicle.
AM Batteries scored a $25 million series A raise led by Anzu Partners.
In yet more battery news, Ionblox (previously known as Zenlabs Energy) just announced a $24 million series B investment to scale its battery business.
AgroSphere, which develops environmentally friendly crop health products, raised $22 million in series B funding, co-led by Lewis & Clark AgriFood and Ospraie Ag Science.
Spanish startup Heura just announced a roughly $20 million bridging funding round ahead of its series B. The funding will go toward helping the alternative meat company scale in more European markets.
Agtech startup Nitricity announced a $20 million series A, co-led by Khosla Ventures and Fine Structure Ventures.
Syso Technologies, which manages renewable energy and storage project operations for companies, raised a $10 million series A round, led by Lacuna Sustainable Investments.
Saudi Arabia is getting into carbon offsets. The kingdom offered 1 million tons of credits that adhere to the oft-criticized standards created by the aviation industry. What could possibly go wrong?
The EU and the U.S. are trying to play nice about EVs. The IRA’s tax credit requirements for North American-made battery components ticked off the EU. The bloc and the U.S. are hoping a task force can somehow solve the problem.
LG ♥️ USA. The electric vehicle battery giant is upping its 2022 sales outlook, and its CFO said its growth plans hinge upon battery demand in the U.S.
Georgia Power may have made a $1.9 billion error in its favor.The solar industry claims that since 2011, the utility has made a “massive over-collection of revenue” rather than kicking money back to customers.
OK, it’s not tech,but if you needed another reason for climate action, “avoid the rise of a brain-eating amoeba” is a pretty good one.
Our planet needs balance to thrive; for the climate, for people, and for nature. Together, we will pave the way to a balanced planet through better practices, innovative technology, and the commitment to help others on their journey across the globe.
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