This year’s heat waves across Europe have mercilessly reminded us that the Earth is becoming a much warmer place than our ancestors would remember it. We are long past the pre-industrial temperature levels: since the beginning of the XX century, the temperatures have gone up about 1.1°C – just a little bit short of the critical figures that would make our planet literally unlivable in the near future.
In 2015, 193 countries signed the well-known
Seven years later, these goals remain a miraculous milestone that seems almost impossible to achieve. Last year’s CO2 emissions hit the
While the governments struggle to align the national climate plans with the net-zero agenda, it’s the world of tech that might give us hope for a better future. Innovators from across the world are continuously bringing in new ideas for making our activities more sustainable and greener. Luckily for them, more and more investors are acknowledging the importance of these ideas and backing them financially. In 2021, Climate Tech projects have secured
While some of this funding has gone to the companies that have already been in the sector for a while, it is always inspiring to see new players securing considerable rounds in the first couple of years of existence. Climate Tech projects often require quite a few years of research, testing, and legislation to finally demonstrate a feasible proof of concept. However, some founders manage to overcome these barriers in a remarkably short amount of time.
Let’s take a look at some of the most promising Climate Tech startups under three years old that have really managed to impress the public (and especially investors) with their innovations: hopefully, these companies will make our perspectives look brighter in the near future.
Founding year: 2021
Funding to date: $217.5M
Having that 1.5°C temperature limit goal embedded in its name, this German startup claims to transform 1.5 million buildings across Europe with carbon-neutral technology. Their solar panels, heat pumps, energy storage systems, and intelligent charging stations are expected to make a net-zero lifestyle more accessible to everyone, thus significantly reducing our individual carbon imprint.
The company was co-founded by an ex-Tesla country director Philipp Schröder, which might be one of the reasons for its successful funding round despite fierce competition in the sector.
Founding year: 2019
Funding to date: $329M
No matter how much we advocate for replacing old-fashioned cars with their electric analogs or even bicycles, none of that solves the problem of logistical deliveries. Designing electric trucks for freight distribution within the cities (at least to start with!) is the challenge this Swedish startup has promised to solve.
Their first 16-tonne commercial vehicle Volta Zero was launched in September 2020, featuring electric 160-200 kWh batteries sufficient for a 200km drive. More trucks with a wider size range (7.5-, 12- and 18-tonne) are expected to be manufactured and largely distributed by 2023.
Founding year: 2020
Funding to date: $120M
The growing number of electric vehicles is inevitably generating a dire need for more electric batteries. That’s the problem this Grenoble-based startup is determined to solve by amplifying low-carbon battery cell production.
Backed by EIT InnoEnergy, Schneider Electric, and the IDEC Group, the company is soon due to start building its first Gigafactory in Dunkirk, France with an aim to deliver its first batch of batteries by 2025. Verkor is currently focused on manufacturing two types of battery cells for electric vehicles and large‑scale stationary storage markets.
Founding year: 2019
Funding to date: $433.5M
Safer nuclear energy – is it even possible? That’s something we will find out very soon, as this British startup has just closed a €300M round for building its first sites in the UK and France. The company will use the capital to manufacture sustainable reactors and safe nuclear fuel – including the so-called MOX, a mix of plutonium and uranium dumped from old-fashioned nuclear plants.
Should Newcleo deliver its promises, much of the depleted nuclear waste will no longer be polluting the environmental sites? Instead, it will be safely recycled for producing clean energy that will help us shift further away from fossil fuels.
Founding year: 2019
Funding to date: $100.3M
While some projects focus on reducing the current amount of CO2 emissions, others think backward: how do we take out what’s already been released into the atmosphere? This MIT-originated startup may have an answer to this question. Verdox seems to propose one of the most viable technologies to capture carbon dioxide from the air. Unlike other companies addressing carbon removal challenges, Verdox is putting forward a cost-effective, scalable method based on an electrochemical approach that requires significantly less energy for functioning.
Also published here.