Written By: Jagriti Shahi, Business Analyst @Global Launch Base
As heat waves are making headlines in the summer of 2022 in Europe. The UK and Europe witnessed the highest temperatures ever experienced in the regions. The deadly heat wave had broken temperature records across Europe. The hot summer weather broke through another peak, with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius recorded in some parts of the UK. Driven by the cause to protect their precious planet, there were many entrepreneurs and investors who were making plans to help address this at the same time.
No doubt, the high temperatures resulted from a combination of global and local factors. On a global scale, climate change has pushed up temperatures. This is generally clear all over the world. However, the record-breaking temperatures being experienced in Europe cannot entirely be attributed to climate change. These kinds of previously unheard-of high temperatures are typically the result of peculiar confluences of regional warming processes, which heighten the already high baselines brought on by climate change. In this case, a low-pressure system over the European region was found to attract hot air from northern Africa. It is also stated that the Arctic Ocean's unusual warming is a factor.
The Rise of the Climate Tech Industry
Climate-tech startups are engaged in minimizing the effects of climate change, decarbonizing the global economy, and developing new lucrative business models. Several companies that fall under the category of mitigation production are working on the alternative clean industry, renewable energy, engineered-carbon capture, and naturally based carbon removal. While businesses that specialize in adaptation, work on issues like agricultural protection, water recycling, climate insurance, or environmental protection.
Climate Tech Startups' Investment in Europe
Startups in the climate technology sector had a good start to the year and may see continued interest as the current energy crisis encourages investment in green technologies.
Figure 1 shows that during this climate change France raised 881 million in the first quarter, whereas Germany raised the investment by 441 million and Denmark at the lowest with 73 million.
Startups are proposing alternatives to the problem. Increased energy efficiency will reduce the need for cooling in buildings altogether. The biochar-based concrete admixes being developed by Berlin-based startup EcoLocked even claim that they will do so while sequestering carbon. The method used by EcoLocked keeps carbon that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere in concrete. Additionally, the carbon adds density to the concrete, boosting insulation and lowering the energy needed to heat or cool structures made of the material.
Heat pumps are also a solution that has gained increasing investment and attention as a lower-carbon way to heat and cool homes. Although the technology is now available, there are still substantial obstacles to installing more of them.
Emerging technologies that will be vital for fighting climate change
AI-Based Air Conditioner: Artificial intelligence (AI) can regulate air-conditioning to keep city dwellers cool, comfortable, and content throughout the next blaze. With extreme temperatures becoming increasingly commonplace, heating and cooling services are surging in demand. That includes HVAC experts in areas with typically temperate climatic conditions.
For example, Düsseldorf-based prop-tech startup Dabbel is using AI to drive energy efficiency savings in commercial buildings.
Digital Twins: Digital twins could also help us to fight heat waves by analyzing the effects of increased temperatures on housing, wireless networks antennas, solar panels, and public transport. Digital twins are already being used by the power industry to help forecast and calculate the risk of wildfires, enabling the industry to prevent them from becoming roaring blazes.
For example, Destination Earth – The new digital twin of the Earth will help tackle climate change and protect nature
Modular floating wind: A floating wind turbine foundation with both strong technical and commercial capabilities. It is designed using a modular method for serial production in the current global supply chain, enabling quick scale-up and low cost for the next generation of wind turbines.
For example, The floating windcatcher released by Norwegian startup Wind Catching Systems (WCS) stands 324m tall and looks like the above schematic.
Space technology: Space technologies have led to several inventions that benefit the environment and save energy. Vehicle carbon dioxide emissions are being decreased by satellite-based systems, wind turbine efficiency is increasing according to remote sensing technologies, and solar cell output is increasing thanks to data from weather satellites.
For example, Aistech Space generates affordable, recurrent, high-resolution thermal imagery of the planet to provide a new perspective of Earth’s changing resources.
Carbon capture: The most significant greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2), concentrations of which have increased by almost 50% since the industrial revolution began. Carbon collection, utilization, and storage technologies are among the innovations being employed to lower CO2 emissions - with the Net Zero Teesside (NZT) project being an excellent example.
Blockchain Implementation: The implementation of blockchain technology in the battle against climate change should serve as a positive example for those skeptical of its merits. As an increasingly green-focused organization, the EU is taking active steps to incorporate blockchain technology into its climate change strategy in several ways. In collaboration with other international entities such as the UN and the World Bank, the EU is taking necessary measures to encourage businesses and national governments to follow in their footsteps.
For example, Carbon Footprint uses blockchain technology to provide full transparency on the carbon offset projects
Biotechnology: Agriculture faces serious threats from climate change. Agricultural disruptions result in issues with the food supply, which pose a serious danger to geopolitical stability. As a result, biotech companies will play a crucial role in the struggle to create innovative methods for agricultural systems all over the world. Crop science will be a major focus of these advancements, but processing and enrichment will also be important.
For example, Mushlabs biotech startup developing the next generation of sustainable alternative proteins using fermentation and fungus.
Smart Grid: It is a big term that refers to some different technologies, but the area smart grids in particular that are worth investing in to help during heatwaves are microgrids and distributed power generators. The term microgrid refers to a variety of technologies that can provide electricity at or near the point of energy consumption. Each microgrid would only serve a small local system, such as ones powering campuses or municipalities.
For example, GRIDVISE Optimizes Microgrids that are Under Design, at Project Stage, or in Operation.
Today, we have a pressing need to reach net zero emissions and this objective needs to be taken incredibly seriously by companies if we want to avoid another heatwave and halt climate change.
Technologies over technologies are being built today to save the planet. Climate-tech companies have been growing rigorously and the interest of investors has been captured with technologies that not only get them profits but also claim to change the world, eventually. While we’re at it, the climate is still changing rapidly, and surprisingly not enough is being done about the situation. We’re so engrossed in capitalizing on this calamitous situation, that solving the real problem has taken a backseat. If we’re to save ourselves, we need to focus on climate. As investors, we need to focus on businesses that work on-ground to deal with climate change and whose core proposition is climate, rather than climate tech.
We are observing investors firmly supporting an increasing number of climate-tech startups as heat waves take over and discussions about climate change begin to pick up steam once more.
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