CTC #31 - Carbon capture meets concrete, plant-based seafood, next-gen geothermal and more
Plus - Next-gen geothermal, the IEA calls on Canada to supply critical minerals, and hydrogen investments ramp up
Welcome to another issue of Climate Tech Canada! We’re going to kick things off on a positive note with my favourite piece of good news from the past few weeks.
In a world first, Nova Scotia-based CarbonCure permanently stored CO2 captured by Direct Air Capture in concrete! The CO2 is sequestered in the concrete as calcium carbonate and won’t return to the atmosphere even if the concrete is demolished.
This felt like a real “holy shit, we’re doing it!” moment! And even if it’s just the beginning, it’s a huge step for a challenging industry that makes up so much of the world around us. Shout out to the team at CarbonCure and Heirloom for getting us to this point 🏆.
In this week’s issue, we have more great momentum including seed funding for alternative seafood, Zinc8 and Peak Power secure the bag to expand their energy project portfolios, and geothermal company Eavor closed a $10M follow on investment (while also earning the prestige of drilling the deepest hole in New Mexico).
Elsewhere, the head of the IEA visits Ottawa, the feds launch new investments in zero-emissions vehicles, and the Net-Zero Advisory Board says there’s no path to net-zero without a cap on oil and gas emissions.
Let’s get into it!
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Funding and growth
New School Foods (Toronto, ON) closed $15.9M in seed funding to develop its whole-cut fish alternatives. New School’s plant-based seafood aims to attract consumers looking for meat alternatives that are closer to the real thing, promising plant-based salmon that “looks, cooks, tastes, and flakes like wild salmon”.
Eavor (Calgary, AB) landed a $10M follow-on investment for their geothermal technology. The investment comes after the successful completion of their Eavor-Deep project in New Mexico, which demonstrated the success of their high-temperature drilling technology 👇
Peak Power (Toronto, ON) secured $200M in project financing and development capital from Madison Energy Investments. The funding will enable Peak Power to accelerate the deployment of energy storage assets powered by their energy optimization software.
Zinc8 Energy Solutions (Vancouver, BC) received a $12M grant from Empire State Development, a New York State public benefit corporation, to set up its first US-based production facility in the state. The project will see Zinc8 develop an energy storage system using its zinc-air battery with a capacity of at least 8 hours of storage.
SVG Ventures Thrive (Calgary, AB) is raising a $75M fund for sustainable seed to Series A agri-food startups. This is the third fund for SVG Ventures Thrive, a subsidiary of Sillicon Valley-based SVG Ventures.
Evok Innovations (Vancouver, BC) secured a $13.4M investment from Alberta Enterprise Corporation in the firm’s second fund, Evok Innovation Fund II. The fund is focused on clean technologies that accelerate the world’s energy transition with a focus on carbon capture, electrification and hydrogen.
Milestones & Growth
SWTCH Energy is integrating 250 EV chargers at multi-unit properties into an active demand response energy program with a Canadian utility, a North American first.
Ontario Power Generation is teaming up with industry partners to build a small nuclear reactor at the Darlington site in Ontario.
Saltworks Technologies opened their lithium refining test centre which brings together various pilot plants to accelerate and de-risk new lithium processing projects.
Montreal’s Blaise Transit landed a bid to improve the efficiency and accessibility of transit in 23 communities across Nova Scotia with its on-demand transit platform.
Deep Earth Energy Production will build Canada’s first commercial-scale geothermal facility supported by power purchase agreements with SaskPower.
FLO launched its new “Ultra” charging systems, offering charging speeds of up to 320 kW, offering an 80% charge in 15 mins for some vehicles.
Here & there
Investment in clean energy passed the $1 Trillion mark for the first time last year, matching the global investment in fossil fuels
How digitizing the oceans can unlock climate fighting potential
Shopify’s Stacy Kauk on how to shop for carbon removal
Winnipeg’s TheoryMesh is helping consumers understand the sustainability of beef and dairy
As agtech expands, it’s raising a big question for policy-makers: Who is considered a farmer?
In the news
Friendshoring: During a visit to Ottawa, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol emphasized Canada’s role as a provider of critical materials and suggested critical minerals could be used as a weapon in the same way that Russia has used oil and gas. Birol’s comments reflect a general trend towards “friendshoring” and prioritizing energy and supply chain security.
Oil & gas cap: Canada’s Net Zero Advisory Board recommends a “rigorous but fair” cap on oil and gas emissions, stating “without an oil and gas emissions cap, Canada is unlikely to attain its 2030 emission target. See the full report & implementation plan by sector.
Climate tech budget: Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says ramping up clean technologies will be one the top priorities in the federal budget for 2023, alongside healthcare. The feds introduced some major support back in the fall, including climate tech tax incentives and the $15B Canada Growth fund.
The Codes Acceleration Fund launched with the goal of accelerating the adoption of the National Building Code and reducing emissions from buildings. Calls for proposal open March 27th.
Applications also opened for the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program, providing funding for local partners to expand Canada’s charging infrastructure.
The feds deployed $15M in funding for municipalities, multi-unit buildings, and others to install +2,300 EV chargers (2,100 in the GTA alone).
FedDev Ontario announced $5.4M in funding to Area X.O., a smart mobility R&D complex focused on autonomous vehicles, smart ag-tech and drones.
Ottawa is finally considering high speed rail for the Toronto - Quebec City corridor which would be a significant win for emissions and congestion.
The feds are investing $46.5M into deep ocean research and sustainable resources management.
Canada’s renewable energy industry is growing rapidly, with 1/4 of our solar capacity installed in 2022 alone, but still falls short of net-zero pathways.
BDC introduced a new ESG reporting tool for the Canadian venture industry, with portfolio companies expected to report their ESG metrics annually basis.
Ontario launched a new Hydrogen Innovation Fund, with $15M over three years to kickstart the integration of hydrogen into the province’s energy system. Ontario is home to automakers and industries like steel and manufacturing that are hard to electrify and may be strong candidates for hydrogen adoption.
Elsewhere on the hydrogen front, Alberta Energy is seeking input on the future of hydrogen infrastructure in the province. The expression of interests aims to gather input on what conditions need to be in place to support designing, building, and operating hydrogen fuelling stations.
Southeast College in Saskatchewan launched a new Centre of Sustainability to accelerate sustainable entrepreneurship and applied research in the province, as well as re-skilling people affected by the energy transition.
New documents show Tesla is lobbying the Ontario government on how to deploy $91M in EV charging infrastructure funding announced last year as the province looks to expand EV charging access. Tesla’s recommendations include a focus on multi-unit residential buildings, a minimum fast charging speed of 100kW to be eligible for funding, and more.
What’s going on
📢 The Minister of Environment and Climate is seeking applicants for the Sustainable Development Advisory Council. The council provides input and advice to the minister on strategy and issues related to sustainable development. Applications close Feb 22nd.
🏛️ BC Net Zero Innovation Network: A new program from Foresight Canada to create a collaborative climate tech community and catalyze climate tech innovation across the B.C.
🏛️ Cleantech Innovation Portal: A new initiative from Climate Commons at Trent University to improve access to commercial opportunities for climate tech companies, the portal offers a virtual marketplace of city-makers, innovators and investors.
💡 Quebec Climate Solutions Festival: Happening May 23-24 in Montreal, the event features competitions for climate solutions from Quebec-based research institutions and startups. There are two tracks: the Breakthrough Research Prize and the Startup Track. Applications close Feb 20th.
📅 How BC Climatetech Could Save The World: Part of Vancouver Tech Journal’s monthly talk series, this event focuses on how BC companies are creating climate solutions. Featuring speakers from VC, startup founders, and Clean Energy BC. Feb 22nd.
📅 Small Modular Reactors: Promising Climate Solution, or Niche Clean Energy Technology? Hosted by the Transition Accelerator, this panel brings together leading thinkers to explore the role of SMRs in meeting Canada’s net-zero targets. Feb 28th.
Check out the job board to see open roles at some of Canada’s most innovative companies, including Peak Power, Lion Electric, Flashfood, and more.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading, and if you’re enjoying the newsletter, forward it to a friend!