CTC #52 - Oneka takes on water scarcity
Plus- Canada catches heat at UN Summit, Partage Club opens funding round for community sharing platform, and Indigenous communities invest in nuclear.
Welcome to another issue of Climate Tech Canada and the first official week of fall. Depending on where you live, the fall colours might start looking a little different due to climate change - the leaves are changing later in some areas and others have brighter colours.
This week in Canadian climate tech:
Oneka Technologies closed its Series A to clean up desalination
Canada pledges greater ambition at UN Climate Summit
Partage Club kicks off fundraise to expand community sharing platform
Let’s get into it!
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🌊 In focus: sustainable freshwater
Oneka Technologies, based in Sherbrooke, QC, is on a mission to make the oceans a sustainable, accessible and affordable source of freshwater. The company just closed a $12.5M Series A round for its wave-powered desalination technology backed by Horizon Capital Holdings, AQC Capital, Propulia Capital and family offices.
Desalination removes salts and minerals from seawater to make it suitable for human consumption or agriculture. It’s a growing industry, as water tables are increasingly stressed by drought, population growth and industrial water use.
Traditional desalination methods typically use fossil fuels in an energy-intensive process, making climate change even worse. There are also salts and minerals leftover that are typically reintroduced to the water supply in high concentrations, putting marine life at risk.
Oneka is tackling these problems by harnessing wave energy. Modular buoys are deployed in the ocean, anchored to the ocean floor. The motion of the waves powers the desalination equipment, and drawing the water through membranes to extract the salts. The brine that’s produced as a by-product is just 30% saltier than the surrounding seawater, and is released across the fleet of buoys instead of in a concentrated flow.
The company offers their water desalination technology at several different scales and also provides a turnkey “water as a service” offering. Target markets include emergency relief, tourism and resorts, and municipalities. Oneka plans to use the fresh round of funding (and $20M in grants secured earlier this year) to complete product development, deliver on commercial projects, and grow the team as it expands into utility and industrial markets.
💧 Oneka (Sherbrooke, QC) closed a $12.5M Series A round for its wave-powered desalination technology. Oneka uses wave energy to provide freshwater with less emissions than traditional fossil-fuel based solutions. Oneka will use the funding to complete product development and deliver on commercial projects.
🤝 Partage Club (Montreal, QC) closed $700K in pre-seed funding for its community sharing app. Partage provides communities with a platform to share items for a fixed monthly fee. The platform aims to reduce overconsumption, build community, and ease financial burdens. Partage Club is opening a new funding round to integrate insurance and expand the team.
🔋 Nano One Materials (Burnaby, BC) landed a $16.9M strategic investment from Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining. Sumitomo is a vertically integrated miner and producer of cathode materials, while Nano One has developed a low-carbon, low-cost production method for cathode materials.
⚛ Moltex Energy and ARC Clean Energy (Saint John, NB) received a $2M and $1M investment respectively from the North Shore Mi'kmaq Council and its seven First Nation member communities for their Small Modular Reactor technologies.
🔌 Hypercharge (Vancouver, BC) received $229K through Natural Resource Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program to deliver 48 Level 2 Hypercharge charging stations across Southern Ontario.
🔌 FLO (Quebec, QC) secured a $60M revolving credit facility from the National Bank of Canada to continue its aggressive growth and expansion into the US.
💸 Power Sustainable (Montreal, QC) landed an $806M capital commitment for it’s Power Sustainable Infrastructure Credit fund. The fund focuses on sustainable infrastructure across energy, cities, and resource efficiency.
SWTCH Energy’s software will power Brooklyn-based itselectric’s curbside charging network.
Zinc8 announced a $5M private placement to secure additional runway after cutting all non-essential staff earlier this month.
Carbon capture startup Deep Sky is partnering with UK-based Mission Zero on a first-of-its-kind direct air capture demonstration plant.
Toronto’s Carbon Streaming landed a carbon credit deal with Microsoft, providing 10,000 tonnes of credit from biochar.
☕️ Here & there
This Calgary startup is building a new brain for electric vehicles
The people to watch in Canadian ESG [Paywall]
Threading the needle: inside the World Petroleum Congress
Try it: this calculator shows how much you could save with a heatpump in Canada
🗞️ In the news
🇺🇳 Climate ambition: Canada had a rocky showing at the UN’s Climate Ambition Summit last week, as Trudeau tried to get buy-in on carbon pricing while facing criticism for being one of the largest expanders of fossil fuels. During the summit, the PM focused on rallying nations behind carbon pricing, and pledged to enact a cap on oil & gas emissions and introduce more ambitious rules for methane.
🇯🇵 A new partnership on EVs: Canada and Japan will collaborate on EV supply chains, with Japan reportedly sharing scientific and technical help while Canada offers subsidies for Japanese investments in Canada. Expect to see more investments like the Volkswagen and Stellantis plants in the years ahead.
📝 Carbon contracts fall short: The federal government’s promised carbon contracts for difference (CCfDs) are falling short, according to people involved in the process. CCfDs guarantee a minimum value for emissions-reduction credits, reducing risk from future changes in carbon markets. The feds have suggested a limited version through the Canada Growth Fund, but industry is calling for a more robust program.
Elsewhere on the policy front:
Canada and allies fund research to explore renewable grids and clean hydrogen
Atlantic MPs are at odds over a bill to kickstart an offshore wind industry
The U.S. and Canada are on track to spend $12 trillion on renewables and grids by 2050, while the cost of energy will drop from 4% of GDP to just 2.5%.
Ontario gets a new, ultra-low overnight hydro rate targeting EV charging
Premier Ford reversed his decision to open up the Greenbelt after ethics probes
Sweden’s Northvolt is the latest to pick Quebec for new a EV battery factory
Rogers is building out wildfire fighting infrastructure in B.C.
B.C.’s construction industry calls for stronger municipal carbon standards
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🌎 The international aisle
A quick look at what’s going on globally in climate tech
🗺️ The path to limiting warming to 1.5C has narrowed, but growth in clean tech like solar and EVs are keeping us in the game according to the IEA’s updated Net Zero Roadmap.
😰 The UK backed way down on its climate commitments, putting net-zero targets at risk. The move delays a ban on gas vehicles to 2035 and will scrap requirements for landlords to upgrade energy efficiency.
🏋🏻♀️ Tech heavyweights are putting their influence to work, as Microsoft and others form the Sustainable Steel Buyers Platform to catalyze demand for low-carbon steel and Apple brings over 300 suppliers onto its clean energy program.
🧱 LEGO abandoned plans to make bricks from recycled bottles after finding the lifetime emissions would actually be higher than oil-based plastics
🤑 Climate venture funds announced more than $2B in new capital last week, including $550M for two new funds at Lowercarbon and a new $1B climate fund backed by Bill Clinton. HSBC also earmarked $1B to finance climate startups.
📣 What’s going on
📅 Carbon Management: Clearing the Air for a Greener Tomorrow: Hosted by Vancouver Hardware Meetup, this event is focused on the hardware supporting carbon sequestration. Sept 28th in Vancouver.
📅 COAST Talks: Accessing Funding for Startups: Join this online event to learn more about the funding landscape with a focus on oceantech. Exploring the different levels and options of funding available and how startups can best position themselves. Sept 28th online.
💡 National Adaptation Strategy & Hydrologic Prediction and Innovation: The federal government is seeking applications for projects focused on flood mapping, hydrologic prediction, and climate adaptation to reduce the risk of natural disasters. Applications close Oct 31st.
Featured postings from some of Canada’s most innovative companies, including ChargeLab, Nexii Building Solutions, CarbiCrete and more!
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That’s all for this week - I hope you find some time to get outside and enjoy the fall weather. And if you’re enjoying the newsletter, share it with a friend or coworker!