Climate change is a real threat to our planet and it’s our responsibility to fight it. There are nowadays many climate-tech startups that are taking a significant effort to fight climate change by inventing and developing products and services. The goal of these startups is to make the economy and society more sustainable, efficient, and clean. 

Difference between cleantech and climate-tech

According to Clean Energy Venture, the term cleantech is used to describe any new business model or technology that increases the performance, productivity, and/or efficiency of production while minimizing the negative impacts on the environment. The term climate-tech instead, is used to address climate change, and to describe any new business model and technology that mitigates the impacts and drivers of global greenhouse gas emissions. Both of the terms are covering many common areas, however, there is a key difference. The term climate-tech that is used to describe technologies that mitigate climate change is only covering a portion of humanity’s overall environmental effects, while cleantech is covering a much broader swath. Simply, climate-tech covers a broad set of sectors dealing with the challenge of decarbonizing the global economy, with the aim of reaching net-zero emissions before 2050, whereas cleantech refers to a wide variety of environmentally-friendly practices and technologies.

Trends

There are various clean and climate-tech trends to follow in 2021. Here are three of them explained:

Hydrogen

Green hydrogen, a zero-emission fuel, is an alternative fuel generated with clean energy. Green hydrogen is experiencing a global resurgence and it has been identified as the clean energy source that could help bring the world to net-zero emissions in the future. Green hydrogen is made using electricity to split the hydrogen molecules from oxygen molecules in water. The byproduct is not carbon dioxide, but water. According to Gregory Nemet, professor of public affairs at the University of Wisconsin’s Energy Institute, Green hydrogen is forecast to fill 15% to 20% of the world’s energy needs that will not be easily met with battery, wind or solar power.  A recent survey of 1000 industry executives concluded that hydrogen fuel cell technology will ultimately outperform battery-powered EVs.

Electric vehicle infrastructure

The year 2020 may be seen as a defining year for electric vehicles. Even during the height of the lockdown, EV sales continued to grow as certain brands were ahead of the market in offering and fulfilling online sales and no-contact deliveries. In 2020, battery electric (BEV and plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) sales saw a sharp upward trajectory, according to Automotive World. It has been predicted by Deloitte that a third of new car sales would be electric by 2030. The most important steps on this journey is a joined-up approach and continued investment in infrastructure. If 2020 was a defining year for EVS, it can be expected that 2021 needs to be a defining year for the charger.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, AI, is a technology that will be an important help in climate related problem-solving. According to Forbes, AI can accelerate the response to  climate change. Climate change is happening everywhere in the world, and AI can be a great help in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Artificial intelligence is predicted to assist organizations in industries from consumer products to retail to automotive and this way fulfill up to 45% of the Paris Agreement targets by 2030. It is estimated that AI is likely to reduce GHG emissions by 16%.

Top 10 climate-tech startups

NorthVolt
NorthVolt is a Swedish company developing and manufacturing batteries. They are specialized in lithium-ion technology for electric vehicles. NorthVolt’s mission is to build the greenest battery in the world with a minimum carbon footprint and the highest ambition for recycling to enable  the European transition to renewable energy.

Solytic
Solytic is a Berlin-based software company. Their mission is to automate top performance for solar PV as automating solar PV is a key factor for faster and more profitable energy transition. Solytic uses AI to automate processes to optimize production and cut costs throughout the entire life of assets.

Apeel Sciences
Apeel Sciences is an American company based in Goleta, California. The mission of Apeel Sciences is simple, they are working with nature to reduce food waste and create abundance for all. Apeel Sciences uses materials that exist in the peels, seeds and pulp of all fruits and vegetables to create a protective extra peel that seals moisture in and keeps oxygen out. Their products are fresh, full of nutritions and they stay delicious for a longer time. It also means that less produce goes waste throughout the supply chain and this means less waste for the planet and a more abundant future for us all.

Better Place Forests
Better Place Forest is an American company that is creating the first conservation memorial forest in the US. The mission of Better Place Forest is to inspire everyone to leave a meaningful legacy for the planet and the people they love.

Bowery Farming
Bowery Farming is a company that believes farming should give more to people and the planet than it takes. Their products are farmed locally indoors and their produce is naturally protected and always fresh. The packaging they are currently using is 100% recycled and recyclable materials.

Terramera
Terramerra is a company founded in 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. It is a global agtech leader fusing science, nature and artificial intelligence to transform how food is grown and the economics of agriculture in the next decade. They are committed to reducing the global synthetic pesticide load by 80% by 2030 by using their revolutionary Actigate™. Their goal is to protect plant and human health and ensure an earth that thrives and provides for everyone.

Mori
Mori is an anti-waste company keeping the food fresher for longer time. They are using a food protection technology to slow down the natural spoiling process from many points in the supply chain. The protection technology is a naturally derived silk protein, which creates a protective layer that slows down three key mechanisms that cause food to spoil. The protective layer extends the shelf life of the product up to 2X.

Volta charging
Volta Charging is an American company building the most utilized EV charging network in the Us. They are accelerating the electric vehicle movement by providing free charging to the electric vehicles at their station.

Treau
Treau is a company focused on clean energy. They are developing home heaters and air conditioners that are better for the environment. Their goals is to provide products that are high efficiency, low-carbon neutral refrigerants on the inside and low-profile and easy to use on the outside.

Zolar
Zolar is a German company that provides solar systems anywhere in Germany. Their solar system helps you to generate green energy at home. 

 

Author: Oona Yletyinen