We have been investing in climate-related startups as angels for 5+ years. You can see a small selection of our investments below. They illustrate the type of companies in which the Zero Carbon Fund invests.
Investment: H2 2019, Seed
Technology: Gravitricity’s system suspends heavy weights down deep shafts using winches and cables, and raises and lowers them to store and release gravitational potential energy. The system has a long design life, rapid response time, high efficiency and levelised costs of storage well below lithium ion batteries.
Value: As a greater proportion of the grid’s electricity comes from intermittent sources , we have a need for grid-scale energy storage. Gravitricity’s system is competitive with the current dominant solution, pumped hydropower, on cost and performance, but can be located more flexibly. With its rapid response time, it is particularly suitable for frequency regulation applications.
Investment: H1 2019, Seed
Technology: Building a platform for rapid domestication of novel bacteria strains, genetically modifying them to perform useful tasks more efficiently, for example – creating biodegradable plastic feedstocks from organic waste, making jet fuel from wastewater, making fertiliser using the nitrogen in the air.
Value: Microbiological chemistries are already deployed broadly in industry. MicroByre can improve the economics and reduce GHG emissions by better understanding what is producing the bacteria’s behaviour and optimising it to be more efficient.
Investment: H2 2018, Seed
Technology: Room air conditioner and heat pump that is twice as efficient and more accessible, that uses refrigerants with massively lower global warming potential.
Value: Space heating and cooling is responsible for 10% of total US primary energy use, and releases refrigerants with high global warming potential. As emerging markets achieve greater income levels, emissions will accelerate. Refrigerant management was chosen as the #1 solution by the Drawdown team.
Investment: H2 2017, Pre-Seed
Technology: Lilac has developed a new ion exchange technology for lithium extraction which cuts capital and operating costs, accelerates project startup, boosts lithium recovery, and unlocks new resources.
Value: Increasing the supply of battery grade lithium available at a reasonable price will be required to meet the forecasted EV demand levels.