Achieving net-zero by 2050 is nothing short of a momentous endeavor, and the energy sector is playing a key role in reaching it. Technology is key in achieving carbon neutrality and to no surprise, startups have a unique role to play.
To talk about innovation, startups, and technology in the carbon neutrality space, we invited four innovation leaders from some of the largest energy companies in the world to our Summer Summit. Together, they discussed how innovation and startups can help them reach their net-zero goals.
Carbon Neutrality Technology: The Challenges
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the majority of CO2 emission reductions through 2030 will come from technologies on the market today. However, by 2050, almost half the reductions will come from solutions that are currently at the prototyping phase.
Our executive panel was led by the Chief Innovation Officer of Maersk Drilling, Marika Reis. Maersk Drilling is an offshore drilling operator that has set a target of lowering the intensity of CO2 emissions to 50% by 2030 by investing in new technologies. Yet our moderator and other panelists pointed out that to reach these ambitious goals, there are areas where new carbon neutrality technologies are needed, like carbon capture, low carbon fuels, and energy storage.
Edison International, a utility holding company that provides electricity to 15 million customers through its subsidiary, Southern California Edison, is looking across carbon neutrality technologies and business models that help them to drive decarbonization within the electricity, transport, and building sectors. Drew Murphy, Senior Vice President of Strategy, said that they are looking to collaborate with startups in the grid edge space, electric transportation, customer engagement and climate resilience space.
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Dominion Energy, a Richmond, Virginia-based utility that operates in 16 states, has set net zero-goals for both their electricity and gas businesses. Mark Webb, Chief Innovation Officer of Dominion Energy, shared that besides the above-mentioned technologies, they are also looking for green hydrogen, Distributed Energy Resources (DER), data analytics, and energy efficiency startups to improve their performance, efficiency and customer experience.
However, these issues can’t be solved by just a few big game-changing startups. It will be solved by millions of small improvements and iterations, says Bradley Andrews, President at Worley, one of the largest energy services and engineering companies. “My advice to the startups, it doesn’t have to be big, you just have to find one part where you can differentiate yourself in this energy transition and that will be big enough,” said Bradley.
Based on the above-mentioned challenges, these corporations chose 15 emerging startups, from a list of 100 applicants to Plug and Play’s Energy Program (Batch 8) to explore pilot opportunities within the carbon neutrality technology space.
15 Startups in The Carbon Neutrality Technology Space
Power grid analytics, weather data, climate change, and vegetation intelligence monitoring software
Hive Power provides a Software as a Service solution for Smart Grid Analytics, which helps Energy retailers and grid operators to improve their operations, enable new revenue streams, and optimize asset management.
Sync Energy AI
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Sync Energy AI developed a no-code AI-based predictive software platform that streamlines planning and operations for electrical utilities, especially during emergencies like weather events.
Rebase Energy is a startup that created a platform that helps utilities by enabling the creation of energy AI forecasts in just minutes.
Overstory uses carbon neutrality technology as a solution that analyzes all vegetation on Earth to prevent wildfires and power outages, enabling smarter infrastructure management and safer communities.
Kuva Systems is an industrial IoT solution that continuously monitors and quantifies the intensity of methane and VOC emissions.
DynamHex offers a decarbonization enterprise software that helps cities and companies target climate action and measure results.
EV charging and EV charging infrastructure
Ev.energy provides utilities with managed EV charging services in the home. Their software platform is hardware-agnostic and connects wirelessly to a range of hardware to maximize the total controllable load for utilities.
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SineWatts has designed a Universal OBC that replaces the existing integrated onboard charger (OBC). The Universal OBC enables unified and bidirectional Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 fast charging.
Veloce Energy is another example of a startup offering advanced technology to achieve carbon neutrality. They create modular, scalable, distributed energy storage (VPort), overhead power and communications systems. They also offer intelligent project automation and site control products to enable the electrification of transportation.
Sustainability, CCUS, Green Hydrogen, Energy Storage, Fuel Cells, Waste to Heat, and New Materials
Energy Dome uses CO2 as a solution in order to solve climate change through ground-breaking long-duration energy storage. Their carbon neutrality technology is based on a thermodynamic process that uses CO2 to store electricity cost-effectively with unprecedented round trip efficiencies.
Planetary Hydrogen offers carbon-negative hydrogen production. Their patented Planetary Hydrogen Ocean Air Capture (OAC) technology uses renewable electricity to produce hydrogen via conventional electrolysis of water.
Electro-Active Technologies is focused on transforming waste into renewable products. Their carbon neutrality technology utilizes an advanced microbial and electrochemical process to efficiently use organic waste and electricity to produce renewable hydrogen.
Proof Energy commercializes Fuel Cells 2.0. Its breakthrough metal-supported Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology increases performance, reduces cost and is carbon neutral. It provides a 95% reduction in battery pack size and cost for medium and heavy-duty EVs
Ecolectro is a specialty chemicals company, using chemistry to decarbonize transportation, energy and industrial manufacturing. Its Alkaline Exchange Materials (AEMs) platform will replace perfluoro-sulfonic acid polymers (PFSAs), making electrochemical systems that make/store energy, chemicals and fuels less expensive.
Kanin Energy is a startup that helps heavy industry monetize their waste heat and decarbonize their operations.
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