⚡️ Hydrogen hubs

Plus, a new bill to speed up utility interconnections and Toyota’s plan for EVs with 900+ mile range

Good morning. This is your weekly debrief on what’s driving the clean energy transition.

In today’s email:

  • $7 billion for 7 hydrogen hubs

  • New bill to speed up utility interconnections

  • Toyota’s plan for EVs with 900+ mile range

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$7 billion for 7 hydrogen hubs

Debrief: The Biden administration aims to transform billions of dollars of federal investment into the foundation of a clean hydrogen economy. The Department of Energy (DOE) has chosen seven "clean hydrogen hubs".

Key takeaways:

  • These hubs are sets of projects that will merge significant investments in low-carbon hydrogen production with substantial investments in preparing industries to utilize that hydrogen to decrease their carbon emissions.

  • The hubs are distributed across the U.S., ranging from the Pacific Northwest and California to the Midwest, and from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast.

  • The $7 billion allocated for the hubs constitutes the majority of the $9.5 billion in hydrogen incentives sanctioned by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

  • If these hubs are successfully realized, they are anticipated to attract more than $40 billion in subsequent investment from the involved companies.

  • All seven hubs will produce hydrogen using renewable energy. However, three of them will also utilize nuclear power, and the majority will transform fossil gas into hydrogen, employing carbon-capture technology to minimize the resulting emissions.

  • The hydrogen produced will be used in various industries, including chemicals, fertilizer production, shipping, trucking, and power generation. Some of these sectors, like steelmaking and chemical manufacturing, have limited alternatives to hydrogen for reducing their carbon emissions.

Read more:

A few good links

⚡️ Clean Energy

  • A Reality Check About Solar Panel Waste and the Effects on Human Health - The concerns are pervasive, but almost completely separate from reality. (via Inside Climate News)

  • Green Mountain Power proposes energy storage for all Vermonters - The utility has proposed spending $280M to harden the grid and provide customers with storage, after spending $45 million restoring its system following major storms last winter. (via Utility Dive)

  • California governor signs bill to speed utility interconnections - The Powering Up Californians Act aims to accelerate the state's electrification efforts and is one of several clean energy bills signed recently by Gov. Gavin Newsom. (via Utility Dive)

  • Why Energy Vault went from disrupting batteries to selling them - The buzzy startup raised a record $110M back in 2019 to transform grid storage with novel long-duration tech, but now it's embracing industry favorite lithium-ion. (via Canary Media)

  • U.S. companies scramble ahead of EU climate disclosure rules - Looming compliance dates in the European Union mean American companies can no longer afford to wait and see what U.S. regulators will do. (via E&E News by POLITICO)

🚙 Mobility & Transport

  • How China Left the World Far Behind in the Battery Race - In an exclusive excerpt from his new book Climate Capitalism, Akshat Rathi explains the origin of China’s dominance in the battery market through the lens of CATL, now the world’s largest battery company. (via Bloomberg)

  • In 'major' development, GM to put battery plants under master contract with union, UAW says - In a last-minute move, General Motors has agreed to put battery plants under the UAW's master contract, union says. Also, no expansion of strike (via Detroit Free Press)

  • Teslas are now cheaper than the average new gas-powered car - EVs have hit a tipping point for adoption in the U.S. — and now two models from the market leader are cheaper than many fossil-fueled alternatives. (via Canary Media)

  • Toyota Inks Deal to Mass Produce Solid State EV Batteries With 932-Mile Range - Using material developed by Idemitsu Kosan will allow Toyota to commercialize these energy-dense batteries by 2028. (via PCMAG)

  • EV buyers will get an instant rebate of as much as $7,500 starting in 2024 - Most people prefer an instant rebate when buying a new EV. (via The Verge)

🏠 Buildings & Cities

  • What happens when America's flood insurance market goes underwater? - More homeowners than ever need flood insurance. Fewer than ever can afford it. (via Grist)

  • New alliance aims to turn this Rust Belt city into a ‘Green Belt’ hub - The Chicagoland Climate Investment Alliance wants $1 billion in federal funding for a “Rust Belt to Green Belt Initiative,” indicating the region is ready to move past its nickname from the 1970s. (via Smart Cities Dive)

  • Amtrak remakes itself with new trains and infrastructure improvements - Flush with $66 billion in cash from the 2021 infrastructure law, the nation’s passenger railroad seeks to upgrade and expand service. (via Smart Cities Dive)

  • FEMA makes ‘key changes’ to $1.8B climate resilience grant programs - Amid concerns that some communities struggle to access federal climate resilience funding, the agency moved to lower the administrative and financial burden for certain applicants. (via Smart Cities Dive)

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Startup funding

  • ChargePoint raised $232M to work on their electric vehicle charging network.

  • Breathe Battery Technologies raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round. (Exact details not provided in the article)

  • Bedrock Energy raised an undisclosed amount in a Seed funding round. (Exact details not provided in the article)

  • Raicoon raised €4M from undisclosed investors to work on shaping a world that runs itself on renewables.

  • Skeleton Technologies raised €108M from Siemens and Marubeni to work on their ultracapacitor and energy storage technology.

  • Shine raised an undisclosed amount for their nuclear fusion technology. (Exact details not provided in the article)

  • Myenergi secured another £30M for smart home energy solutions.

  • Perch Energy raised $30M from Nuveen to work on their energy solutions.

  • Scope3 announced a $20 million Series B funding round led by GV to work on their collaborative sustainability platform.

  • Bia raised $16.5M from Kaszek, Nazca, Ewa Capital, and WildSur to work on their energy consumption analysis platform.

  • Bedrock Energy raised $8.5M in Seed funding from Wireframe Ventures, Overture Climate VC, Long Journey Ventures, Cantos, Toba Capital, First Star Ventures, Divergent Capital, and Climate Capital to work on their geothermal heating and cooling systems.

  • Frontline Wildfire Defense raised over $12M with an investment from the state of Wyoming to work on its wildfire defense system.

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