April 2022 Cleantech Roundup: Carbon Removal Market Commitment | Solar Industry Frozen | Loan Guarantee Program

Advance Market Commitments for Carbon Removal: The Next Frontier

Frontier Climate is a new billion dollar effort to support carbon removal companies. Stripe, Alphabet, Shopify, Meta, and McKinsey are collaborating to form one large scale advance market commitment — essentially committing $935 million over the next 10 years to purchase carbon removal from high quality removal projects. This is sort of the opposite of “If you build it, they will come.” This is “We’re good for it, so go ahead and build it.” It’s another example of the corporate buying coalitions we talked about a few months ago, and it’s a pretty sizable one. In the absence of policy, these coalitions can have real impact (and can have a pretty similar purpose as government policy, although not at the same scale).

Credit: Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group III Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

Frozen Solar Industry

There’s a strange but serious mess in the solar industry right now. Auxin Solar, a small solar panel manufacturer in California, made a request to the Department of Commerce for an investigation into whether Chinese solar companies are avoiding US tariffs (put in place back in 2012 against China) by moving components through Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam (which make up 80% of solar imports to the US today).

Shield your eyes! Credit: Modernize.com

The Loan Guarantee Program is Back

The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office is getting back out there — they’ve funded a couple of different projects in the last 6 months, after a years-long gap of funding anything except for some large nuclear projects. The office was very active in the first several years of the Obama administration, but after one of the companies backed by the office went bankrupt in 2011 and elected officials attempted to politicize the program, support for first-of-a-kind technology deployments went into the deep freezer.

Monolith’s existing facility in Nebraska. Credit: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Other News

This New York Times article explores how manufacturers of heavy duty trucks are split on whether to go battery electric or (hydrogen) fuel cell electric (this is for long haul — everybody seems to agree short haul and medium duty will go battery electric). Link

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Ian Adams

Ian Adams

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I work at Evergreen Climate Innovations in Chicago. I’m passionate about clean energy, innovation, and market driven solutions.