VinFast Shares Soar After Going Public in Nasdaq, Now Valued More Than Ford and Rivian Combined

VinFast Auto Ltd., a Vietnamese EV company, had gone public and started trading on Nasdaq, after which its shares soared upwards at $37 per share, reaching a market cap of a staggering $85 billion. With this recent milestone, the EV maker continues to pave the road toward sustainable transportation. 

A member of Vingroup JSC, VinFast is Vietnam’s leading EV maker with the mission to make the future green. The company manufactures and exports electric SUVs, buses, and scooters in its home country and the U.S. 

VinFast Goes Public (IPO)

Trading under the ticker symbol of “VFS”, VinFast went public after it acquired Black Spade Acquisition Co. The latter will provide VinFast an ongoing business advisory for the brand’s growth and help with direct investor engagement.  

Their merger will be led by Global CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy, also known as Madame Thuy Le. Remarking on the company’s massive success, Madame Thuy Le commented saying that:

“VinFast has accelerated the global EV revolution by making smart, safe, and environmentally friendly EVs accessible to everyone. Today’s successful listing… supports VinFast’s commitment to sustainable mobility at a global scale.” 

The company’s IPO brought its valuation to more than that of GM ($45.8B), Ford ($47.9B), and other EV makers like Rivian ($19.6B). The Vietnamese carmaker also works on strengthening its stance in the global EV market. It’s taking on new partners in large markets such as North America and Europe.

The now US-listed company has delivered about 19,000 EVs including different models as of the first half of 2023. At the same time, it’s preparing for the launch of its next-generation EV and solutions as it expands globally. 

VinFast had rolled out its own EV charging network across Vietnam, spanning 63 cities and provinces. It has also developed its own retail and service network of more than 120 stores nationwide. 

The company’s Nasdaq listing is a step closer to its vision for a “sustainable future for people and the planet through green, clean, and safe mobility”. 

VinFast’s Sustainability and Net Zero Goals

According to VinGroup and VinFast’s ESG Director, they are on track to achieve 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035. The automaker is working its way to strengthen its title as a sustainability champion and hit net zero by 2040. 

However, VinFast’s total carbon emissions had increased, both for Scope 1 and 2 emission sources, according to Vingroup’s annual report

Scope 1 increased by 4% while Scope 2 jumped much higher by about 144% from 2021 to 2022.

Scope 1 includes direct greenhouse gas emissions measured in tons of CO2 equivalent from energy consumption and losses from cooling systems, while Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions. The chart below shows VinFast emissions breakdown per Scope.

Scope 1 emissions dropped from 12% in 2021 to 5% in 2022. But Scope 2 went up from 88% to 95% for the same period.

To address its growing carbon emission, VinFast plans to install renewable energy sources (rooftop solar panels) in its factories. This is crucial to reduce the footprint from energy use, which represents most of the carmaker’s carbon emissions. Sourcing energy from renewables will offset the company’s emissions from the grid. 

Part of its net zero strategy is discontinuing production of internal combustion engine vehicles in July 2022 and switching to making full EVs. More importantly, the Vingroup company pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2040 when it joined “The Climate Pledge”. The pledge is co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism. 

In the same year, VinFast also signed the COP26 Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Declaration. With that, the EV maker aimed to sell 100% zero-emission vehicles in major markets starting in 2035. 

VinFast also employs processes that enable it to further reduce carbon emissions and save on energy and water consumption. They opt for energy-efficient production and partner with researchers to find new solutions to achieve zero emissions. 

Just recently, the Vietnamese carmaker had broken ground at its new EV manufacturing plant in the United States. This marks another huge achievement for the company’s aim to expand and develop its supply chain in North America. The move aligns with Vingroup’s efforts and plans to establish its own battery manufacturing capacity. 

Establishing EV Battery Line and Supply Chain

Last year, the parent company built a battery pack manufacturing facility at the VinES factory in Ha Tinh. At VinFast’s manufacturing facility in Hai Phong, they established a lithium iron phosphate manufacturing line for their EVs and e-bikes. 

Integrating battery manufacturing technology into its EVs is crucial to meeting its goal of global expansion. To this end, Vinfast collaborates with battery industry leaders like China’s CATL to develop new battery and EV technologies.

An important part of this strategy is to ensure enough suppliers of critical EV battery components such as nickel and lithium. Lithium, in particular, has seen a soaring demand as other EV manufacturers like Tesla and Rivian are ramping up production. 

The critical metal is hailed as the new oil, at least for the EVs, and the global race is on to secure this valuable resource. In the US, American Lithium Corp is playing a key role to help deliver an ample supply of lithium. The company runs two of the biggest lithium deposits in the Americas.

In the fast-evolving landscape of sustainable transportation, VinFast’s Nasdaq debut marks a monumental step towards its vision of green, clean, and safe mobility. With a commitment to net zero and innovative strategies, the Vietnamese EV company continues to find ways to drive down its carbon emission and make positive changes in the automotive industry.

Disclosure: Owners, members, directors and employees of carboncredits.com have/may have stock or option position in any of the companies mentioned: AMLI

Carboncredits.com receives compensation for this publication and has a business relationship with any company whose stock(s) is/are mentioned in this article

Additional disclosure: This communication serves the sole purpose of adding value to the research process and is for information only. Please do your own due diligence. Every investment in securities mentioned in publications of carboncredits.com involve risks which could lead to a total loss of the invested capital.

Please read our Full RISKS and DISCLOSURE here.

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Carbon Dioxide Removals (CDR) Purchases Jump 437% in First Half of 2023

Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) has seen a rapid growth in 2023 amid uncertainties and blows, and set a record high increase in purchases of 437% for the first half this year versus full-year 2022, data according to CDR.fyi.

CDR.fyi is the largest open data platform dedicated to monitor CDR to inform market players and stakeholders with updated data on the industry to help guide investment decisions and scale.

The platform tracks high-permanence CDR purchases and deliveries (100+ years) from public and private data disclosures. Here are the major results in their progress report for the first half of the year.

CDR Purchases Soar, But on the Hands of the Few

Reaching gigatonne-scale of removals each year calls for a very ambitious growth in the industry. Between 40% to 50% annual growth rate by the end of the decade is necessary. 

To date, 4.1 million metric tonnes of CDR have been bought, with just 2.6% delivered or ~109k tonnes. But market trends are so promising, showing significant improvements particularly on CDR purchases.

The first half of 2023 has been a defining moment for the CDR market. Purchases surged to about 3.4 million tonnes, showing strong growth of 5.6x versus the full-year 2022. The whole previous year recorded only around 610 thousand tonnes of CDR purchases. 

But interestingly, the huge increase is caused by a few major transactions. In particular, the 3 biggest purchase deals are responsible for 95% of the current year’s total purchases. They specifically include the following transactions from large companies:

Ørsted and Microsoft – 2.76 million tonnes of CDR 
NextGen – 193 thousand tonnes
Frontier and Charm Industrial – 112 thousand tonnes ($53 million)
JP Morgan – 800 thousand tonnes (with $200 million commitment to buy from Charm, Climeworks, and CO280)

Out of those large purchase agreements, delivery of the removals don’t keep up with only over 33 thousand tonnes. Still, it’s higher with a bigger number of suppliers (21) compared to the same period from the past year (19).

The improvement in the length of time from the CDR pre-purchase deal to delivery by more than a year suggests that processes have also improved. This brings more confidence in CDR buyers to make forward purchases. 

In fact, corporate CDR buyers are committing to long-term contracts (over 5 years) that align with their net zero targets.

CDR.fyi also reported that the number of CDR buyers in 2023 H1 jumped 14% versus the 2022 H1. And most of them are buying <100 tonnes a year, which is so insignificant compared to the amount of carbon they’re emitting. 

Here are the top 10 in the leaderboards for corporate CDR buyers and suppliers.

Source: CDR.fyi

Diversity in Carbon Removal Methods

When it comes to CDR methods, CDR.fyi data shows that there are some shifts in distribution trends. 

As illustrated in the chart, the bulk of purchases come from BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage) – 88%. This is mainly because of the Ørsted and Microsoft CDR deal.

Bio-oil comes next with 4% of the entire volume, Direct Air Capture or DAC represents 3%, while Biochar gets only 2% of CDR purchases. However, it appears interesting to note that CDR from biochar takes up 91% of total deliveries. Bio-oil and enhanced weathering comes second and third, accounting for 6% and 3% of the deliveries respectively. 

The diversity in the methods of removing carbon dioxide shows that the CDR market is exploring various ways to mitigate climate change. From ocean-based removal to biomass, these different means also have various levels of potential for scale up. And many of them are in their early-stages that need more investments to reach commercialization. 

What the Industry Needs to Scale

The trends are encouraging so far and CDR.fyi further said that by the end of this year, purchases will reach 6 million tonnes. If this happens, it would be a 10x increase from 2022. 

However, the fact remains that a lot of major companies are still not in the market. Only a select few are supporting and investing in this emerging carbon credit market. 

The report doesn’t include purchases from the governments, which have the capacity to buy CDR at scale. But some progress can be observed in the public sector. 

Just recently, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced its commitment to provide support for CDR suppliers. The agency has been pumping billions of dollars to help scale up the industry. The US government will be the first in the world to provide direct payments to carbon removals suppliers. 

As the market continues to deliver high-permanence CDR, we can expect to see more support and investments pouring in. This is critical to enhance the capacity of various methods of carbon removals and bring down the cost of technologies.  

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Iberdrola Launches New Carbon Credit Unit to Sequester 61M Tons of CO2

Iberdrola SA, a Spanish power company that leads in producing wind energy, has launched a new business unit aimed at generating nature-based carbon credits to reduce its global carbon emissions. 

The carbon credit company called Carbon2Nature (C2N) is formed through Iberdrola’s startup program Perseo. C2N will provide high-quality carbon credits in-house through projects that improve biodiversity, conserve and restore nature.

Harnessing the Potential of Nature-Based Carbon Credits 

C2N leverages the potential of carbon markets, supporting the development of projects that will generate high-quality carbon credits. The new business will either develop its own nature-based solutions (NBS) or partner with others doing the same. 

The goal is to capture and sequester over 61 million tons of carbon in natural sinks across more than 100,000 hectares, which includes forests, coastal ecosystems, and agricultural land. Each credit corresponds to each tonne of carbon reduced, removed, or avoided from entering the atmosphere. 

The nature-based projects will prevent emissions caused by degradation, contributing to additional carbon sequestration while promoting social and environmental benefits. The newly found company believes that investing in nature is crucial to fight climate change while promoting sustainable value creation.

Speaking for the new launch, Carbon2Nature’s director Miguel Ángel García Tamargo said:

“We come to this new market with humility and a desire to do things differently, bringing all of Iberdrola’s experience in sustainability to the world of nature-based solutions and the generation of carbon credits.” 

Iberdrola also plans to use the initiative to advance emerging clean energy solutions and sustainable production processes. Their new carbon credit initiative will focus on countries where Iberdrola has a strong presence. 

The majority of C2N’s projects will be in Latin America, including Peru, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. The carbon credit company will also invest in nature-based solutions in the UK, Portugal, and its home country, Spain.

Carbon2Nature’s carbon credits will be available to Iberdrola’s customers aiming for cutting their carbon footprint and for the company’s own net zero goals. 

With a focus on producing more renewable energy, Iberdrola aims to reach net zero emissions by 2040.

Iberdrola’s Net Zero Targets 

As a global leader in renewable energy, Iberdrola aims to achieve carbon neutrality for Scopes 1 and 2 by 2030 and net zero emissions for all scopes before 2040. 

As outlined in its Climate Action Plan, Iberdrola defines the levers and actions that will help advance its decarbonization journey. This plan contains the following major elements.

To reach its net zero goal, the company says it will continue to invest around 47 billion euros between 2023 and 2025 in these decarbonization efforts:

Increased renewable installations
Onshore and offshore wind power 
Solar photovoltaic 
Battery 
Hydroelectric capacity
Electricity grids

The energy giant has one of the biggest renewable energy pipelines as shown and mapped below per renewable source.

All these investments, as stated in the company’s 2022 Sustainability Report, aimed towards accelerating the energy transition. By the end of the decade, the company expects to achieve 100,000 MW of installed capacity, 80% is renewables. This is possible thanks to Iberdrola’s planned investments of between 65 to 75 billion euros between 2026 and 2030. 

Alongside its plan to rapidly reduce its own carbon emissions, the energy major also seeks to decarbonize the energy mix sector. Moving towards its net zero emissions, Iberdrola has employed a broad range of decarbonization initiatives. 

Those efforts resulted in a 15% reduction in the company’s direct and indirect carbon emissions from 2021 to 2022. The same case happened in Iberdrola’s carbon emissions intensity (gCO₂/kWh) which shows a huge downward trend. These achievements speak for the company’s commitment to climate change and sustainability. 

Source: Iberdrola GHG Report 2022

Pioneering a Sustainable Energy Transition

As part of its net zero journey, the company will employ various actions focusing on these key areas:

Decarbonization of electricity generation through the massive introduction of renewable energies
System integration through smart grids and digitization. 
Electrification of demand – new uses of electricity, e.g. production of green hydrogen, for sectors that are difficult to decarbonize
Nature-based and other emerging climate solutions (ex. Iberdrola’s 2020-2030 Trees Program aims to plant 20 million trees by 2030)

Carbon2Nature is the most recent NBS initiative that the energy giant made as it commits to a sustainable energy model. The goal is to fuel its decarbonization strategies by harnessing carbon markets to bring positive impacts to the environment and the climate.

By tapping into the potential of carbon credits and nature-based projects, the Spanish energy leader’s strategies exemplify the multifaceted approach needed to usher in a net zero era.

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DevvStream Inks Multi-Year Purchase Deal for 250K Carbon Credits

DevvStream Holdings Inc., a technology-based environmental, social, and governance (ESG) company, has made another significant stride in the world of carbon credit trading by securing a multi-year carbon credit purchase agreement with a Canadian subsidiary of a major investor-owned energy company. 

This groundbreaking agreement marks a pivotal moment for DevvStream as it reinforces its position as a leading player in carbon credit project development and generation, with a specialized emphasis on technological solutions.

Under this multi-year agreement, the buyer committed to purchase 250,000 carbon credits from DevvStream. Generation of these carbon credits would adhere to compliance programs in Alberta and British Columbia for at least 3 years. They will also be subject to meeting specific conditions like regulatory requirements in BC.

Trading Carbon Credits in Compliance Markets

A critical aspect of trading carbon credits in the compliance carbon market is that they must align with the relevant national, regional, and international policies and legislation. DevvStream will produce the credits according to the Technology Innovation and Emission Reduction (TIER) Regulation, enacted under Alberta’s Emissions Management and Climate Resilience Act. 

The company will also ensure alignment with British Columbia’s forthcoming Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS). In case the OBPS is not yet finalized during the agreement’s term, equivalent voluntary credits can be an alternative, at the buyer’s discretion.

Voluntary carbon credits are also known as carbon offsets. DevvStream also offers a range of targeted and scalable carbon offset programs (COPs) to meet the agreement’s requirements. These carbon offset programs include:

emission reduction activities in road transportation and maintenance, 
buildings and facilities program,
energy-efficient lighting, 
electric vehicle charging stations, and 
methane abatement initiatives focusing on sealing orphaned oil and gas wells, 

To ensure scalability and effectiveness, DevvStream’s COPs employ the Program of Activities (PoA) approach. This model is recognized by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Applying it enables DevvStream to bundle up multiple eligible activities across predetermined jurisdictions, promoting quick deployment at scale.

Committing to Carbon Credit Integrity 

Sunny Trinh, DevvStream’s CEO, emphasizes the company’s commitment to generating top-quality carbon credits that adhere to strict environmental standards. These credits will align with the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) Core Carbon Principles and also comply with robust methodologies outlined in Canadian law. 

Trinh further asserts that their ability to work around strict regulations showcases DevvStream’s operational excellence in the carbon space.

The initial batch of carbon credits will be delivered by 2024, with the final delivery slated for 2026. The agreement also allows for the possibility of purchasing an additional 400,000 credits beyond the specified period.

This landmark agreement highlights the surging demand for carbon offsets generated through DevvStream’s diverse programs. As environmental concerns continue to take center stage, partnerships like these contribute significantly to addressing climate change while adhering to stringent compliance and quality standards.

Disclosure: Owners, members, directors and employees of carboncredits.com have/may have stock or option position in any of the companies mentioned: DESG

Additional disclosure: This communication serves the sole purpose of adding value to the research process and is for information only. Please do your own due diligence. Every investment in securities mentioned in publications of carboncredits.com involve risks which could lead to a total loss of the invested capital.

Please read our Full RISKS and DISCLOSURE here.

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US to Invest $1.2B in DAC Projects Led by Climeworks and Oxy

The US government just made a very large bet on giant carbon-sucking machines known as Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology as a climate solution by planning to spend $1.2 billion on two projects led by Occidental Petroleum, Oxy, and Climeworks. 

The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the grant to Project Cypress in Louisiana, a DAC facility run by Battelle, Climeworks, and Heirloom Carbon Technologies. The other DAC plant is in Texas overseen by Occidental Petroleum’s (Oxy) subsidiary 1PointFive, alongside Carbon Engineering and Worley.

Together, the two pioneer DAC hubs will remove over 2 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.

Leading the Game-Changing Carbon Removal Technology

Rising global temperatures and the lack of rapid carbon reduction efforts put carbon removal into the spotlight. Climate scientists at the UN panel say that billions of tons of carbon must be drawn out of the air every year to stay within the critical 1.5°C threshold. 

Direct air capture is one of the emerging carbon removal technologies. 

The $1.2bln move places the United States as the world leader in testing DAC as a climate change solution. It represents the first phase of the $3.5 billion funding program of the DOE for developing DAC hubs. The funds were set aside by the Biden Administration last year through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

The billion-dollar investment is the first and largest governmental support worldwide for the nascent carbon capture technology. Speaking for the government’s decision at the reporters’ call, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said:

“These hubs are going to help us prove out the potential of this game-changing technology…If we deploy this at scale, this technology can help us make serious headway toward our net-zero emissions goals while we are still focused on deploying, deploying, deploying more clean energy at the same time” 

She further noted that once the projects come to life, they can remove emissions equal to taking 500,000 gas-powered cars off the road. 

Rolling Out Support For DAC 

The Energy Department has also rolled out several initiatives that will bring the cost of DAC technology down to below $100/metric ton of CO2 within the decade. These efforts include a $35 million procurement program for carbon credits and grants for 14 feasibility studies and 5 engineering and design studies.

Last year, the agency launched 4 programs with $3.7 billion in funding to ramp up the carbon removal industry in the country.

This recent rollout is part of the larger program to develop 4 direct air capture hubs over the next decade. Each of them has the potential to remove and store at least 1 million tons of carbon a year. 

The funding is the biggest-ever investment in engineered carbon removal – DAC. It also includes funding for another 19 conceptual and engineering studies of future DAC facilities.

The two awarded DAC plants are on a different scale and use different carbon removal technologies. 

Climeworks’ Project Cypress 

The Louisiana DAC plant, run by Battelle, will store 1 million tons of CO2 annually. But it will employ technology from two DAC companies – Climeworks and Heirloom. They use solid sorbents in capturing carbon dioxide which is released and pumped underground.

Climeworks runs the largest DAC plant ORCA in Iceland. The company uses giant fans to suck in huge quantities of air through a special chemical that filters out CO2. The captured air is heated to release the pure CO2 stream that is pumped deep underground, where it becomes stone.

Heirloom’s DAC tech employs the natural carbon mineralization process, speeding it up from millions of years to just days. The company is using a powder from crushed limestone, and mixes it with water to act like a sponge that absorbs CO2 quickly. 

Climeworks said its DAC hub construction will start as soon as possible, depending on several factors. They target to begin capturing in 2025 or 2026. 

Both versions of DAC technology have been tested and are considered mature, but still need scaling up to lower costs. 

Oxy DAC Facility

Occidental will build the other DAC plant in Texas. The facility will use Carbon Engineering’s (CE) DAC technology which also uses fans powered by solar energy to draw in air. 

The liquid sorbents suck in carbon that will be heated to get pure CO2 that would be injected underground or used in making valuable products. The image shows how CE’s direct air capture technology works. 

Oxy’s DAC plant can also remove 1 million tons of CO2, which can scale up to 30 million tons yearly. This project represents one of the world’s biggest experiments in DAC.

Will DAC Help Take Us to 1.5°C?

Private sector efforts and government support are ramping up to advance carbon removal solutions and DAC gets the most attention. 

According to the International Energy Agency, 130 DAC plants are under development globally. But they’re all small-scale, with a total carbon removal capacity of just 11,000 tons a year. That’s far way down below what’s required – 1 billion tons or 1 gigaton of CO2 annually by 2030.

Critics of this carbon removal technology argue that spending public money on DAC is a waste. They claim that the process consumes so much energy and is one of the most expensive methods of carbon sequestration. Skeptics further say that DAC won’t get us anywhere because of the difficulty in scaling up this technology.

However, DAC proponents counter that without carbon removal like DAC, it would be impossible to achieve the global climate goal. Some say it serves as a “backstop technology” over limitations of natural carbon removal solutions, e.g. land availability.

Other supporters claim that DAC plants need a smaller land area, easier to calculate the amount of carbon captured, and tend to sequester CO2 permanently. 

Amid the debate, other countries are also taking major turns to advance direct air capture and other carbon removal technologies. The EU, UK, and Canada have also recently announced funding support for the technology. 

As temperatures rise and climate disasters get worse, a wider consensus emerges that technologies sucking carbon from the air will be key to curbing global warming.

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Advancing Carbon Removal: DOE Invests $13M in 23 Innovative CO2 Capture Technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) invested over $13 million in 23 projects to support research and development for carbon capture technologies and their applications that can cut carbon emissions.  

Universities and private sector companies across the country lead the projects to scale up carbon capture technologies to commercial deployment. These technologies capture CO2 from industrial sources like power plants, or directly from the air and oceans. They then transform the captured carbon into valuable products such as fuels and chemicals or use it to make building materials. 

Earlier this year, the DOE rolled out $2.5 billion to fund 2 carbon capture initiatives aimed to boost investment in technologies that capture, transport, and store carbon. The Department also opened new funding opportunities in May worth $2.25 billion for the validation and testing of large-scale, commercial carbon storage projects.

Scaling Up Carbon Capture and Conversion Technologies

The chosen initiatives are helping the nation achieve President Biden’s 2050 net zero economy goal. They also provide high-quality jobs and economic opportunities for local communities. Highlighting the importance of the funded project’s technologies, Assistant Secretary of FECM Brad Crabtree said that:

“Carbon capture and storage, carbon dioxide removal, and carbon conversion will play an essential role in support of our national decarbonization efforts.”

DOE’s financial support aims to bring rapid and widespread adoption of those technologies. 

Under round 1 of its funding program, DOE selected 4 projects below to receive a total of over $7 million. These projects convert carbon emissions captured from industrial facilities and power plants into durable building materials like concrete. They can also significantly reduce overall life cycle emissions in the process while focusing on improving the cost efficiency of their processes.

The DOE Funding Program Awardees

Calcify LLC – Total Value: $1,716,741 

DOE Funding = $1,364,278; Non-DOE Funding = $352,463

The Connecticut-based company will develop a 20 kg/day prototype process using biomass ash and desalination brines to capture carbon. The captured CO2 will be used to make stabilized, amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) for cement, which the team has to demonstrate to show superior properties to regular Portland cement and emit lower CO2. 

C-Crete Technologies, LLC – Total Value: $2,500,000

DOE Funding = $2,000,000; Non-DOE Funding = $500,000

The California-based company will demonstrate that their technology is feasible to convert over 10 kg/day of CO2 to make a special formula of high-performance concrete that may outperform Portland concrete while mineralizing the net carbon. Their low-carbon concrete will be fast-curing, carbon-negative, strong and tough and applicable to precast and cast-in-place concrete markets. 

Cornell University – Total Value: $2,500,000

DOE Funding = $2,000,000; Non-DOE Funding = $500,000

The New York-based university aims to show regenerable carbon capture solvents made through its transformative energy- and atom-efficient technology. The converted CO2 will be integrated for the co-recovery of high-value energy critical metals and other minerals (calcium carbonate, magnesium, iron- and aluminum-rich products) from industrial residues produced by secondary iron and steelmaking as well as aluminum manufacturing. 

University of Missouri – Total Value: $2,500,000

DOE Funding = $2,000,000; Non-DOE Funding = $500,000

The university will use carbon dioxide to process solid wastes to produce carbon-negative supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) for construction. In partnership with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, their technology works with various carbon sources, e.g. flue gasses.

The second round of the DOE funding program includes 19 R&D projects that focus on ocean-based carbon removal technologies. Some of them are also into direct air capture (DAC) alongside carbon-free hydrogen to make carbon-neutral methanol.  

Other projects are developed by universities as included in the tables.

Here is the detailed list of the 19 project developers and what technologies they’re developing.

The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage those projects. 

These recent selections bring FECM’s total investments of more than $678 million since the funding program launched in 2021. The initiatives promote R&D and deployment of CO2 capture, transport, conversion, and storage. 

The recent DOE funding opportunity is crucial in driving technological innovations, economic growth, and job creation during the clean energy transition. The selected innovations, spanning carbon capture to ocean-based removal, signify a stride toward sustainable innovation and significant emission reductions.

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Shopify Receives Carbon Removal Credits From Startup That Sinks Wood in The Ocean

Ocean carbon removal startup Running Tide has delivered its first-ever carbon removal credits pre-sold to e-commerce giant Shopify. 

US-based Running Tide is a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) company that sinks wood in the Atlantic Ocean to sequester carbon. Shopify is one of the first buyers of the carbon removal credits generated by the startup’s ocean carbon sequestration

Shopify and Running Tide CDR Credits Deal

Running Tide has been exploring an ocean sequestration process involving growing and sinking algae. But for Shopify’s open ocean carbon removal project, only terrestrial wood was sunk. 

The startup has five funding rounds from other major investors, which include Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator and Yes VC. Microsoft, Stripe, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative have also agreed to pre-purchase carbon removal credits from the startup. 

Under their deal, Shopify receives 100 of the 275 net tons of carbon removal credits created by Running Tide’s project. The climate startup had sunk 1,000 tons of limestone-coated wood waste to the ocean floor about 100 miles off the coast of Iceland.   

The wood residues, which would have been burned and emit carbon, were from forest trimming operations in Canada and Europe. So, instead of letting them release CO2, Running Tide prevents the emissions by storing the wood in the ocean for thousands of years.

Running Time wood carbon buoys

The carbon removal startup has been working with Shopify since 2020 via the latter’s Sustainability Fund. It’s an initiative founded by the e-commerce giant to provide financial support for carbon removal projects.

The 275 tons of removal are very insignificant when compared to global emissions that need to be removed. It’s also a small fraction of corporate buying of carbon removal where large companies are purchasing million tons of CO2. 

Still, their project is the first-of-its-kind in the carbon sequestration space that has been tested and audited. 

Running Tide’s Unique Approach to CDR 

Running Tide processes carbon-rich forestry residues into carbon buoys, or drifters on which to grow macroalgae. They then coat the carbon buoys with calcium carbonate that stimulates a process known as enhanced alkalinity, a recognized CDR approach to sequestering carbon. 

The limestone coating helps avoid ocean acidification, the startup said.

This unique approach moves the CO2 from the fast carbon cycle (in the atmosphere and biosphere) to the slow carbon cycle (deep into the ocean floor). Geologic processes in the slow carbon cycle facilitate storage of the CO2 for thousands of years. 

Running Tide has designed a system that amplifies natural ocean based CDR. They then deploy their system far from coasts and focus on three key pathways that remove carbon

Sinking of terrestrial biomass (wood buoys), 
Dissolution of CO2 in surface waters (calcium carbonate), and 
Photosynthetic fixation and sinking of marine biomass (macroalgae).

The core principle of Running Tide’s system is the creation of simple and modular components like carbon buoys that can be placed in ocean currents. They remain buoyant for a certain amount of time, disperse in the currents, and then go down to the seafloor.

Wood buoys for deployment

As the carbon buoys drift, they either alkalinize the ocean via mineral dissolution or remove carbon by growing macroalgae. When sunk, the buoys bring both terrestrial and marine biomass to the ocean floor. 

The company said that the formula they use in calculating the amount of sequestered carbon reflects the weight of the sunk wood and the amount of limestone dissolved. They determine that through cameras. 

Asserting the credibility of their approach to CDR, Running Tide’s CEO CEO Marty Odlin noted that:

“From the best available science, which is what we operate on, we have achieved a high degree of permanence and low risk of reversal [for the carbon].” 

Running Tide leverages the expertise of independent, 3rd-party ocean and climate scientists with in-house engineers to design their CDR system. Odlin said their project adhered to the Scientific Advisory Board standards and was reviewed by an independent science review board.

Deloitte, a leading audit services provider, is the official verifier for their Shopify deal. 

What Are The Gaps to Fill-in?

Running Tide has developed measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) technologies to monitor the location, timing, and progress of CDR deployments. 

Though there is a 3rd-party auditor, there’s no normal avenues for verification yet as there are no similar projects to compare with. So the companies determine the number of ocean carbon removal credits by using a methodology they both developed. 

They will share their framework to other ocean CDR companies considering a similar process, they said. 

However, Running Tide doesn’t monitor the exact ecosystems where it’s sinking the carbon buoys at this time. That’s because their current work is still small-scale, which makes it hard to measure their exact impact at the moment. 

This is why others think that the startup needs to have verification in place to bring more confidence into their CDR system. This will also help inform others working on CDR solutions and ensure the approach is safe for the ocean. Shopify seconded saying that it’s “a big-time learning opportunity” for scientific experts to get their eyes on. 

The e-commerce didn’t exactly say how much they paid Running Tide for the CDR credits. But the latter said that they’re charging between $250 and $350 per tonne of carbon removal credits.

In March, Microsoft paid Running Time to remove 12,000 tons of CO2 over the next two years. But they also didn’t disclose the amount of their payment. 

The innovative approach of Running Tide for ocean carbon removal holds promise in curbing carbon emissions. Their carbon credit deal with Shopify and other supporters of CDR highlights the potential of collaborations to address climate change.

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How Do Carbon Credits Reduce Emissions?

Reducing emissions is a must but we’re running out of time and the technology needed to do the job is not always there. This is where carbon credits come in to help reduce emissions significantly. 

So, how do carbon credits help slash carbon emissions and what benefits do they provide? Also, what is the role of carbon trading in cutting emissions? This article will answer these questions and more about the impact of carbon credits and how to make money from them.

Let’s start by explaining how carbon credits help in reducing emissions. 

Carbon credits are a market-based tool designed to create financial incentives for entities to cut their carbon footprint and invest in cleaner, more sustainable practices.

Governments play a big role in this space by implementing cap-and-trade systems. Under this system, also known as the compliance carbon market, companies must comply with a cap set on the total greenhouse gas emissions they’re allowed to emit within a certain period. 

If they go beyond these limits, they either pay the fine or buy carbon credits from companies with surplus credits. In contrast, if they emit below their emissions cap, they generate credits for it – one credit represents one metric tonne of carbon emissions.

Another way to generate carbon credits is through different emission reduction or removal projects. Common examples of these projects are reforestation, renewable energy installations, carbon capture and storage, carbon farming practices, among others. 

Entities seeking to voluntarily offset their emissions can purchase the credits generated by those projects. Or companies can also directly fund the project during their early development phase.

These credits are traded in the voluntary carbon market (VCM), which has been growing in volume and dollar value in billions.

Those initiatives reduce the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere but without carbon credits, they won’t be financially viable. Thus, carbon credit projects also contribute to mitigating climate change.

Realizing their importance in slashing carbon emissions, more and more companies are voluntarily supporting efforts that generate carbon credits. As such, experts project that demand for voluntary carbon credits will grow exponentially. 

McKinsey predicts that annual demand for carbon credits would go up to 2.0 gigatons of carbon dioxide (GtCO2) by 2030 and 13 GtCO2 by 2050

Source: McKinsey & Company

In terms of market value, it can go between $30 billion and up to $50 billion in 2030. Several factors affect the actual market size such as project type and location.

Now you may get the idea of how carbon credits help reduce emissions at the gigatons scale. So, next up we’ll explain how you can generate carbon credits for trees. 

How To Get Carbon Credits For Trees?

Carbon credits are most often created through the agricultural or forestry sector by planting or protecting standing trees. But of course you can get carbon credit through any project mentioned earlier that reduces, avoids, removes or captures emissions.

Acquiring carbon credits for trees translates to engaging in projects that promote afforestation, reforestation, or sustainable forest management practices. These projects seek to enhance the carbon sequestration potential of forests, capturing and storing CO2 in biomass. 

You can start getting carbon credits for trees by first, choosing the right type of forest project that aligns with your goals. You can select from three various project types identified above that generate carbon credits for trees.

Next thing to do is to develop a plan outlining the project area, tree species, estimated carbon sequestration (amount of captured and stored carbon), and project timeline. 

Then register the project with recognized carbon standard bodies such as Verra’s VCS, Gold Standard, and American Carbon Registry. Then don’t miss out on measuring the baseline level of carbon on your project site to base estimated carbon sequestration. 

There’s one thing you mustn’t leave out though – monitoring and verifying tree planting or forest management progress through 3rd-party auditors to ensure compliance with standards. 

Only after verification that your project would receive the credits that you can sell to companies for offsetting purposes. Lastly, maintain the integrity of your project by continuing sustainable practices to keep carbon sequestration validity. 

What if you’re not into planting trees? Don’t worry because you can still get carbon credits by following the steps outlined below.

Key Steps on How To Generate Carbon Credits

In general, you can earn carbon credits through these four major phases:

Project Development: 

Same as above, you have to identify and plan a project that lowers emissions or enhances carbon sequestration, be it carbon farming or renewable energy installation. Then define project activities, location, baseline emissions, and the expected reductions and other environmental impacts.

Verification and Validation: 

Work with recognized carbon standard organizations and independent auditors to verify and validate your project’s environmental benefits. And then calculate emission reductions and/or increased carbon sequestration using reliable methodologies.

Carbon Credit Issuance: 

After project verification, you can now receive carbon credits based on your project’s verified carbon reductions.

Registry and Trading: 

Now that you have been issued with the credits, you need to register them in registries to make them available for trading. Interested buyers can buy the credits to offset their own emissions and support your carbon emissions efforts.

How To Make Money From Carbon Credits

Apparently, you can make money from carbon credits by following the steps above. But selling credits in established carbon exchanges and trading platforms is just one way to turn them into cash. 

Apart from trading in those marketplaces, you can directly deal with buyers through private transaction negotiations. This way gives you more flexibility in setting prices and contractual agreements. 

Another option to make money from carbon credits is partnering with carbon offset service providers and offering your credits via their platforms. In this way, you’ll reach a wider audience. 

And of course, it’s important that you’re consistent in monitoring your project as carbon standards require periodic verification to ensure your credits remain valid over time. 

How Do You Get Carbon Credits? 

In the race against time to slash emissions, carbon credits are a game-changer. Generating and trading these market-based tools does help reduce carbon emissions by incentivizing entities to invest in sustainable practices. 

From cap-and-trade systems to voluntary emission reduction projects, we unpack how carbon credits work and outline the steps on how you can get them. The best thing about this is that apart from getting and profiting from the credits, you also help drive meaningful strides towards a greener future. 

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The World’s Great Lithium Illusion – Here’s What You Really Need to Know

There’s an old saying in the news and media – ‘If it bleeds, it leads

What this means is that the more violent or sensational a story is, it’s always prioritized and framed accordingly so.

Why? Because such things drive views.

And no other industry gets this poor framing more so than the mining sector…

Pundits in the media always make headlines stating how awful and ugly the mining sector is.

Whether it’s “polluting the environment” or “child-labor infractions” or a “form of imperialism”.

We’ve heard it all.And while there are instances of such issues, these headlines end up leading the masses to believe that all mining is evil and should be avoided.

But this is all an illusion – formulated to drive views.It reminds me of what one of our favorite classical economists – Fredric Bastiat – once said.

The difference between a good economist and a bad economist is that:

The bad considers only the visible effects.
While the good considers both the visible effects, and also those which are necessary to foresee

So while the pundits only focus on the bad aspects of mining – good investors will see through the noise and focus on the benefits and upside of it all.

And this is why you’ll see through the ‘Great Lithium Mining Illusion’.

Many Believe Lithium Mining is “Dirty” – But That’s Outdated Thinking

The long-held view has been that lithium mining is “dirty” and detrimental to the environment.

And while it’s not exactly great for the soil (neither is farming for that matter) – it’s not nearly as bad as many make it out to be.

To give you a comparison – it’s far less destructive to the environment than oil fracking is.

But recently – we’ve seen even greater increases in technology and efficiency that will help the social perception of lithium mining.

In fact – multiple European Union officials (many with aggressive pro-environment stances) now say that it’s “crucial” to show local populations that lithium mining is no longer a “dirty operation”.

And when the European Union is actually promoting a form of mining, you know it’s a big deal.

But it’s not just in Europe. . .

For instance, there are three large mining companies based in California’s ‘Lithium Valley’ that aims to establish a method of extracting lithium that won’t have negative impacts on the environment.

In short – these companies plan to use clean energy (such as geothermal power) to directly extract lithium. Avoiding the destruction, waste, and dirty water created by hard rock mining.

Michael McKibben – a geochemist and professor at the University of California – said, “It’s important not to call it mining. . . because compared with conventional lithium mining, this process has minimal environmental impacts.”

Mckinsey & Co. also recently reported that this promising direct lithium extraction (DLE) approach has several potential benefits compared to current projects – some being:

Increased lithium recoveries from around 40% to over 80%.
Eliminating or greatly reducing the footprint of evaporation ponds
Lower the need for fresh water
Lower production times

These are only a few ways that the lithium miners are at work increasing their efficiency while reducing their environmental impact.

And it’s just in time as the world enters the clean-energy revolution – making lithium more needed more than ever before. . .

Lithium: “Mother Nature’s” Answer for Fueling Clean Energy

Lithium is both the lightest metal in the world and also an alkali metal (aka good conductors of heat and electricity).

It’s used to make lightweight alloy metals – which are used in airplanes, armored vehicles, and railways.

It’s even used to help treat depression.

But – over the last decade – lithium’s use as a fuel source for electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy grids exploded.

Why?

Because energy storage and renewables are two of the most important sectors in the global push towards becoming ‘net-zero’ (aka cutting greenhouse emissions and the carbon footprint as close to zero as possible).

In fact, it’s not a stretch to say that lithium as a clean energy source is literally revolutionizing the world.

For instance, one of the challenges with renewables has always been that they can’t produce energy steadily.

The sun isn’t always out, limiting solar energy output
And the wind isn’t always blowing, limiting wind turbine output

The obvious solution’s been to store the excess energy and then release it later when needed.

But how?

Well, that’s why lithium batteries are so important.

They’re able to store energy efficiently and be recharged at will (imagine your cellphone or laptop or electric vehicle).

And as battery costs decrease, they will become more accessible for the masses.

This is already happening – and much faster than many realize. . .

To put this into perspective – with modern innovations and greater productive capacity – we’ve seen the cost of using lithium batteries plunge over 97% between 1991 and 2018 (from $7,500 to $181).

That’s 41x cheaper in less than 30 years.

But what’s most promising is the recent rate of declining costs.

Between 2014 and 2018, the cost of lithium-ion batteries dropped 50% in just four years.

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