Equinor doubling down on CCS

PLUS: CRC-Aera merger, Mirova's $282mm raise, Voyager's $100mm, Qualitas-Heelstone

Good Morning. This is the Sunya Scoop. The newsletter that takes energy transition news and turns it into an easy-to-read email for you.

Here’s what we have for you today:

  • Ambition to increase CO2 storage to 30-50 million tonnes per year by 2035.

  • First commercial CO2 storage facility, Northern Lights, to be completed this year.

  • Aims to kickstart the market for CO2 transport and storage for hard-to-abate industries.

  • Expects business growth based on nearly 30 years of experience in safely storing CO2.

  • Anticipates returns of 4-8% real in the early phase with government support, expecting higher returns as markets mature and commercialize.

  • Avnos, Inc. secures $36 million in Series A funding led by NextEra Energy Resources.

  • Announces the establishment of a new R&D facility to advance its pioneering Hybrid Direct Air Capture (HDAC™) Technology.

  • The funding will be utilized to expand the team, deploy additional HDAC assets across North America and Europe, and open a state-of-the-art research and development facility near New York City.

  • NextEra Energy Resources, a subsidiary of the world's largest generator of renewable energy, led the funding round, with participation from Safran Corporate Ventures, Shell Ventures, Envisioning Partners, and Rusheen Capital Management.

  • Avnos' HDAC technology captures both carbon dioxide and water simultaneously from the atmosphere without external heat input, producing five tons of water for every one ton of carbon dioxide captured.

  • NextEra Energy Resources sees potential in combining wind, solar, and Avnos' technology to reduce emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors, aligning with its renewable energy generation and storage capabilities.

  • Mirova Gigaton Fund aims to accelerate clean energy access and climate action in emerging markets, with support from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

  • The fund seeks to mobilize institutional investor support for climate mitigation, social development, economic infrastructure, and gender equality investments across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

  • It has reached over half of its $500 million target size, with $282 million closed to date.

  • The fund will provide private debt financing to businesses in sectors such as solar power, mini-grids, electric vehicles, energy storage, and climate-smart food systems.

  • Projects funded by the fund aim to increase access to reliable and affordable energy, as well as offer viable alternatives to fossil fuel-based activities in emerging markets.

  • Voyager Ventures closes Voyager Partners Select I, LP at $100 million, doubling its inaugural fund to invest in early-stage climate technology companies.

  • The fund will primarily target Series A investments in software, hardware, and biotech companies decarbonizing the global economy.

  • Notably oversubscribed, the fund underscores the continued interest from limited partners in backing climate tech startups.

  • The fund has attracted investment from institutional investors such as Northwestern University and Novo Holdings, among others.

  • Voyager's founding partners, Sierra Peterson and Sarah Sclarsic, bring extensive climate expertise and aim to sequester or avert 500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) emissions over the fund's tenure.

  • California Resources Corporation (CRC) announces a definitive merger agreement with Aera Energy, LLC (Aera) in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $2.1 billion, expected to be immediately accretive.

  • Aera's owners (IKAV and CPP Investments) will receive 21.2 million shares of CRC's common stock, equivalent to about 22.9% of CRC's fully diluted shares.

  • CRC plans to permanently sequester 5 million metric tons per year of CO2 in its underground storage vaults.

  • The combined company is expected to have estimated production of approximately 150 thousand Boe/d and proved reserves of approximately 680 million Boe, with interests in five of California's largest oil fields.

  • Pro forma 2024E free cash flow is expected to more than double to approximately $685 million and total nearly $3.0 billion through 2028.

  • Identified synergies are expected to total $150 million annually, with cumulative synergies over the next decade estimated at nearly $1.0 billion.

  • The combined company plans to expand its carbon management business, including carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) development.

  • Qualitas Energy has acquired Heelstone Renewable Energy, a prominent US utility-scale renewable energy platform, from Ares Management.

  • Heelstone boasts a substantial portfolio comprising 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) and storage assets. This includes 179 megawatts (MW) currently operational, 175 MW under construction, and the remainder designated as ready-to-build and in-development projects.

  • Post-acquisition, Heelstone will operate independently within Qualitas Energy, with its existing management team retained. This team brings invaluable expertise spanning the entire project lifecycle and a deep understanding of the US renewable energy sector.

  • This acquisition signifies Qualitas Energy's reentry into the US market, where it previously operated through Fotowatio Renewable Ventures in 2008. During its prior presence, it managed a pioneer solar PV portfolio of 1.4 GW, supported by a team of over 40 professionals based in San Francisco.

  • The transaction underscores Qualitas Energy's commitment to accelerating renewable energy projects in the US and globally contributing to decarbonization efforts. This strategic move is facilitated through Q-Energy V, one of Europe's largest renewable energy funds, boasting a size of approximately 2.4 billion euros (2.7 billion dollars).

  • Companies Siemens Energy, Vestas, and Orsted report results reflecting challenges in the wind sector.

  • Siemens Energy anticipates a 2024 loss of approximately 2 billion euros at Siemens Gamesa due to quality issues with onshore wind models.

  • Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch highlights the slow pace of grid and renewables expansion, suggesting it falls short of targets set at COP28.

  • Rising prices for materials and regulatory delays have led to losses and writedowns across the wind industry, affecting turbine makers particularly.

  • Orsted announces job cuts and a portfolio review following major writedowns on delayed U.S. projects, aiming to reduce fixed costs by 1 billion Danish crowns by 2026, including 600-800 job cuts globally.

  • The European Commission recommends a 90% net greenhouse gas emissions cut for 2040.

  • Emissions cut targets for agriculture were not included in the recommendation, following weeks of farmer protests.

  • The proposal faces backlash from right-wing members of the EU Parliament, who criticize it for imposing unrealistic ambitions and constraining lifestyles and the economy.

  • The EU's plan aims to transition towards clean-tech industries, phasing out coal-fueled power and reducing overall fossil fuel use by 80% by 2040.

  • Failure to tackle climate change could result in significant additional costs, according to a draft, with potential expenses of 2.4 trillion euros in the EU by 2050 if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

  • The EU reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 33% in 2022 compared to 1990 levels.

  • Additionally, plans were outlined to capture and store hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 emissions by 2050, requiring substantial investments in new technologies.

"We have the opportunity to provide energy security to the globe and to show how other countries can eventually follow our footsteps in reducing emissions. This is what the United States does, we lead. Let’s stop playing politics with energy, let’s follow the data and instead of pausing LNG, let’s Unleash it,"

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DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.

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