Top 5 Tuesday - March 28

Betting big on renewable natural gas

New South Carolina plant could process enough lithium for 2.4M EVs a year

Julian Spector, Canary Media, March 23, 2023

Albemarle claims the facility would be able to ​“support the manufacturing of an estimated 2.4 million electric vehicles” each year. For context, there were just over 800,000 EVs sold in the US last year, per data from Cox Automotive. But demand for EVs has grown rapidly in recent years. The South Carolina factory could double its initial capacity to keep up with demand, the company claims.

EPA proposes first-ever limits on PFAS in drinking water

Zoya Teirstein, Grist, March 14, 2023

The proposed limits would cap two common types of PFAS contamination — the chemicals PFOA and PFOS — in drinking water at just 4 parts per trillion. That’s a significant reduction from the level the EPA suggested was safe as recently as 2016, when the agency put out a health advisory that suggested 70 parts per trillion as a maximum level for those types of PFAS in drinking water. This week’s announcement signals that federal regulators’ understanding of the health impacts of exposure to these chemicals is rapidly evolving and that the EPA now appears to believe that virtually no quantity of the chemicals is safe for human consumption.

Analysis: SVB's climate tech clients face humbling funding questions

By Ross Kerber and Isla Binnie, Reuters, March 17, 2023

Despite SVB's demise knocking the value of banks globally, particularly European lender Credit Suisse, U.N. climate envoy Mark Carney said he, too, did not expect a "material" impact on climate tech funding.

However, finance firm Alantra said it expects the bank sector's challenges to prompt venture capital lenders to focus more on quality firms that can scale and be capital efficient.

Additional reading: A pulse check on climate VC market sentiment

Falling Lithium Prices Are Making Electric Cars More Affordable

By Jack Ewing and Clifford Krauss, NYT, March 20, 2023

The sharp moves have confounded many analysts who predicted that prices would stay high, or even climb, slowing the transition to cleaner forms of transportation, an essential component of efforts to limit climate change.

Instead, the drop in commodity prices has made it easier for carmakers to cut prices for electric vehicles. This month, Tesla lowered the prices of its two most expensive cars, the Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle, by thousands of dollars.


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