Featured: Climate Race

Don't mess with Texas' lead in the low-carbon energy transition. Everything’s bigger in Texas. That goes for the state’s role in the transition to a greener and cleaner economy. The Lone Star state already leads the U.S. in wind power. Within a few months, Texas will surpass California in total solar-generation capacity. And Texas is padding its lead, with more solar and wind capacity in development than any other state. An oil-pumping, Republican-led state seizing the lead in the U.S. clean energy race? Texas’ green gold poses a quandary for conservative leaders in the state and across the country who have ratcheted up their rhetoric against climate action and lined up against federal clean-energy policies. “Texas is as well suited or better suited than any place in the world to lead the energy transition,” Austin-based energy consultant Doug Lewin tells ImpactAlpha at the University of Texas’ Global Sustainability Leadership Institute. “If,” he adds, “we have the will to do this.” 

Dealflow: Energy Efficiency

Mixergy raises £9.2 million to convert hot water tanks into energy storage systems. Individuals wanting to lower their carbon footprints – and energy bills – are adopting solar panels, electric vehicles, heat pumps and induction stoves. Oxford-based Mixergy wants to add hot water systems to the list. Hot water tanks “are a pragmatic, low-cost solution for energy storage—one that already has an established supply chain,” Mixergy’s Pete Armstrong told ImpactAlpha. “They’re a resource that’s not really being used.” Mixergy’s smart tanks heat only the water that is needed, using technology developed by Armstrong and co-founder Ren Kang at the University of Oxford. Mixergy’s funding round will finance R&D for its smart water tanks and other products, like a combined smart tank-heat pump. The round was backed by the venture arm of Portuguese utility EDP and U.K. social innovation nonprofit Nesta.

Impact Voices: Philanthropic Assets

Four steps to set foundations on the path to net zero. More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies have set targets for zeroing out emissions. Foundations, which in the U.S. hold more than $1 trillion in assets, have been slower to commit. “As foundations, we have the flexibility of [using] philanthropic tools like grants, investments, communication and convenings that are highly valuable in aligning mission-oriented pools of capital to a common goal, like net zero,” Kathleen Simpson of the Russell Family Foundation writes in a guest post on ImpactAlpha. TRFF late last year made its own commitment to reach net zero by 2030. Since then, it has invested $500,000 in Carbon Direct, which supports growth-stage climate tech, and helped Confluence Philanthropy convene net zero workshop for foundations. It also signed on to the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance. “It was an important first step to align with as we build the playbook,” writes Simpson. 

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