Methane emissions from the energy sector rose slightly in 2022, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Energy is the second-largest source of methane emissions created by human activity, accounting for nearly 40% of the total each year. Although the intensity of methane emissions from oil and gas production has fallen by around 5% since 2019, overall emissions from the energy sector are still increasing. Better monitoring for smaller-scale oil and gas leaks and repairs to leaky equipment could reduce methane emissions in the sector by 75%. Cutting methane emissions is not only one of the quickest ways to slow global warming but also one of the cheapest. The cost of tech aimed at avoiding methane emissions is actually less than the potential revenue generated from capturing that additional gas, meaning around 40% of methane emissions from oil and gas operations could be abated with zero net cost to the industry.
On a separate note, the US Department of Energy will spend $2.5bn on carbon capture pilot and demonstration projects. Battery recyclers plan to expand capacity in North America, and Texas is set to surpass California as the top state for solar. UK-based startups EO Charging and Geopura receive significant funding for EV fleet charging and hydrogen fuels respectively. The DOE announced $2.5bn in funding for carbon capture programs focused on de-risking transformational carbon capture technologies and scaling them commercially.
In deals, investments include an Amsterdam-based AI greenhouse, an AI-optimized battery pack provider, a Dayton provider of air duct and vent sealing technology, a Berlin-based company working on intelligent building energy systems, and an Edinburgh-based verifiable data platform for waste, among others. Exits and new funds include the acquisition of PearlX, a Charlottesville battery rental electrification platform by Antin Next Generation Infrastructure; and the merger of Honeycomb Battery and Nubia Brand International Corp, a hydroelectric infrastructure platform acquired by Hydro-Quebec. Furthermore, United Airlines raised $100m to invest in sustainable aviation fuel, while Sasol Ventures raised a €50m fund to invest in innovative industrial tech companies in energy, water, materials, agriculture, and IoT; and Contrarian Ventures raised a €25m fund to back the next-generation energy companies.
Finally, over a 20-year period after release, methane is 84 times more potent than CO2 when it comes to trapping heat. Methane currently accounts for more than 25% of global warming.