Feb 18, 2021

Dandelion Energy's geothermal funding rises to $65 million

Geothermal
Startups
funding
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Geothermal start-up Dandelion Energy has closed a $30 million Series B round of funding
Geothermal start-up Dandelion Energy has closed a $30 million Series B round of funding...

Geothermal start-up Dandelion Energy has closed a $30 million Series B round of funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $65 million. 

The raise was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures - a $1 billion fund led by Bill Gates - with participation from existing investors including GV, NEA, Lennar Corporation, Collaborative Fund, Building Ventures, Catchlight Ventures, and GroundUp.

More than 70% of energy usages in homes comes from heating, cooling, and water heating. Installing a Dandelion Geothermal Heating & Cooling System can reduce a home’s carbon emissions by as much as 80%, while eliminating the need to buy heating fuel. 

Dandelion’s innovative business model aligns federal, state, and utility incentives so that homeowners can upgrade to geothermal for less than they’re currently paying to heat and cool their home. 

"Through a combination of technology, data and operations, Dandelion is making geothermal heating and cooling cost-effective for the residential market, and working to solve a critical need for homeowners and our energy ecosystem," said Carmichael Roberts at Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

"Dandelion's geothermal heat pumps provide an efficient electric heating and cooling system that lowers the cost of heating and cooling for homeowners, no matter their region or climate. We're looking forward to working with Dandelion as they look to fully displace fossil fuels from the home's heating and cooling systems."   

In his new book, How To Avoid A Climate Disaster, Bill Gates writes that geothermal can generate carbon-free electricity but its energy density is quite low - and 40 percent of all wells drilled turn out to be duds.

"Although these problems mean that geothermal will contribute only modestly to the world's power consumption, it's still worth setting out to solve them one by one, just as we did with cars," he writes. "Companies are working on various innovations ... others are using horizontal drills so they can tap these sources more safely and efficiently."

The IEA reports geothermal electricity generation increased by an estimated 3% in 2019, below the average growth of the five previous years. The technology is still not on track to reach the Sustainable Development Scenario level, which would require a 10% annual increase in generation over 2019-30, it notes. 

"Policies tackling challenges associated with pre-development risks are needed to increase the deployment of geothermal resources for power generation," it states. 

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May 13, 2021

All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency

schools
energyefficiency
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only UK regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil

Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.

Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.

According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.

Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.

“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."

He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."

North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).

The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.

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