Combating climate change with cleantech
The calls for action on global change have become louder and far more frequent in recent months, with children skipping school and businesses shutting down to rally for change. The conversation is no longer being led by scientists and activists alone; from citizens and corporations, to politicians and young children, everyone is participating in the dialogue about the global impacts of climate change.
In those discussions, technology plays an interesting role. From one perspective, rapid technology advancements since the third industrial revolution have contributed to the climate crisis we face today. On the other hand, innovation and advancements in technology are likely going to be what helps us combat environmental disasters in the future.
There are an abundance of opportunities in the clean technology industry for innovators who are passionate about reducing the negative environmental impacts of climate change. More governments and organizations than ever are supporting companies that are producing leading edge clean technology.
Canada has outlined an ambitious goal of making clean technology one of the country’s top five exporting industries, which would nearly triple the sector’s current value to $20-billion a year by 2025. In Atlantic Canada, efforts have been made to improve the “generation, transmission and use of clean electricity,” with Atlantic provinces such as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on track to hit a target of reducing emissions by 30 per cent less than the 2005 levels by 2030.
The region is also a world leader in battery storage research, with unique, strategic partnerships such as Dalhousie University’s Canada Research Chair, Dr. Jeff Dahn and their first-ever agreement between a Canadian university and Tesla Motors to develop lithium-ion batteries.
The clean technology sector – or cleantech – is producing promising solutions to solve environmental challenges, and Atlantic Canada is home to some of the country’s most innovative cleantech companies participating in this fight against climate change.
Here are some incredible Atlantic Canadian cleantech companies building disruptive solutions to complex climate challenges:
CarbonCure is a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based company that is leading a movement to convert waste carbon dioxide (CO2) into concrete. The company offers concrete producers a technology that captures recycled CO2 in fresh concrete. This carbon footprint-reducing process not only reduces CO2 emissions, it also makes the end product stronger.
CarbonCure was one of only 12 Canadian companies on the 2019 Global Cleantech 100 list, and was also recognized as a top 10 finalist in the $20-million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE Challenge. The company also signed on more clients this past year, including a major deal with Linde, the world’s largest industrial gas supplier. The partnership will introduce CarbonCure’s technology to global markets, such as Europe, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.
Stash Energy is a Fredericton, New Brunswick-based startup that is passionate about energy storage. The company is developing an eco-friendly heating and cooling system that stores energy to help consumers save on their energy bills and do their part to protect the environment. Their flagship product, Stash M1, offers homeowners a way to store energy during more affordable “off-peak hours” that can be used at times when electricity prices are more expensive.
Since launching two years ago, this cleantech startup continues to demonstrate their momentum. In addition to pre-selling more than 1,500 units and launching paid pilots, Stash Energy recently raised $400,000 from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and PEI-based Island Capital Partners.
Mysa Smart Technologies is a Newfoundland and Labrador-based company aiming to provide environmentally-friendly and sustainable technologies that enrich peoples’ lives. Their smart thermostat, Mysa, is designed for electric baseboard heaters. Mysa is wifi-enabled, allows users to control the product from a mobile app, and includes artificial intelligence and mobile communication technology that enables the thermostat to adapt to a user’s specific needs.
In June 2019, the company shared that it raised $2.3-million to expand its operations. It now employs 50 people and plans to expand its product offerings, with a second hardware device in development.
Arolytics is an early stage startup with team members based in Halifax and Calgary. The startup is developing AROviz, a cloud-based software to help the oil and gas industry measure emissions. The user-friendly web application streamlines the process of regulatory compliance by offering an easy way to manage emission tracking data in real-time. According to the company, AROviz helps oil and gas producers cost-effectively plan field measurement campaigns and generate reports to demonstrate compliance, which is critical in a regulatory landscape that is becoming more stringent.
Arolytics was one of five Volta Cohort winners in May 2019 that recieved $25,000 in investment, along with resources, mentorship and dedicated space at Volta. The company is also a recent graduate of Dalhousie University’s LaunchPad program that earned their team $10,000 in funding.
Island Water Technologies (IWT) is a company based out of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and focuses on developing innovative products that combine renewable energy and wastewater treatment. The company has developed a number of products, such as the REGENTM wastewater treatment system, a unique bio-electrode sensor technology called SENTRYTM, and ClearPod™, an environmentally sustainable solution for septic system wastewater treatment.
IWT focuses on developing products for remote areas, such as military bases, disaster relief operations, mining camps and off-grid communities. In 2017, IWT successfully installed one of their REGENTM systems in a town located in the Northern Africa’s Algerian desert. The company was also one of the 20 companies that participated in the annual Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) Top 20 program.
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia-based Neothermal Energy Storage is creating a cleantech energy storage solution that helps homeowners transition from fossil fuels to low-cost electricity. Their smart home compatible, electric thermal storage (ETS) heater is designed for residential supplemental space and water heating, and is the only supplemental ETS available for furnace or boiler heated homes. The product uses Time-of-Day electricity rates to lower indoor heating and domestic hot water costs by up to 50 per cent and reduce heating oil consumption by up to 80-90 per cent.
In November 2018, Neothermal joined the third group of Volta Cohort companies, and now they’re working towards commercializing the product. This past year, the startup completed their first central ETS prototype in a home, which reduced the pilot home’s oil use by 75 per cent. Neothermal also participated in Propel’s Incite Accelerator, and are currently working on a community pilot program that they aim to launch next year.
Climate change is a problem that becomes worse the longer its left unaddressed. Thankfully, we have innovative companies in the region that are taking a proactive approach to combating climate change with cleantech.
Do you know an Atlantic Canadian cleantech company making a difference? We want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below if you think there is an innovative cleantech company we should highlight.