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CLEANTECH, CLIMATE TECH:

TO THE RESCUE?
Emerging Trends #5
produced with
1
ABOUT THIS REPORT
Get ready for the new cleantech decade
As we enter the 2020s, the climate and ecological emergency is now
the defining issue of our times. Meanwhile, a decade after a first
boom and bust, cleantech seems to be returning for a second
wave — with the help of a younger cousin: “climate tech.”
Technology alone cannot save the world, but we believe it will play a
decisive part in decarbonising the global economy and preserving
natural resources. Hence, for this fifth edition of our Emerging Trends
series, Leonard is partnering with Good Tech Lab for a synthetic
overview of the new cleantech and climate tech landscape.
This deck focuses on strategic sectors for VINCI Group, mainly
construction, energy, and transport. The trends and examples listed
in these slides are only meant to be representative, and obviously
not exhaustive. We hope you enjoy this reading!
Julien Villalongue, Managing Director, VINCI Leonard
Benjamin Tincq, co-founder and CEO, Good Tech Lab
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TABLE OF CONTENTS – CLEANTECH, CLIMATE TECH, TO THE RESCUE?
I. A PLANETARY CHALLENGE
II. ENERGY
III. TRANSPORTATION
IV. BUILT ENVIRONMENT
VI. THE EYE OF VINCI
V. CARBON REMOVAL
VII. A CLEANTECH RENAISSANCE?
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
A PLANETARY CHALLENGE
ENERGY
TRANSPORTATION
BUILT ENVIRONMENT
CARBON REMOVAL
THE EYE OF VINCI
A CLEANTECH RENAISSANCE?
CLEANTECH, CLIMATE TECH: TO THE RESCUE?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
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THE PLANETARY CHALLENGE
The 2020s, a decisive decade
5
CLIMATE CHANGE IN 1 CHART
Visual summary of the “United in Science" report, published in
September 2019 by the world’s leading climate and earth
science organisations, at the UN Climate Action Summit.
6
37 Gt CO₂ emissions in 2018 (+2%)
“Fossil fuel combustion and cement production release
about 90% of all CO₂ emissions and about 70% of all
greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.”
“Fossil CO₂ emissions continue to grow by over 1%
annually and grew by 2% in 2018, reaching a record
high of 37 billion tonnes [Gt] of CO₂.”
— UN United in Science 2019 report
… And 54 Gt CO₂-equivalent when counting
all greenhouse gases
The 30% of non-CO₂ anthropogenic emissions include

Methane (agriculture, fossil fuels, waste)

Nitrous oxide (agriculture, energy, industry)

Fluorinated gases (refrigeration, power electronics)
EMISSIONS STILL GROWING
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WHAT 2019 TAUGHT US Key climate science insights in 2019
01. The world is not on track
02. Climate change is faster and stronger
03. Climate change leaves no mountain summit behind
04. Forests are under threat, with global consequences
05. Weather extremes are a new normal
06. Biodiversity is the threatened guardian of earth’s
resilience
07. Climate change threatens food security and the
health of hundreds of millions
08. The most vulnerable and poor will be also the
most affected by climate change
09. Equity and equality are pivotal to climate change
mitigation and adaptation
10. Time may have come for social tipping points on
climate action
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GLOBAL CLIMATE RISKS
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THE CARBON LAW
Moore’s Law for Climate Action
The Paris Agreement target can be achieved if
humanity follows a Global Carbon Law: GHG emissions
should peak by 2020 at the latest, then halve every
decade until 2050—a 7% annual reduction.
This ambitious trajectory was proposed in 2017 in a
seminal paper by Dr. Johan Rockström et al. from the
Stockholm Resilience Centre. The name takes
inspiration from how Moore’s Law drove computing
forward since the 1960s by predicting that computing
power would double every two years.
11
THE FIRST HALVING The first decade of the Carbon Law
Halving global emissions between 2020 and 2030
12
A CLEANTECH RENAISSANCE?
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THE CLIMATE MOONSHOT
Reversing climate change while ensuring
people and nature thrive (*)
The “Climate Moonshot” will require a response on
several layers — technology, policy, behaviour change.
This deck gives a glimpse of the technological part
of the Climate Moonshot —“sustainability tech”
trends which help tackle the climate and ecological
crisis.
We focus on VINCI’s three most strategic sectors:
energy, transportation, and the built environment.
Additionally, we provide an overview on the emerging
field of carbon removal, along with the drivers and
trends shaping a “clean tech renaissance”
(*) Good Tech Lab: The Frontiers of Impact Tech, 2019
14
ENERGY
Selected cleantech and climate tech trends
15
A global energy transition
Our dependence on fossil fuels is the single
biggest driver of greenhouse gas emission and
outdoor air pollution. Halving emissions of the
energy supply sector this decade can be achieved
by focusing on three main areas:
Decarbonising energy generation with wind,
solar, geothermal, marine/hydro, clean fuels and
waste heat, as well as advanced nuclear.
Adding energy storage and flexibility to the
power grid to better handle decentralised energy
resources and the intermittency of renewables.
Reducing emissions from fossil fuel plants,
through methane leakage avoidance, along with
carbon capture and storage
THE ENERGY CHALLENGE
Share of global GHG emissions of the
energy supply sector (IPCC 2014)
- 25% for electricity generation
- 10% for fossil fuel extraction
35%
of global emissions linked to
energy use across all sectors72%
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17
ENERGY GENERATION
ENERGY GENERATION TECH
Scaling Solutions
- Solar and wind: falling costs accelerate deployment, while
emerging tech could further increase efficiency
- Nuclear: deployment is accelerating in China and Russia,
while Germany is decommissioning its plants
Technology Bets
- Geothermal, hydro, and marine: new companies aim to
increase efficiency and geographical availability of these
24x7 renewable sources
- Clean Fuels: for hard-to-decarbonise sectors, hopes lie in
low-carbon hydrogen production, next-generation biofuels,
and so-called “solar fuels”
- Advanced nuclear and fusion: several startups are
building cheaper and safer nuclear fission reactors, while
others are aiming for the “Holy Grail” of fusion
- Heat: breakthrough technologies include the production of
industrial, high-temperature heat, and the recovery of low-
quality, low-temperature heat
18
WIND POWER
Accessing better offshore wind
Beyond economies of scale and the use of AI to boost
the output of wind farms, floating foundations like
X1Wind could lower the cost of offshore turbines
and access stronger, more consistent winds.
Airborne wind power is emerging
Innovators like Makani (acquired by Alphabet) and
KPS aim to harvest high-altitude winds — with a
fraction of the material and surface footprint of
terrestrial wind. The technology remains immature
but is worth following this decade.
Energy Generation
Photo: Lo83 19
SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS (PV)
Energy Generation
Organic PV cells for new applications
Organic PV cells produced by Sunew and Heliatek are
made of carbon instead of silicon. Flexible, lightweight and
transparent, they can cover windows and other surfaces.
Advanced PV cells for higher efficiency
Perovskite is a crystalline material boosting the efficiency
of silicon panels by a third. OxfordPV leads the sector.
Concentrated PV uses an optical layer to concentrate light
beams onto smaller PV cells. Insolight aims for a 50%
higher efficiency.
Thermo PV is a long-term beat which could double
efficiency by converting sunlight to heat and then into a
light focused on the useful spectrum.
Photo: Insolight 20
SOLAR THERMAL
Concentrated Solar for industrial heat
Concentrated solar thermal remains a niche power
source, with 6GW installed globally.
Recently, innovators have made progress toward
producing high-temperature heat (> 1 000°C)
with concentrated sunlight. Such industrial-grade
heat could replace fossil fuels in the production of
hydrogen, cement and steel.
The most advanced projects are EU-funded
project Solpart and Gates-backed startup
Heliogen, which uses an array of AI-controlled
mirrors to concentrate sunlight.
Energy Generation
Photo: Heliogen 21
MARINE AND HYDRO POWER
A second wave for marine power?
High costs have so far plagued attempts to harness
power from the oceans, but marine energy could
be making a comeback.
Eco Wave Power uses onshore and nearshore
floaters and pistons to harness waves, with a 200
MW project pipeline as of late 2019.
Simec Atlantis uses underwater turbines for tidal
stream energy, with 400MW planned in Scotland.
Beyond wave and tidal, membrane innovations
could reboot salinity gradient energy, which
produces electricity from the chemical differences
between fresh and seawater.
Energy Generation
Photo: Matanya 22
GEOTHERMAL ENERGY
Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) could
bypass geography limitations
The century-old process of harnessing subterranean
heat has traditionally relied on natural cracks near
earthquake zones.
EGS developers like AltaRock aim to expand the
availability of this 24/7 source of renewable power,
by pumping high-pressure cold water into the rocks
to increase their permeability. Water captures the
rocks’ heat and brings it back to the surface, before
being reused in a closed-loop system.
Energy Generation
Photo: BLM Oregon and Washington 23
ADVANCED NUCLEAR
Smaller, better, faster, cheaper
The relevance of nuclear energy for climate
mitigation has been recognised by scientists,
policymakers, and even NGOs. However, building
giant reactors remains expensive and lengthy.
Private companies are developing new reactors 10
to 100 times smaller. These sizes mean lower costs,
simpler engineering, higher safety, lower amounts
of waste, and even partial recycling.
Promising avenues include small modular reactors
like NuScale (60 MW), molten salt reactors like
Seaborg (100 MW) which uses the mixture as a
coolant, and micro-reactors like Oklo (1.5 MW),
which uses a liquid metal coolant.
Energy Generation
Image: Seaborg Technologies 24
FUSION ENERGY
The holy grail of energy never felt so close
Fusion is the reaction which powers the stars: light nuclei
merge into heavier atoms in a plasma (+10M °C). Unlike
nuclear fission, which splits heavy atoms, fusion is 100%
safe and produces virtually no waste.
This promise of unlimited clean energy has been pursued
since the 1950s. The most popular approach is to use
magnetic fields to squeeze the plasma in a doughnut-
shaped chamber (a tokamak).
International consortium ITER is currently building an
experimental tokamak in southern France, and there are
20+ fusion startups. Pioneers Commonwealth Fusion
and Tokamak Energy are betting on tokamak variants,
while others are working alternative reactor designs, such
as First Light Fusion (inertial confinement) and
Renaissance Fusion. (stellarator)
Energy Generation
Photo: Robert Mumgaard 25
CLEAN FUELS (1/3)
Clean hydrogen at scale?
After decades of being eclipsed behind batteries,
hydrogen seems to be cool again. It could decarbonise
hard sectors like long-haul transport, heavy duty vehicles,
and steel. It can store energy, and generate electricity
with a fuel cell.
Today, 95% of hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels.
While CCS may help lower these emissions in the short
term (“blue hydrogen”), the top priority is to scale the
production of clean, “green hydrogen.”
Biomass conversion, by gasification (Air Liquide) or
microbial processes (Electro-Active Technologies)
Water electrolysis: Sunfire and Enapter are developing
better membranes to improve costs and efficiency
Artificial photosynthesis with a thermo/photochemical
process is the holy grail, but still remains a science bet.
Energy Generation
Photo: Arturbraun 26
CLEAN FUELS (2/3)
Advanced biofuels
Next-generation biofuels could overcome the limitations
of previous attempts to produce carbon-neutral fuels.
Indeed, first-generation biofuels generate adverse impacts
due to their reliance on monocultures, while second- and
third-generations (agricultural byproducts and micro-
algae) have been plagued by higher costs and inefficiency.
Fourth-generation biomass includes:
Waste biomass can provide bioenergy in urban areas.
Waga Energy upgrades landfill gas into grid-quality
biomethane, Enerkem converts sewage biomass into
bioethanol, while the Omni Processor turns fecal sludge
into electricity and water.
Gene-edited algae could potentially overcome the limits
of algae biofuels, but remain further away.
Energy Generation
Photo: Waga Energy 27
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CLEAN FUELS (3/3)
Synthetic fuels from greenhouse gases
Captured CO₂ and methane can be recycled into new
feedstock, through a range of processes known as
carbon conversion and utilisation. There are two main
ways to produce synthetic fuels:
Electrochemistry: precisely the electrochemical
reduction of CO₂ with water and electricity. Opus12
and Carbon Engineering focus on this field.
Industrial biotechnology, using a gas fermentation
process, where microbes grow on carbon-rich
exhaust gases. LanzaTech uses this process to
produce ethanol, which can be mixed with kerosene
to produce jet fuel with 70% less emissions. This low-
carbon kerosene has been tested by Virgin Atlantic
during a New York - London flight.
Energy Generation
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ENERGY STORAGE & GRID FLEXIBILITY
Image: Northvolt
ENERGY STORAGE TECH
Scaling Solutions
- Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous in electronics
and EVs, and increasingly for short-term stationary
storage. While Gigafactories are popping up, new
companies are developing better Li-ion electrodes.
- Pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) represents
95% of grid storage capacity worldwide (US DoE).
Technology Bets
- Thermal, mechanical, and chemical storage are
the most serious contenders for long-term grid
storage, as PHES is limited by geography and
environmental constraints.
- New battery technologies and super-capacitors
promise higher energy density, longer lifespan, better
safety and sustainability for the use cases covered by
Li-ion today.
30
LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES
Li-ion costs fell by a factor 10 in 10 years.
This is driving adoption in electronic products and
electric vehicles (EV). Production is led by Asian
battery giants LG Chem, CATL, BYD and Panasonic,
while Tesla is developing is own batteries and
challengers like Northvolt are emerging in Europe.
Batteries are increasingly used for short-duration
stationary storage, both “behind-the-meter” and at
grid scale — for applications like hourly balancing,
peak shaving and ancillary services.
The main challenges of Li-ion technology are limited
lifespan, safety, and material sustainability.
Energy Storage
31
THE RACE FOR BETTER BATTERIES (1)
Better electrodes — near-term improvement
on energy density for Li-ion
Lithium-silicon batteries use silicon anodes instead of
graphite: Sila uses nanotechnology to stabilise silicon
atoms. Lithium-sulfur batteries such as Oxis Energy
are further down the road, but could replace cobalt
and manganese in the cathode.
Solid-state batteries could increase energy
density and safety — a EV need
These batteries using glass, ceramics and polymers
instead of liquid electrolytes, could enter the market
by 2025. QuantumScape, Solid Power, and Ionic
Materials are among the key players.
Energy Storage
Photo: Oak Ridge National Lab 32
THE RACE FOR BETTER BATTERIES (2)
Sodium-ion batteries could be cheaper and more
sustainable — if they scale
The idea is to swap lithium for its abundant neighbour in
the periodic table: sodium, found in table salt. These
batteries have historically had weaker performance, but
companies like Tiamat have made great progress.
Flow batteries and zinc reactors — two
candidates for long-duration storage?
Flow batteries store energy in two liquid tanks containing
a positive and a negative aqueous solutions. Form Energy
seems on the cusp of breaking the cost barrier.
Zinc reactors such as e-Zn use zinc metal to store energy
detached from the electrodes, lowering costs.
Energy Storage
Photo: Eliza Grinnell
Photo: Dnn87
33
POWER-TO-X
Connecting the gas and power grid
Power-to-X technologies (P2X) convert electricity
into synthetic fuels (hydrogen, methane, ammonia,
methanol) through an electrochemical process
such as electrolysis. The resulting fuel can serve
for long-duration chemical energy storage in
buildings, or other applications.
Notable Power-to-X suppliers include McPhy
(hydrogen), Sunfire (hydrogen, syngas and heat),
and Carbon Recycling International (methanol).
Energy Storage
Photo: Sunfire 34
MECHANICAL STORAGE
Long-duration storage beyond pumped hydro
Pumped hydroelectric (PHS) represents 95% of global storage
capacity, but is limited by geography. Alternative conversion of
electricity to potential and kinetic energy could help bridge the
gap in long-duration storage.
Using pressure — Geostock (VINCI) and Hydrostor use a form
of compressed air energy storage (CAES) which is adiabatic:
without heat transfer. This allows these companies to store both
pressure and heat, with higher efficiency than traditional CAES.
Another option is to pressurise water underground, such as
Quidnet Energy which does so in abandoned oil wells.
Using gravity — Examples include EnergyVault which uses a
crane to stack concrete blocks together, and Gravitricity which
suspends the weight within a deep well.
Like pumped hydro, many of these systems are also limited by
their geography: either due to the need for appropriate sites, or
the landscape impacts relative to performance.
Energy Storage
Photo: Watas Arunas Gineitis 35
Energy Storage
Higher temperatures, better performances
Thermal storage (TES) is a great fit for long-duration storage.
Beyond molten salts used in concentrated solar, new materials
and smart combination of technologies can absorb and deliver
both heat and electricity — with better efficiency.
Storing heat and cold: Alphabet spin-off Malta converts
electricity into a temperature difference, which is stored as
heat in molten salts, as cold in a chilled liquid.
Molten silicon: using this medium, 1414 Degrees stores heat
at very high temperatures. Even hotter, an MIT concept heats
white-hot silicon at over 2300°C to harvest its radiative energy.
Packed-bed materials can also reach high temperatures.
Alumina Energy is one innovator betting on this.
Phase-change materials can store more energy at constant
temperatures using latent heat. Azelio achieves this using an
aluminium alloy heated at 600°C.
THERMAL STORAGE
Photo: Bartleby08 36
DECENTRALISED ENERGY RESOURCES
The rise of the Virtual Power Plant (VPP)
To better integrate decentralised energy resources (storage,
renewables, EVs) into the grid, the Virtual Power Plant model
is an elegant solution to offer grid balancing and resilience,
along with additional revenues for DER operators.
Stationary battery providers like Tesla, Sonnen, and Moixa
aggregate spare capacity from their customers into VPPs.
Demand response marketplaces use price signals to shift
consumption off peak hours. Leap uses APIs to send these
signals to smart devices like thermostats, EV chargers, and
freezers. The resulting “negawatt” VPP can help utilities with
peak shaving and customers to save money.
DER management platforms use AI to aggregate DERs from
various customers into a VPP, and connect them to wholesale
energy markets. Notable companies include Next Kraftwerk,
Open Energi, along with AMS and Stem which pivoted from
being storage developers to software-driven companies.
Grid Flexibility
37
CHALLENGES FOR CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY
Fossil fuels’ unfair advantage
The IEA estimates fossil fuel subsidies at $400
billion annually, twice as more as renewables.
Meanwhile, carbon pricing only exists in a few
countries, often way too low.
The metals question
The supply of critical metals such as lithium,
copper and cobalt may be increasingly
stressed. Furthermore, the mining of cobalt
and rare-earth elements has a terrible record
on pollution, health, and human rights.
Public perception
Certain technologies face low acceptance by
citizens: nuclear energy, carbon capture, and
even wind farms. While a democratic debate
on energy choices is welcome, it is often
hindered by frequent misconceptions and
fake news contradicting scientific facts.The need for breakthroughs
Several key components of a fully decarbonised
energy system still face major technical hurdles
before being competitive — grid-scale storage,
clean fuels, fusion energy, etc.
Energy is … complicated
It is a commodity business with high capital costs,
complex B2B supply chains, aversion to risk, heavy
regulated and political influence. This tends to
hinder the fast deployment of clean energy.
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TRANSPORTATION
Selected cleantech and climate tech trends
39
A global transportation transition
The transportation sector faces a twin challenge in a
urbanising world: upgrading the infrastructure while
reducing GHG emissions and air pollution. Halving
emissions this decade is achievable by:
Mainstreaming zero-emission vehicles, especially
electric vehicles (EV) with battery or fuel-cell


Improving access to clean urban mobility services
combining mass transit with shared fleets of bikes
and electric vehicles (including self-driving ones)


Tackling the hard-to-decarbonise long-haul
transport (travel and freight) with zero-emission
trucks, rail, airships, R&D in low-carbon aviation, and
optimised logistics networks.
THE MOBILITY CHALLENGE
Share of global GHG emissions from
the transportation sector (IPCC 2014)
- 3/4 in urban transport
- 1/4 in long-haul transport.
In France, this share is 29% of total
GHG emissions (38% of CO₂)
14%
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CLEAN PROPULSION
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CLEAN PROPULSION TECH
Scaling Solutions
- Battery EVs: battery technology keeps advancing and
production capacity is soaring, leading to costs and
performance improvements. Battery swapping is gaining
traction for two-wheelers in large metro areas
- Fast charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) attract
investments as rising energy demand from EV adoption will
require more public charging and grid balancing
Technology Bets
- New battery technologies and super-capacitors
promise better higher energy density, longer lifespan, better
safety and sustainability than current Li-ion batteries
- Wireless charging can reduce downtime in cities, or
preserve battery life on medium and long-distances through
dynamic in-road charging.
- Clean fuels like hydrogen, advanced biofuels and solar
fuels see renewed interest with a new generation of
innovators. While these fuels seem a natural fit for long-haul
transport, batteries lead on short distances.
42
EV BATTERIES
Clean Propulsion
Strategic partnerships on EV batteries
Battery manufacturing is ramping up with the fell in Li-ion costs
(10X in 10 years) and the rise in EV demand. New European
consortiums bring together battery and auto makers: Northvolt and
Volkswagen, Saft and PSA, Varta and BMW. Other notable
partnerships include Toyota with CATL and Panasonic, GM works
with LG Chem, and Fiat-Chrysler funding Tesla’s German factory.
Meanwhile, next-generation batteries could overcome the limits of
current Li-ion technology (see Energy chapter)
Super-capacitors: perfect partner for EV batteries?
Super-capacitors have already been used on trains and trucks to
recover the kinetic energy lost in braking, by companies like
Skeleton Technologies.
At CES 2020, NAWA unveiled an electric motorbike using a Li-ion
battery with a super-capacitor, allowing recharge in seconds, and
recovering 80% of kinetic energy.
Photo: NAWA Technologies 43
EV CHARGING
Fast charging follows rising EV adoption
Public stations could serve half of EV charging by 2030. DC fast
charging will be key to meet this demand. Leaders include EVgo,
Ionity, EVbox, ChargePoint, and Volta (ad-subsidised).
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) could help balance the grid and
diversify revenues for station owners
V2G pioneers include Nuvve and Greenlots (Shell) but
deployment depends on local energy policies.
Dynamic in-road charging: an emerging bet
This approach offers a interesting alternative to large batteries,
and could reduce EV costs while extending their range. However,
it requires substantial infrastructure investment and ultimately
depends on adoption from automakers.
VINCI Autoroutes, Eurovia, and Omexom are working on an
“electric highway” concept through induction charging.
Clean Propulsion
44
FUEL CELLS AND CLEAN FUELS
Fuel cells: a future in heavy vehicles?
Despite substantial investments by Toyota and Hyundai,
FCEVs have been hampered by the prohibitive costs of
vehicles, stations, and clean hydrogen. Estimates place FCEVs
at four times the kilometric cost of BEVs.
However, adoption seems likely for heavy vehicles such as
buses, trains, trucks, construction and utility vehicles. Nikola
is developing FCEV semi trucks, while Symbio offer fuel cell
kits to increase vehicle autonomy.
Hydrogen to retrofit conventional engines
A transitional alternative to fuel cells is to retrofit the internal
combustion engines (ICE) of existing vehicles, so they can use
hydrogen. HyTech Power installs a device on diesel trucks
which delivers hydrogen gas directly into the engine,
increasing fuel efficiency and reducing air pollution.
Clean Propulsion
Photo: Maurizio Pesce 45
46
URBAN MOBILITY
URBAN MOBILITY TECH
Scaling Solutions
- Mobility-as-a-service is taking over cities. Bike sharing
and electric buses are the low-hanging fruit to slash
emissions and air pollution, along with shared electric cars
and motorcycles. Conversely, e-scooters are not a climate
solution, as they are short-lived and tend to replace walking
and cycling instead of cars.
- Intelligent transport systems and urban planning AI can
further optimise urban transit.
Technology Bets
- Autonomous vehicles in shared electric fleets could
remove 90% of cars in cities while increasing travel capacity,
according to OECD studies.
- Flying e-taxis (eVTOL) are one of the hottest cleantech
sectors in terms of investment levels. However, their promise
to reduce congestion remain highly speculative, and they
require substantial energy and resources per passenger.
47
ZERO-EMISSION BUSES
Electric buses are a quick win for urban air
quality and decarbonisation
China is adding 9500 units every five weeks,
equivalent to the entire London bus fleet, led by
EV giant BYD. US bus manufacturer Proterra is
betting on complementary business models, such
as the electrification of third-party buses and
turnkey fleet management solutions.
A rapid transition to electric buses can boost the
entire EV sector, by driving down the costs of
batteries and related infrastructure technologies
(wireless charging, vehicle-to-grid).
Urban Mobility
Photo: DKMcLaren 48
ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES
Motor scooters go electric with the help of
MaaS — and battery swapping
Most large cities now have at least one electric
moped sharing system, operated by companies
like Cityscoot and Coup.
Scooters with swappable batteries, like Gogoro in
Taiwan and Ather Energy in India, are a good fit
for the scale of Asian megacities.
Urban Mobility
Photo: Maurizio Pesce 49
50
MOBILITY-AS-A-SERVICE (MAAS)
Toward a sustainable MaaS?
Early MaaS adoption is controversial from a sustainable
mobility standpoint, as ride-hailing tends to compete with
mass transit, increasing congestion and emissions.
Still, the MaaS model could become a major driver of
decarbonisation under certain conditions:
1. A multimodal integration which favours mass transit,
bike-sharing, and electric two-wheelers. Whim charges
a monthly fee for unlimited public transport and subsidised
bike-sharing (along with car-sharing). Meanwhile, Uber and
Lyft have started to add mass transit and shared bikes.
2. Shared electric vehicles with maximum occupancy.
Carpooling is already an option today.
3. Autonomous vehicles could move the needle. According
to OECD, shared electric AVs (shuttles and robo-taxis) would
remove 90% of cars in cities while increasing travel capacity.
Urban Mobility
51
AUTONOMOUS ELECTRIC VEHICLES
First use cases are promising …
While most AV investments (sensors, networks, algorithms)
are not sustainability-driven, emerging use cases signal a
convergence between autonomous, electric, and shared
transportation, mostly geo-fenced and/or at very low speeds:
Driverless shuttles like EasyMile and Navya, which
operate in parks, campuses, industrial sites, public transport,
and other supervised environments
Autonomous electric trucks like Einride could both cut on
emissions and reduce congestion, through fleet optimisation
… But most climate gains remain faraway
Studies expert electric shared AVs to eventually displace
vehicle ownership in cities because of superior economics
and traffic optimisation (see previous slide). However, robo-
taxis and full autonomy remain long-term bets.
Urban Mobility
Photo: Linneakornehed
52
MEDIUM AND LONG DISTANCE
43
MEDIUM AND LONG DISTANCE
Scaling Solutions
- Electric trucks are expected to hit the roads in the
early 2020s, some of them semi-autonomous.
- Maritime shipping could halve emissions with
existing tech for fuel efficiency and biofuels
Technology Bets
- Hydrogen is emerging as a viable alternative for
trains, buses, trucks, and other heavy vehicles
- Small electric planes could be a solution for
regional flights, but are still years away
- Airships could leapfrog conventional freight in the
developing world but development is early
- Hyperloop could offer medium-range high-speed
transport between certain city pairs, but it remains an
expensive infrastructure bet
53
54
ELECTRIC TRUCKS
Electric trucks on the road in the early decade
Electric trucks (battery EV and fuel cell EV) are
developed by market incumbents Volvo Trucks and
Daimler Trucks, as well as new entrants Rivian,
Tesla and Nikola Motor. Amazon ordered 100,000
delivery trucks from Rivian, and the world’s largest
brewer AB InBev purchased 800 Nikola Motor. First
units on the road are expected in 2023.
Deploying the adequate charging and refuelling
infrastructure will be a challenge, both on highways
and within central depots in last-mile routes.
Electric trucks could gradually become autonomous,
such as the ones from Einride and Xos Trucks.
Logistics
Photo: Steve Jurvetson
HYDRAILS
Hydrogen trains could replace diesel
propulsion in many regions
Hydrails can decarbonise rail where it is not powered by
low-carbon electricity (unlike in France).
These trains can use zero-carbon hydrogen from off-peak
electricity, with back-and-forth efficiency of about 30%
(power-to-x and fuel cell). Although less efficient than
electric traction, hydrails can lower the cost of new rail
infrastructure without overhead catenary (2M€/km).
The first hydra line started operating in Germany in 2018,
using a fuel cell version of Alstom’s Coradia train. Other
manufacturers include Stadler Rail, East Japan Railway,
and fuel cell makers like Ballard, Fuel Cell Powertrain and
Proton Motor.
So far, hydrails remain more suited for regional trains than
high-speed trains, which require more power.
Medium / Long Distance
55
56
ELECTRIC MINIPLANES
A solution for regional travel where rail
connection is poor?
Electric mini-planes for 20 passengers may help to
decarbonise certain short-haul (400 - 800 km)
travel for which rail connection is particularly poor.
The first airliners certified for commercial flights
are expected by the mid 2020s.
Promising companies include Heart Aerospace,
and Wright Electric. The latter offers battery
swapping and already partnered with Easyjet.
HES Element One and ZeroAvia develop similar-
purpose aircrafts powered by hydrogen fuel.
Medium / Long Distance
Photo: Heart Aerospace
CHALLENGES FOR SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY
Tough technological bets
Achieving 100% sustainable transportation
ultimately requires to win a few tech bets, such
as (i) sustainable batteries and hydrogen
production, (ii) lightweight materials which are
more easily recyclable (unlike most
composites), and (iii) intelligent systems to
maximise utilisation in logistics, mass transit,
and shared vehicle fleets.
The rebound effet
Energy efficiency tends to be offset by the
growth in transport demand. This happens
within mature economies like France, and
globally with access to mobility in emerging
markets. Zero-emission technologies, systems
and policies need to counter this.
Long-term infrastructure investments
Cars spend an average 10-15 years on the road,
while aircraft and ships often hit 50. The full
shift to zero-emission vehicles is thus a multi-
decade effort, which requires large investments
in technology and infrastructure, from battery
production and charging stations, to clean fuel
synthesis and distribution.
Smart policy and carbon pricing
Decarbonising transportation needs policies
that orient consumers towards clean mobility,
such as a (socially just) tax on carbon and heavy
vehicles. Urban policies can aim to reduce
individual cars and increase usage of mass
transit and smaller vehicles, but they will also
need to revamp taxation — especially with
shared autonomous vehicles.
57
BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Selected cleantech and climate tech trends
58
18%
A global construction transformation
Three-quarters of the global infrastructure that will exist
in 2050 has not been built yet, and architects estimate the
world will add a city the size of NYC every five weeks
for the next 30 years. This growth will be mostly located
in Asia during the 2020s, then in Africa.
Halving emissions every decade in both new and existing
buildings can be done in three main ways:
1. Shifting to low-carbon building materials — recycled
materials, wood, bio-based materials, and the emerging
decarbonised concrete and steel.
2. Improving the efficiency of construction — with
sustainable design tools, along with resource- and energy-
efficient equipment and processes.
3. Unlocking the vast potential for energy and
resource efficiency in building operations — through
retrofitting, smart building technologies, low-carbon
heating and cooling, and more efficient appliances.
THE BUILDINGS CHALLENGE
Share of global GHG emissions from
the power (12%) and heat (6%) used
by buildings (non-industrial activities)
9%
Share of global emissions from cement
(4%) and iron/steel (5%) production
59
60
BUILDING MATERIALS
44
BUILDING MATERIALS
Scaling Solutions
- Low-carbon cement: geo-polymers and slag-derived cements
are already on the market. Stricter regulation on lifecycle emissions
are giving a boost to their development, but the latter remains
constrained by the local availability of raw materials.
- Mass timber is getting increased traction for its sustainability
features, boosted by high-tech prefabrication.
Technology Bets
- Advanced low-carbon cement: CO₂-cured clinker and bio-
cement are emerging alternatives for deep decarbonisation.
- Low-carbon steel: Pilots by incumbents and startups involve
decarbonised heat and electrochemistry.
- Recycled materials: 100% recycled concrete and asphalt are now
in pilot stage, while alternative products made from plastic are
emerging for certain applications.
- New materials derived from biotechnology and the use of
carbon-dense biochar are emerging.
61
LOW-CARBON CEMENT (1/3)
Building Materials
Clinker substitutes (low-clinker tech)
90% of emissions in cement production derive from
clinker, due to fossil fuels used to heat the kiln, and the
CO₂ released by limestone when it turns into lime.
The most mature solution is to lower the share of clinker
by adding materials with cement-like properties.
Slag, a byproduct of steelmaking, is one such material,
and can reduce cement emissions by 70%. However,
this process depends on the availability of slag material,
and is thus relevant in steel regions like China and India.
Slag-based cement companies include Ecocem, which
partners with VINCI, and Hoffman Green.
Using a different approach, CarbiCrete makes carbon-
negative concrete blocks, using slag without any
Portland clinker, and curing the mix with captured CO₂.
Photo: VINCI / Ecocem 62
LOW-CARBON CEMENT (2/3)
Building Materials
Novel cements (alternative-clinker tech)
Another approach is to use alternative clinkers as the
main binder, using new materials and processes.
Geopolymers are inorganic polymers made by reacting
minerals (steel slag, fly ash, volcanic rock, clay) with an
alkali-activator. Geopolymer cements commercialised by
Zeobond achieve 80-90% emissions reduction. Like
slag-based cement, material availability is variable.
Carbonatable Calcium Silicate Clinker (CCSC) hardens
with CO₂ instead of water, for 60-70% less emissions.
CCSC is limited to precast concrete, but uses abundant
materials and traditional kilns. Solidia is the leader in
the field, and partnered with LafargeHolcim.
Magnesium-based cements cured with CO₂ could
reach carbon-negativity, but remain at the R&D phase.
Credit: Ricardo Gomez Angel
63
LOW-CARBON CEMENT (3/3)
Building Materials
Beyond cement: bio-based concrete
A third approach is to ditch the traditional concrete
recipe and rely on nature. While weak properties have
traditionally confined bio-based concrete to niche
applications such as insulation and soundproofing,
some structural products are emerging, from
companies like Biosys (hemp) or Alkern (wood).
Biofabrication, a type of industrial biotechnology
which “grows” materials using biological processes,
could offer promising answers. Leading innovator
bioMASON mixes aggregates with micro-organisms,
which are fed an aqueous solution, hardening the mix
in what the company called “biocement”.
Photo: bioMASON 64
Building Materials
LOW-CARBON STEEL
Decarbonising blast furnaces
Greenhouse gas emissions in metallurgy derive from the
fossil fuels used to heat furnaces. Alternatives rely either on
decarbonised heat or on electrochemistry.
Hydrogen furnaces attract investments from leading
steelmakers, with pilots planned in Sweden by SSAB, and in
Germany by ArcelorMittal and ThyssenKrup. This process
will depend on the affordability of clean hydrogen.
Circular carbon furnaces use fuels made from atmospheric
carbon. ArcelorMittal is investing in a bioenergy-powered
plant in Ghent, and one in Dunkirk using synthetic gas made
from CO₂ captured from the blast furnace itself.
Molten oxide electrolysis uses zero-carbon electricity to
turn iron oxides into steel. MIT spinoff Boston Metal and
EU project Siderwin, with EDF and ArcelorMittal as
members, are developing this technology.
65
RECYCLED MATERIALS
Recycling building materials
For hard-to-reuse material like concrete and glass wool, recycling can
be a viable option. In some case it can be easier to upcycle into
different products, such as asphalt made from roofing felt.
Eurovia (VINCI Group) recently built a highway section with 100%
recycled asphalt, using a mobile recycling unit from Marini-Ermont.
Recycling waste plastics into building materials
Plastic roads often incorporate plastic waste into an asphalt mix. They
are commonplace practice in India, and the UK Department is doing a
pilot with MacRebur. Another approach is to make prefabricated road
elements from plastic waste, such as KWS and Total’s Plastic Road.
Plastic bricks are alternatives to cinder blocks made from
compressed plastic waste. ByFusion has developed recycling units
which fit into shipping containers, for utilities and communities.
Plastic gravels, such as ArqLite's, a sustainable and lightweight
alternative to quarry rocks, for uses in non-structural concrete.
Other examples include Zicla's urban furniture for cycle lanes.
Building Materials
Photo: Eurovia / VINCI 66
Building Materials
ENGINEERED WOOD
Mass timber: the concrete of the 21st century?
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) and other mass timber have
been called “the concrete of the future,” due to their structural
and environmental features. Tall timber buildings already exist
in Europe, and a 70-story skyscraper is scheduled in Tokyo.
Prefab and digital manufacturing technologies could
further the adoption, as described in the next section.
Engineering high-performance wood
In the future, synthetic biology and green chemistry could
produce new materials combining the sustainability properties
of wood with high-performance features.
Woodoo turns low-grade wood species into a product with
the strength profile of metal, by removing the lignin and
replacing it with a bio-based resin. The result is a translucid
wood with higher resistance to shock, fire, and moisture.
Photo: Øyvind Holmstad 67
DESIGN AND BUILD PROCESS
Credit: bobarc
68
DESIGN AND BUILD PROCESS
Scaling Solutions
- Prefab construction has been around for ages, but high-
tech modular systems for passive homes and larger buildings
are gaining ground, reducing material waste and
mainstreaming the use of mass timber
- Battery electric and fuel cell machinery can leverage
proven technology to decarbonise construction sites  
- Low-carbon design software is already well deployed and
continues to improve 
Technology Bets
- Materials marketplaces offer a solution to the reuse
challenge (driven in part by regulation), but still face logistics,
costs and quality control challenges.
- Materials passports for buildings could also drive the
reuse of materials after deconstruction, and be driven by the
larger adoption of BIM sector-wide.
69
LOW-CARBON DESIGN SOFTWARE
Generative architecture
Generative design uses algorithms to automate the creation of design
options, and optimise them for certain parameters like material use,
space utilisation, structural strength, or energy efficiency. Autodesk
and its Project Refinery are among pioneers in that space..
At the city level, SpaceMaker uses AI to generate different ways to
maximise the potential of a building site, along with detailed analyses.
The idea is to allow architects, engineers, real estate developers, and
municipalities, to decide on better solutions for urban sustainability.
Advanced simulations
Other solutions use data science to evaluate scenarios on
sustainability criteria, such as Vizcab which simulates and compares
the lifecycle analysis of scenarios for a given building, helping
professionals to focus on improving what matters.
UrbanFootprint uses parcel-based datasets, urban design toolkits,
and interactive features for scenario building and data visualisation.
This helps local governments and real state developers assess the
impacts, including CO₂ emissions, accessibility, mobility, water and
energy use, conservation, resilience, etc.
Design and Build
70
MATERIALS REUSE
Marketplaces to reuse construction materials
The built environment accounts for the majority of resource use
and waste globally. One way of reducing this footprint is to reuse
waste construction materials. Marketplaces like Werflink
(Belgium) and Backacia (France) aim to facilitate the process, and
to overcome challenges in logistics, quality and costs.
Material passports for circular buildings
Building materials and elements like window frames, inner walls,
ceilings and foundations can be reclaimed during deconstruction.
This requires circular design principles, along with a way to identify
components in a building.
Material passports aim to provide digital records serving this
purpose. With the idea that “waste is a material without an identity,”
Madaster offers an online library of geo-located materials,
featuring BIM data provided by constructors. EU-funded BAMB
(Buildings As Materials Bank) is another experimental material
passport, tested on a range of pilot projects.
Building Materials
71
PREFAB TECHNOLOGIES
Prefab eco-homes
Prefabrication is not new. The goal is to save on time, costs and
wasted material, by moving the building process in a factory, a
method which is mainstream in countries like Japan.
New players like Plant Prefab add a focus on passive homes
with eco-materials, climate control systems, and clean energy.
They often leverage modular chassis and digital manufacturing,
like FactoryOS, Facit Homes and Wikihouse.
Industrial Prefab: a sustainability driver?
Other high-tech prefab players combine modularity and digital
fabrication to build larger buildings, faster and with reduced
waste, such as Project Frog and Full Stack Modular.
Thanks to its vertical integration, Katerra is driving the adoption
of CLT (see previous section) in the US. The company makes its
own CLT in an automated factory, using AI to match wood boards
and waste as little material as possible.
Design and Build
Photo: Andre Barbosa 72
ZERO-EMISSION

CONSTRUCTION SITES
Decarbonising construction equipment
In spite of prefab’s potential, a substantial part of construction
work will remain performed on-site, where cities like Oslo are
now demanding zero-emission operations.
Technologies which matured in the energy and transportation
are now also deployed to decarbonise construction sites.
Battery electric equipment is available for medium-duty
vehicles, such as small excavators and wheeled loaders offered
by leading manufacturers like Volvo CE and Caterpillar. In off-grid
construction plants, these machines can be recharged with solar
generators, also used to power welfare cabins.
Hydrogen fuel cells can also power on-site generators offered
by companies like PowiDian, Powercell and Intelligent Energy
— as a one-off investment or a pay-as-you-go model. Eventually,
fuel cells might even replace combustion engines for heavy-duty
equipment, which require too much power for battery electric.
Design and Build
73
BUILDING OPERATIONS
74
CONSTRUCTION TECH
Scaling Solutions
- Smart building systems using remote sensors and
controls, analytics and automation have already been
vastly deployed to improve energy efficiency. The next
stage is likely to bring about more integration between
siloed data source, and a bigger role for AI.
- Waste heat recovery is not new, but improvements
allow to harvest new heat sources at the building and
district level, such as data centers, AC units, and even
air humidity 

Technology Bets
- Innovations in heat pump and cooling systems
could help decarbonise heating and air conditioning,
thanks to new materials, membranes, and smart
combination of established thermodynamic processes
75
SMART BUILDINGS (1/2)
Toward a (Green) Building OS
Energy IoT platforms like Enlighted allow building
owners and tenants to control lighting and HVAC in
order to achieve energy savings. Similar tools exist for
equipment monitoring, water management, building
information modelling (BIM), and more.
The idea of a Building OS is to overcome these silos
by aggregating different data types, generated by
smart building assets, BIM systems, and by occupants
themselves. A “digital twin” visual interface would
then provide a visual and interactive overview.
VINCI’s new HQ Archipel, opening in Nanterre in 2021,
will feature a BOS co-developed with Spinalcom.
Building Operations
Photo: VINCI 76
SMART BUILDINGS (2/2)
Machine learning and the next frontier for energy
efficiency in buildings
The use of machine learning for energy efficiency is not
new: it has been used by connected thermostats like Nest
and more recently Ecobee (two of the most successful
energy startups) along with smart building solutions.
With a more sophisticated approach, Carbon Lighthouse
deploys up to 300 sensors in its customers’ buildings to
identify every possible “efficiency reserve.” The company
uses machine learning to create a custom simulation
based on sensor data, as well as historical data from 700+
asset types, collected in each supervised building.
With one-off recommendations and ongoing optimisation,
Carbon Lighthouse allows about 20 to 30% energy savings.
Building Operations
77
HEATING AND COOLING (1/2)
Reusing waste heat
Waste heat is an abundant renewable source, which can
be harvested on-site and at the district level.
On-site heat reuse can tap into many sources. Terrao
uses high-performance heat exchangers to recover the
latent heat from ambient humidity, providing heating
and cooling. Accenta uses AI to recover waste heat
produced in summer by AC units, along with solar heat,
and uses it for underground inter-seasonal storage.
District heating can use heat recovered from nearby
facilities, in addition to traditional cogeneration sources.
Facebook’s new data centre in Denmark will heat 7,000
homes, while Stockholm Exergi already serves 25,000
apartments with heat recovered from data centers and
other commercial buildings.
Building Operations
78
HEATING AND COOLING (1/2)
Improved heat pumps and cooling systems
Ground source heat pumps are an efficient way use the
earth as a heat sink in summer, and a heat source in winter.
Dandelion uses a standardised unit and a low-drilling
technique to reduce upfront costs by three.
Thermal compressors can drive a heat pump using heat
instead of electricity. Boostheat converts natural gas into
useful heat much more efficiently than gas boilers.
Low-emission cooling is an emerging field which tackles
the climate impact of AC units, through energy efficiency
and a lower use of HFC refrigerants.
The Global Cooling Prize recently selected ten finalists
which rely on new materials and membranes, along with a
smart combination of existing AC technologies like vapour
compression and evaporative cooling.
Using thermal compression, scientists even envision to rely
on waste heat to drive cooling systems.
Building Operations
79
CHALLENGES FOR SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY
Policy and decarbonisation
For existing buildings, energy retrofits need
enough subsidies and counsel for owners and
tenants. The French government is launching a
simplified system, hoping to meet the target of
500,000 annual upgrades. Local governments
can also rely on energy performance contracts
to incentivise investment from operators.
For new buildings, sustainable and second-life
materials would be boosted by the recognition
of embedded carbon in regulation and public
procurement.
Technological bets
Deep decarbonisation in the built environment
will eventually require to make substantial
progress in fields like novel cements, cooling,
energy storage, and hydrogen fuel cells.
Innovating in a risk-averse sector
The need for safety and predictability works
against innovation in construction. This is true
especially for the adoption of new materials,
from engineered wood to low-carbon concrete
and steel. Injuries, repairs, and delays could
outweigh environmental benefits, making
architects and builders reluctant to deviate
from standards. Fostering education and
awareness is thus crucial, not only among
architecture and construction firms, but also
regulators, trade associations, and educators.
80
CARBON REMOVAL
Negative Emission Technologies
81
The need for carbon removal
Even in the most optimistic IPCC scenarios, a rapid
reduction of global emissions is not enough to keep
global heating under 2°C, let alone 1.5°C — there is a
need for large-scale “negative emissions.”
“Negative emissions” consist in the removal of
excess carbon from the atmosphere, through the
restoration and creation of carbon sinks.
1. Natural solutions relies on the biological processes
which underlie carbon sinks
2. Engineered solutions, which rely on technology to
create artificial carbon sinks
3. Hybrid solutions, which combine photosynthesis and
technology to create new carbon sinks
The first category represents the bulk of available
potential today — but the other two could mature
within the next 10 to 20 years.
THE NET ZERO CHALLENGE
400 GtCO₂
The minimum negative emissions required
by 2100 in the most ambitious IPCC
scenarios for 1.5C warming.
This is equivalent to 10 whole years of
current emissions.
82
CARBON REMOVAL IN NET-ZERO SCENARIOS
Source: UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2017
83
NATURAL SOLUTIONS
Reforestation and ecosystem restoration
High-carbon ecosystems (forests, peatlands, wetlands, etc.) could
store 150 GtCO₂ by 2050. Several tech firms provide scalable tools
for reforestation and carbon markets.
Large-scale reforestation solutions like Dendra Systems offer
analytics and drone-planting solutions.
Reforestation marketplaces such as Pachama allow companies
to fund curated forest projects, and use machine learning to
evaluate carbon storage based on lidar and satellite imagery.
Carbon farming: restoring soil carbon
Soil carbon can be increased by regenerative agriculture methods
like low/no tillage, crop rotation, cover crops, perennial crops, and
agroforestry. Carbon farming could store 170 GtCO₂ by 2050.
Nori is a carbon farming marketplace, which verifies negative
emissions with third-party carbon accounting tools.
Carbon Removal
Credit: Pachama
Image: Pachama 84
ENGINEERED SOLUTIONS (1/2)
Carbon Removal
Direct Air Capture (DAC)
DAC uses electrochemistry to separate CO₂ from ambient air or seawater.
The concentrated CO₂ can then either be stored in rocks, or reused as
feedstock for new products (see next slide). Carbon Engineering and
Climeworks already have commercial DAC plants.
Two main challenges remain: bringing the cost down from $500 to $100 per
ton of CO₂ (better materials could help, such as metal-organic frameworks),
and making DAC units ultra-low-consumption.
Enhanced Weathering (EW)
Weathering is a natural process in which rocks react with CO₂ under
rainwater to form bicarbonates, creating sediments in ocean depths. This
process is the largest carbon sink on Earth on geological times, which EW
aims to accelerate to a few days.
Minerals, either natural or man-made (ex: steel slag) could react with
atmospheric CO₂ directly (ex: on agricultural lands or coastal areas), but also
with CO₂ from Direct Air Capture, such as the CarbFix project in Iceland, of
which Climeworks is a partner.
Overall, EW seems a very promising avenues for large-scale removal of
atmospheric carbon, but R&D remain in its early days.
Photo: Climeworks / Julia Dunlop 85
ENGINEERED SOLUTIONS (2/2)
Carbon Removal
Capture Capture and Utilisation (CCU)
CCU, or carbon tech, is the conversion of captured carbon
(CO₂ or methane) into a feedstock to create new products.
Technologies mostly rely on electro- and thermo-chemical
processes, or industrial biotechnology.
Only a fraction of CCU products are truly carbon-negative,
while others have a reduced footprint. They include:
Building materials like cement substitutes (see Chapter 4)
and facades made from 95% biochar (MadeofAir)
Fuels and chemicals (Opus12, LanzaTech, Enobraq)
Plastics and polymers (Newlight)
Food and feed (Kiverdi, Solar Foods)
Advanced materials such as carbon fiber and carbon
nanoparticles (Carbon Upcycling Technologies)
Photo: Made of Air GmbH 86
CARBON TECH: A 6.5 TRILLION € MARKET?
87
THE EYE OF VINCI
From VINCI and beyond
88
THE EYE OF … ISABELLE SPIEGEL
VINCI commits to carbon neutrality by 2050 on scope 1 and 2
emissions, with a milestone of 40% reduction by 2030, and we will
strive to reduce scope 3 emissions from our value chain. More
broadly, we also commit to boost the circular economy and preserve
natural environments. We have been making investment in these
areas for many years, because our business is highly dependent on
resource availability.
For a large part of this commitment, we have identified where and
how to focus today: for instance on recycled asphalt, low-carbon
cement, or hybrid engines for heavy-duty vehicles. But we need to
invest in R&D to really move the needle beyond the obvious. For
instance, demonstrate that the recovering of the kinetic energy from
heavy-duty vehicles is a reality, finding a way to produce ultra-low-
carbon cement in industrial quantities, or mineralising captured CO₂
to store it or reuse it into new building materials?
For the past two years, we have seen a new cleantech acceleration.
But the challenge is to move beyond early-stage companies to get
these technologies to scale, and measure their impact.
Sustainability Director, VINCI Group
89
THE EYE OF … CHLOE CLAIR
Yesterday’s construction methods are no longer compatible with planetary
boundaries. Society will hold us accountable for embedded carbon and
other sustainable development goals. Thankfully, there are already many
solutions to help improve on this, and technology helps a lot.
We already know how to make concrete with 30% less emissions, but R&D
and pilots on ultra-low-carbon concrete are very promising, with 60% less
embedded carbon and beyond. This will be one of the biggest revolutions
in our industry as it is scalable. The main challenge, as always, will be
execution, such as rapidly deploying the mixers. Low Carbone concrete has
the largest impact on Carbone, but other concrete technologies can also
bring their own improvement: for instance Ecoconcrete® technology
allows biodiversity to thrive on coastal and marine infrastructure.
Cleantech is relevant to our sector in many ways, for instance harvesting
rainwater on construction sites or on our infrastructure, or decarbonising
the power source of heavy duty vehicles. I also find cross-laminated
timber interesting: if the supply chain can follow, it could have a positive
impact on medium-scale building design. On the social front, prefab,
robotization and automation can help alleviate the painfulness of
construction and have less impact.
We will launch in the coming weeks an open platform aiming to
crowdsource all the very specific technologies which will allow to reduce
our indirect (scope 3) emissions.
CTO, VINCI Construction
90
THE EYE OF … CORINNE LANIÈCE
Our customers now expect us to reduce not only their energy costs,
but also their CO₂ impact. We do this by deploying a portfolio of
solutions, and through energy performance contracts.
Wind and solar have matured and are cost-competitive, and we see
a big interest in micro-grids. The real challenge is to solve energy
storage. There will be no silver bullet: in addition to pumped hydro,
power-to-gas  promising, and on the short-term, we can improve on
the second life of Li-ion batteries. Demand response and V2G can
also help balance the grid.
 On the building front, smart digital tools are key to achieve this.
With the new BOS piloted at Archipel, we will go even beyond, by
involving users in environmental management. We can also
improve HVAC, for instance with the Green Floor™ system
developed with our colleagues from VINCI Construction, which
uses convection and radiation to distribute heat more efficiently.
 And of course we have an ambitious action plan to reduce our own
emissions. The development of zero-carbon technologies for
vehicles and construction machinery will be decisive for this.
General Counsel, VINCI Energies
91
THE EYE OF … IVAN DROUADAINE
Eurovia is an integrated company: we develop our own materials. After 20
years of work on recycled roads, we recently showed that 100% recycled
asphalt is feasible. Since this full-scale demonstration, confidence in high
recycling rates has jumped to the forefront and we are deploying rates of
up to 70% on structuring networks, which is today’s sweet spot,
environmentally and economically. 
Some innovations invite us to rethink how we commercialise our offering
across VINCI. For instance, the Power Road system captures the heat on
the road and redistributes it to nearby buildings and infrastructure, using
a heat pump system. This invites us to have an integrated approach
upstream in connection with the building and the neighbourhoods.
I think we are experiencing a second wave of clean tech innovation,
where the commitment from large companies is more profound, and
startups offer many inspiring solutions. As always, we need robust
scientific evaluation and lifecycle analysis.
In the next decade, we expect an acceleration of clean mobility. Although
it’s not easy to predict on which perimeter will hydrogen and battery EV
prevail, and what will be the role of dynamic charging and fast-chargers,
we want to be the best engineering partner to implement those
solutions, this is the meaning of our current partnerships.
Technical and Research Director, Eurovia (VINCI Group)
92
A CLEANTECH RENAISSANCE?
Conclusion
93
FOUR MAIN DRIVERS FOR THE RENAISSANCE
A planetary emergency
The impacts are faster and
stronger than anticipated,
driving action across
society and the economy.
Society waking up
The climate and ecological
crisis is mobilising civil
society and leading
government to (re)act.
Economic incentives
Climate risks and new
opportunities are
reshaping agendas in the
private sector.
Technological progress
With newfound maturity and
diversity, technology is
providing essential tools in the
fight against climate change.
94
#1: A PLANETARY EMERGENCY Climate change is already here
With the spectacular nature of extreme weather events,
many realise climate change is not a distant risk, but a
very tangible reality — from fires in Australia, Africa and
the Amazon, to European heatwaves, Indian droughts, and
unprecedented ice loss in Greenland and Antarctica.
Report after report, science is confirming: climate impacts
are hitting us faster and stronger than previously
anticipated. These patterns also include melting glaciers
and ice sheets, sea-level rise, thawing permafrost, ocean
acidification, additional stress on terrestrial ecosystems,
and higher probability to cross climate tipping points.
Meanwhile, the destruction of natural habitat means one
in eight species face near-term extinction. The use of
natural resources has more than tripled since 1970.
Overall, the climate and ecological crisis is a threat to food
security, infrastructure and health for hundreds of millions
humans — especially the most vulnerable and poor.
95
#2: SOCIETY WAKING UP New generations are mobilising
Climate marches, school strikes, Extinction Rebellion: the
streets often appear as the main theatre of mobilisation for
the youth. However, their influence shall truly be felt in their
votes, purchases, and career choices.
Companies increasingly realise that an ambitious and
consistent sustainability plan is key to attract the best talent,
while the lack thereof can drive the rebellion of workers at
Amazon, Google and Microsoft. In France, over 30,000
students pledged not to work for polluting industries.
Governments are starting to react
An increasing number of nations are translating carbon
neutrality goals into law (France, the UK, Denmark, Sweden,
New Zealand), passing progressive regulations on circular
economy and biodiversity. Economist Mariana Mazzucato
has been influential in shaping the next EU framework
program around mission-oriented innovation.
Meanwhile, cities and regions are coordinating through
networks like C40, and are positioning themselves at the
forefront of climate action.
Data and graphic source:

Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit
96
#3: ECONOMIC INCENTIVES Investors are taking notice
"Climate risks are investment risks,” says Blackrock CEO
Larry Fink. The world’s largest asset manager joined the
Investor Agenda, which is driving 1200 of its peers, totalling
$35 trillion assets, to increase investments in low-carbon
technologies while adding pressure on corporate boards and
governments for climate action.
Investors also see a market opportunity: $12 trillions for
solutions to the Global Goals. Impact investing has reached
$500 billion and double annually. And tech investors are
banking on climate tech, from thematic funds such as Fifty
Years and Future Positive Capital, to Silicon Valley icons like
Sequoia and Y Combinator.
Net zero is the new black
Over 300 large companies have set science-based targets to
reduce emissions (scope 1 and 2) in line with the 2°C target.
Besides, a growing number have set a carbon neutral or net-
zero emissions target: VINCI, Microsoft, IKEA, Kering, etc.
97
#4: TECHNOLOGY MATURING Technological breakthroughs against the
climate and ecological breakdown
Since the last cleantech wave in the 2000s, technology
has improved in several levels. First, technologies like
solar, wind, and Li-ion batteries have seen their costs
fall dramatically (see left graphic). Such economies of
scale accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.
Second, digitalisation has been transforming all sectors,
and is playing a big part in the decarbonisation of
transportation, buildings the electricity grid, along with
facilitating carbon markets.
Second, deep-tech entrepreneurship (companies built
on unique scientific and engineering IP) is on the rise in
different areas, from energy to new materials and AI.
Building a cleantech remains hard, but is not as
daunting as it used to, thanks to technological progress
and falling barriers to science venturing.
98
Source: Exponential Roadmap 1.5, 2019
99
CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME
1. Avoiding solutionism
Technology is a fundamental pillar of the answer to the climate
and ecological crisis, but it is not sufficient. Other pillars
include behaviour change toward sobriety, and ambitious
policies for a just transition to a decarbonised economy.
2. Keeping a holistic perspective
Climate change is the defining issue of our times, but that
should not lead us to compromise on other global commons —
biodiversity, land, oceans, and freshwater. Rigorous and
systemic impact management methods are essential.
3. Drawing lessons from the 2000s
With notable exceptions such as Tesla and Sunrun, the first
cleantech wave ended badly for most investors and companies,
as Leonard explained in a previous article.
LESSONS FROM THE FIRST WAVE Lessons from the past
As summarised by a seminal MIT report: “VC firms spent
over $25 billion [on cleantech] from 2006 to 2011 and lost
over half their money.” Thin-film solar cells, biofuels, and
battery swapping startups fared especially poorly.
The authors estimate that cleantech startups were a
poor fit for VCs because of four main reasons:
• They required significant capital to scale
• They have long development timelines
• They were uncompetitive in commodity markets
• There were too few corporate acquirers
The authors conclude in 2016 that cleantech “does not
fit the risk, return, or time profiles of traditional VC.”
Source: MIT Energy Initiative 2016

“Cleantech and VC: the wrong model for innovation?”
100
REASONS TO BE HOPEFUL Why this time could be different
In spite of this warning, several weak signals point to the
possibility that the new wave of cleantech and climate
tech could be different:
• A more mature corporate innovation landscape
which favours increased investment, partnerships and
M&A with startups, including in deep tech.
• A broader set of funder types and innovation models
for science venturing in sustainability — patient capital
like Breakthrough Energy Ventures and family offices,
public funding like ARPA-E and the European Innovation
Council (EIC), various incubator and studio models to
commercialise science, and even philanthropic funding.
• A convergence between hardware, biology, and
software, which can both diversify and accelerate time
to market, and in certain occasions, provide returns
which are more VC-compatible (ex: Nest).
• The four driving sources of the new cleantech and
climate tech wave, listed earlier.
Source: MIT and Prime Coalition in Stanford Social Innovation Review

“The Investment Gap That Threatens The Planet”, 2018
101
AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
MATTHIEU LERONDEAU

VINCI Leonard

Chief Editor
BENJAMIN TINCQ

Good Tech Lab

Lead Author
MANUELLA CUNHA BRITO

Good Tech Lab

Lead Author
MARK BÜNGER

Good Tech Lab

DeepTech Expert

LUDOVIC SINET

Good Tech Lab

DeepTech Expert
102
THANK YOU

FOR READING!
Contacts
matthieu.lerondeau@vinci.com
ben@goodtechlab.io
103

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Emerging Trends #5 | Cleantech, climate tech : to the rescue ?

  • 1. CLEANTECH, CLIMATE TECH:
 TO THE RESCUE? Emerging Trends #5 produced with 1
  • 2. ABOUT THIS REPORT Get ready for the new cleantech decade As we enter the 2020s, the climate and ecological emergency is now the defining issue of our times. Meanwhile, a decade after a first boom and bust, cleantech seems to be returning for a second wave — with the help of a younger cousin: “climate tech.” Technology alone cannot save the world, but we believe it will play a decisive part in decarbonising the global economy and preserving natural resources. Hence, for this fifth edition of our Emerging Trends series, Leonard is partnering with Good Tech Lab for a synthetic overview of the new cleantech and climate tech landscape. This deck focuses on strategic sectors for VINCI Group, mainly construction, energy, and transport. The trends and examples listed in these slides are only meant to be representative, and obviously not exhaustive. We hope you enjoy this reading! Julien Villalongue, Managing Director, VINCI Leonard Benjamin Tincq, co-founder and CEO, Good Tech Lab 2
  • 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS – CLEANTECH, CLIMATE TECH, TO THE RESCUE? I. A PLANETARY CHALLENGE II. ENERGY III. TRANSPORTATION IV. BUILT ENVIRONMENT VI. THE EYE OF VINCI V. CARBON REMOVAL VII. A CLEANTECH RENAISSANCE? 3
  • 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS A PLANETARY CHALLENGE ENERGY TRANSPORTATION BUILT ENVIRONMENT CARBON REMOVAL THE EYE OF VINCI A CLEANTECH RENAISSANCE? CLEANTECH, CLIMATE TECH: TO THE RESCUE? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 4
  • 5. THE PLANETARY CHALLENGE The 2020s, a decisive decade 5
  • 6. CLIMATE CHANGE IN 1 CHART Visual summary of the “United in Science" report, published in September 2019 by the world’s leading climate and earth science organisations, at the UN Climate Action Summit. 6
  • 7. 37 Gt CO₂ emissions in 2018 (+2%) “Fossil fuel combustion and cement production release about 90% of all CO₂ emissions and about 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.” “Fossil CO₂ emissions continue to grow by over 1% annually and grew by 2% in 2018, reaching a record high of 37 billion tonnes [Gt] of CO₂.” — UN United in Science 2019 report … And 54 Gt CO₂-equivalent when counting all greenhouse gases The 30% of non-CO₂ anthropogenic emissions include
 Methane (agriculture, fossil fuels, waste)
 Nitrous oxide (agriculture, energy, industry)
 Fluorinated gases (refrigeration, power electronics) EMISSIONS STILL GROWING 7
  • 8. WHAT 2019 TAUGHT US Key climate science insights in 2019 01. The world is not on track 02. Climate change is faster and stronger 03. Climate change leaves no mountain summit behind 04. Forests are under threat, with global consequences 05. Weather extremes are a new normal 06. Biodiversity is the threatened guardian of earth’s resilience 07. Climate change threatens food security and the health of hundreds of millions 08. The most vulnerable and poor will be also the most affected by climate change 09. Equity and equality are pivotal to climate change mitigation and adaptation 10. Time may have come for social tipping points on climate action 8
  • 9. 9
  • 11. THE CARBON LAW Moore’s Law for Climate Action The Paris Agreement target can be achieved if humanity follows a Global Carbon Law: GHG emissions should peak by 2020 at the latest, then halve every decade until 2050—a 7% annual reduction. This ambitious trajectory was proposed in 2017 in a seminal paper by Dr. Johan Rockström et al. from the Stockholm Resilience Centre. The name takes inspiration from how Moore’s Law drove computing forward since the 1960s by predicting that computing power would double every two years. 11
  • 12. THE FIRST HALVING The first decade of the Carbon Law Halving global emissions between 2020 and 2030 12
  • 14. THE CLIMATE MOONSHOT Reversing climate change while ensuring people and nature thrive (*) The “Climate Moonshot” will require a response on several layers — technology, policy, behaviour change. This deck gives a glimpse of the technological part of the Climate Moonshot —“sustainability tech” trends which help tackle the climate and ecological crisis. We focus on VINCI’s three most strategic sectors: energy, transportation, and the built environment. Additionally, we provide an overview on the emerging field of carbon removal, along with the drivers and trends shaping a “clean tech renaissance” (*) Good Tech Lab: The Frontiers of Impact Tech, 2019 14
  • 15. ENERGY Selected cleantech and climate tech trends 15
  • 16. A global energy transition Our dependence on fossil fuels is the single biggest driver of greenhouse gas emission and outdoor air pollution. Halving emissions of the energy supply sector this decade can be achieved by focusing on three main areas: Decarbonising energy generation with wind, solar, geothermal, marine/hydro, clean fuels and waste heat, as well as advanced nuclear. Adding energy storage and flexibility to the power grid to better handle decentralised energy resources and the intermittency of renewables. Reducing emissions from fossil fuel plants, through methane leakage avoidance, along with carbon capture and storage THE ENERGY CHALLENGE Share of global GHG emissions of the energy supply sector (IPCC 2014) - 25% for electricity generation - 10% for fossil fuel extraction 35% of global emissions linked to energy use across all sectors72% 16
  • 18. ENERGY GENERATION TECH Scaling Solutions - Solar and wind: falling costs accelerate deployment, while emerging tech could further increase efficiency - Nuclear: deployment is accelerating in China and Russia, while Germany is decommissioning its plants Technology Bets - Geothermal, hydro, and marine: new companies aim to increase efficiency and geographical availability of these 24x7 renewable sources - Clean Fuels: for hard-to-decarbonise sectors, hopes lie in low-carbon hydrogen production, next-generation biofuels, and so-called “solar fuels” - Advanced nuclear and fusion: several startups are building cheaper and safer nuclear fission reactors, while others are aiming for the “Holy Grail” of fusion - Heat: breakthrough technologies include the production of industrial, high-temperature heat, and the recovery of low- quality, low-temperature heat 18
  • 19. WIND POWER Accessing better offshore wind Beyond economies of scale and the use of AI to boost the output of wind farms, floating foundations like X1Wind could lower the cost of offshore turbines and access stronger, more consistent winds. Airborne wind power is emerging Innovators like Makani (acquired by Alphabet) and KPS aim to harvest high-altitude winds — with a fraction of the material and surface footprint of terrestrial wind. The technology remains immature but is worth following this decade. Energy Generation Photo: Lo83 19
  • 20. SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS (PV) Energy Generation Organic PV cells for new applications Organic PV cells produced by Sunew and Heliatek are made of carbon instead of silicon. Flexible, lightweight and transparent, they can cover windows and other surfaces. Advanced PV cells for higher efficiency Perovskite is a crystalline material boosting the efficiency of silicon panels by a third. OxfordPV leads the sector. Concentrated PV uses an optical layer to concentrate light beams onto smaller PV cells. Insolight aims for a 50% higher efficiency. Thermo PV is a long-term beat which could double efficiency by converting sunlight to heat and then into a light focused on the useful spectrum. Photo: Insolight 20
  • 21. SOLAR THERMAL Concentrated Solar for industrial heat Concentrated solar thermal remains a niche power source, with 6GW installed globally. Recently, innovators have made progress toward producing high-temperature heat (> 1 000°C) with concentrated sunlight. Such industrial-grade heat could replace fossil fuels in the production of hydrogen, cement and steel. The most advanced projects are EU-funded project Solpart and Gates-backed startup Heliogen, which uses an array of AI-controlled mirrors to concentrate sunlight. Energy Generation Photo: Heliogen 21
  • 22. MARINE AND HYDRO POWER A second wave for marine power? High costs have so far plagued attempts to harness power from the oceans, but marine energy could be making a comeback. Eco Wave Power uses onshore and nearshore floaters and pistons to harness waves, with a 200 MW project pipeline as of late 2019. Simec Atlantis uses underwater turbines for tidal stream energy, with 400MW planned in Scotland. Beyond wave and tidal, membrane innovations could reboot salinity gradient energy, which produces electricity from the chemical differences between fresh and seawater. Energy Generation Photo: Matanya 22
  • 23. GEOTHERMAL ENERGY Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) could bypass geography limitations The century-old process of harnessing subterranean heat has traditionally relied on natural cracks near earthquake zones. EGS developers like AltaRock aim to expand the availability of this 24/7 source of renewable power, by pumping high-pressure cold water into the rocks to increase their permeability. Water captures the rocks’ heat and brings it back to the surface, before being reused in a closed-loop system. Energy Generation Photo: BLM Oregon and Washington 23
  • 24. ADVANCED NUCLEAR Smaller, better, faster, cheaper The relevance of nuclear energy for climate mitigation has been recognised by scientists, policymakers, and even NGOs. However, building giant reactors remains expensive and lengthy. Private companies are developing new reactors 10 to 100 times smaller. These sizes mean lower costs, simpler engineering, higher safety, lower amounts of waste, and even partial recycling. Promising avenues include small modular reactors like NuScale (60 MW), molten salt reactors like Seaborg (100 MW) which uses the mixture as a coolant, and micro-reactors like Oklo (1.5 MW), which uses a liquid metal coolant. Energy Generation Image: Seaborg Technologies 24
  • 25. FUSION ENERGY The holy grail of energy never felt so close Fusion is the reaction which powers the stars: light nuclei merge into heavier atoms in a plasma (+10M °C). Unlike nuclear fission, which splits heavy atoms, fusion is 100% safe and produces virtually no waste. This promise of unlimited clean energy has been pursued since the 1950s. The most popular approach is to use magnetic fields to squeeze the plasma in a doughnut- shaped chamber (a tokamak). International consortium ITER is currently building an experimental tokamak in southern France, and there are 20+ fusion startups. Pioneers Commonwealth Fusion and Tokamak Energy are betting on tokamak variants, while others are working alternative reactor designs, such as First Light Fusion (inertial confinement) and Renaissance Fusion. (stellarator) Energy Generation Photo: Robert Mumgaard 25
  • 26. CLEAN FUELS (1/3) Clean hydrogen at scale? After decades of being eclipsed behind batteries, hydrogen seems to be cool again. It could decarbonise hard sectors like long-haul transport, heavy duty vehicles, and steel. It can store energy, and generate electricity with a fuel cell. Today, 95% of hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels. While CCS may help lower these emissions in the short term (“blue hydrogen”), the top priority is to scale the production of clean, “green hydrogen.” Biomass conversion, by gasification (Air Liquide) or microbial processes (Electro-Active Technologies) Water electrolysis: Sunfire and Enapter are developing better membranes to improve costs and efficiency Artificial photosynthesis with a thermo/photochemical process is the holy grail, but still remains a science bet. Energy Generation Photo: Arturbraun 26
  • 27. CLEAN FUELS (2/3) Advanced biofuels Next-generation biofuels could overcome the limitations of previous attempts to produce carbon-neutral fuels. Indeed, first-generation biofuels generate adverse impacts due to their reliance on monocultures, while second- and third-generations (agricultural byproducts and micro- algae) have been plagued by higher costs and inefficiency. Fourth-generation biomass includes: Waste biomass can provide bioenergy in urban areas. Waga Energy upgrades landfill gas into grid-quality biomethane, Enerkem converts sewage biomass into bioethanol, while the Omni Processor turns fecal sludge into electricity and water. Gene-edited algae could potentially overcome the limits of algae biofuels, but remain further away. Energy Generation Photo: Waga Energy 27
  • 28. 28 CLEAN FUELS (3/3) Synthetic fuels from greenhouse gases Captured CO₂ and methane can be recycled into new feedstock, through a range of processes known as carbon conversion and utilisation. There are two main ways to produce synthetic fuels: Electrochemistry: precisely the electrochemical reduction of CO₂ with water and electricity. Opus12 and Carbon Engineering focus on this field. Industrial biotechnology, using a gas fermentation process, where microbes grow on carbon-rich exhaust gases. LanzaTech uses this process to produce ethanol, which can be mixed with kerosene to produce jet fuel with 70% less emissions. This low- carbon kerosene has been tested by Virgin Atlantic during a New York - London flight. Energy Generation
  • 29. 29 ENERGY STORAGE & GRID FLEXIBILITY Image: Northvolt
  • 30. ENERGY STORAGE TECH Scaling Solutions - Lithium-ion batteries are ubiquitous in electronics and EVs, and increasingly for short-term stationary storage. While Gigafactories are popping up, new companies are developing better Li-ion electrodes. - Pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) represents 95% of grid storage capacity worldwide (US DoE). Technology Bets - Thermal, mechanical, and chemical storage are the most serious contenders for long-term grid storage, as PHES is limited by geography and environmental constraints. - New battery technologies and super-capacitors promise higher energy density, longer lifespan, better safety and sustainability for the use cases covered by Li-ion today. 30
  • 31. LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES Li-ion costs fell by a factor 10 in 10 years. This is driving adoption in electronic products and electric vehicles (EV). Production is led by Asian battery giants LG Chem, CATL, BYD and Panasonic, while Tesla is developing is own batteries and challengers like Northvolt are emerging in Europe. Batteries are increasingly used for short-duration stationary storage, both “behind-the-meter” and at grid scale — for applications like hourly balancing, peak shaving and ancillary services. The main challenges of Li-ion technology are limited lifespan, safety, and material sustainability. Energy Storage 31
  • 32. THE RACE FOR BETTER BATTERIES (1) Better electrodes — near-term improvement on energy density for Li-ion Lithium-silicon batteries use silicon anodes instead of graphite: Sila uses nanotechnology to stabilise silicon atoms. Lithium-sulfur batteries such as Oxis Energy are further down the road, but could replace cobalt and manganese in the cathode. Solid-state batteries could increase energy density and safety — a EV need These batteries using glass, ceramics and polymers instead of liquid electrolytes, could enter the market by 2025. QuantumScape, Solid Power, and Ionic Materials are among the key players. Energy Storage Photo: Oak Ridge National Lab 32
  • 33. THE RACE FOR BETTER BATTERIES (2) Sodium-ion batteries could be cheaper and more sustainable — if they scale The idea is to swap lithium for its abundant neighbour in the periodic table: sodium, found in table salt. These batteries have historically had weaker performance, but companies like Tiamat have made great progress. Flow batteries and zinc reactors — two candidates for long-duration storage? Flow batteries store energy in two liquid tanks containing a positive and a negative aqueous solutions. Form Energy seems on the cusp of breaking the cost barrier. Zinc reactors such as e-Zn use zinc metal to store energy detached from the electrodes, lowering costs. Energy Storage Photo: Eliza Grinnell Photo: Dnn87 33
  • 34. POWER-TO-X Connecting the gas and power grid Power-to-X technologies (P2X) convert electricity into synthetic fuels (hydrogen, methane, ammonia, methanol) through an electrochemical process such as electrolysis. The resulting fuel can serve for long-duration chemical energy storage in buildings, or other applications. Notable Power-to-X suppliers include McPhy (hydrogen), Sunfire (hydrogen, syngas and heat), and Carbon Recycling International (methanol). Energy Storage Photo: Sunfire 34
  • 35. MECHANICAL STORAGE Long-duration storage beyond pumped hydro Pumped hydroelectric (PHS) represents 95% of global storage capacity, but is limited by geography. Alternative conversion of electricity to potential and kinetic energy could help bridge the gap in long-duration storage. Using pressure — Geostock (VINCI) and Hydrostor use a form of compressed air energy storage (CAES) which is adiabatic: without heat transfer. This allows these companies to store both pressure and heat, with higher efficiency than traditional CAES. Another option is to pressurise water underground, such as Quidnet Energy which does so in abandoned oil wells. Using gravity — Examples include EnergyVault which uses a crane to stack concrete blocks together, and Gravitricity which suspends the weight within a deep well. Like pumped hydro, many of these systems are also limited by their geography: either due to the need for appropriate sites, or the landscape impacts relative to performance. Energy Storage Photo: Watas Arunas Gineitis 35
  • 36. Energy Storage Higher temperatures, better performances Thermal storage (TES) is a great fit for long-duration storage. Beyond molten salts used in concentrated solar, new materials and smart combination of technologies can absorb and deliver both heat and electricity — with better efficiency. Storing heat and cold: Alphabet spin-off Malta converts electricity into a temperature difference, which is stored as heat in molten salts, as cold in a chilled liquid. Molten silicon: using this medium, 1414 Degrees stores heat at very high temperatures. Even hotter, an MIT concept heats white-hot silicon at over 2300°C to harvest its radiative energy. Packed-bed materials can also reach high temperatures. Alumina Energy is one innovator betting on this. Phase-change materials can store more energy at constant temperatures using latent heat. Azelio achieves this using an aluminium alloy heated at 600°C. THERMAL STORAGE Photo: Bartleby08 36
  • 37. DECENTRALISED ENERGY RESOURCES The rise of the Virtual Power Plant (VPP) To better integrate decentralised energy resources (storage, renewables, EVs) into the grid, the Virtual Power Plant model is an elegant solution to offer grid balancing and resilience, along with additional revenues for DER operators. Stationary battery providers like Tesla, Sonnen, and Moixa aggregate spare capacity from their customers into VPPs. Demand response marketplaces use price signals to shift consumption off peak hours. Leap uses APIs to send these signals to smart devices like thermostats, EV chargers, and freezers. The resulting “negawatt” VPP can help utilities with peak shaving and customers to save money. DER management platforms use AI to aggregate DERs from various customers into a VPP, and connect them to wholesale energy markets. Notable companies include Next Kraftwerk, Open Energi, along with AMS and Stem which pivoted from being storage developers to software-driven companies. Grid Flexibility 37
  • 38. CHALLENGES FOR CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY Fossil fuels’ unfair advantage The IEA estimates fossil fuel subsidies at $400 billion annually, twice as more as renewables. Meanwhile, carbon pricing only exists in a few countries, often way too low. The metals question The supply of critical metals such as lithium, copper and cobalt may be increasingly stressed. Furthermore, the mining of cobalt and rare-earth elements has a terrible record on pollution, health, and human rights. Public perception Certain technologies face low acceptance by citizens: nuclear energy, carbon capture, and even wind farms. While a democratic debate on energy choices is welcome, it is often hindered by frequent misconceptions and fake news contradicting scientific facts.The need for breakthroughs Several key components of a fully decarbonised energy system still face major technical hurdles before being competitive — grid-scale storage, clean fuels, fusion energy, etc. Energy is … complicated It is a commodity business with high capital costs, complex B2B supply chains, aversion to risk, heavy regulated and political influence. This tends to hinder the fast deployment of clean energy. 38
  • 39. TRANSPORTATION Selected cleantech and climate tech trends 39
  • 40. A global transportation transition The transportation sector faces a twin challenge in a urbanising world: upgrading the infrastructure while reducing GHG emissions and air pollution. Halving emissions this decade is achievable by: Mainstreaming zero-emission vehicles, especially electric vehicles (EV) with battery or fuel-cell 
 Improving access to clean urban mobility services combining mass transit with shared fleets of bikes and electric vehicles (including self-driving ones) 
 Tackling the hard-to-decarbonise long-haul transport (travel and freight) with zero-emission trucks, rail, airships, R&D in low-carbon aviation, and optimised logistics networks. THE MOBILITY CHALLENGE Share of global GHG emissions from the transportation sector (IPCC 2014) - 3/4 in urban transport - 1/4 in long-haul transport. In France, this share is 29% of total GHG emissions (38% of CO₂) 14% 40
  • 42. CLEAN PROPULSION TECH Scaling Solutions - Battery EVs: battery technology keeps advancing and production capacity is soaring, leading to costs and performance improvements. Battery swapping is gaining traction for two-wheelers in large metro areas - Fast charging and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) attract investments as rising energy demand from EV adoption will require more public charging and grid balancing Technology Bets - New battery technologies and super-capacitors promise better higher energy density, longer lifespan, better safety and sustainability than current Li-ion batteries - Wireless charging can reduce downtime in cities, or preserve battery life on medium and long-distances through dynamic in-road charging. - Clean fuels like hydrogen, advanced biofuels and solar fuels see renewed interest with a new generation of innovators. While these fuels seem a natural fit for long-haul transport, batteries lead on short distances. 42
  • 43. EV BATTERIES Clean Propulsion Strategic partnerships on EV batteries Battery manufacturing is ramping up with the fell in Li-ion costs (10X in 10 years) and the rise in EV demand. New European consortiums bring together battery and auto makers: Northvolt and Volkswagen, Saft and PSA, Varta and BMW. Other notable partnerships include Toyota with CATL and Panasonic, GM works with LG Chem, and Fiat-Chrysler funding Tesla’s German factory. Meanwhile, next-generation batteries could overcome the limits of current Li-ion technology (see Energy chapter) Super-capacitors: perfect partner for EV batteries? Super-capacitors have already been used on trains and trucks to recover the kinetic energy lost in braking, by companies like Skeleton Technologies. At CES 2020, NAWA unveiled an electric motorbike using a Li-ion battery with a super-capacitor, allowing recharge in seconds, and recovering 80% of kinetic energy. Photo: NAWA Technologies 43
  • 44. EV CHARGING Fast charging follows rising EV adoption Public stations could serve half of EV charging by 2030. DC fast charging will be key to meet this demand. Leaders include EVgo, Ionity, EVbox, ChargePoint, and Volta (ad-subsidised). Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) could help balance the grid and diversify revenues for station owners V2G pioneers include Nuvve and Greenlots (Shell) but deployment depends on local energy policies. Dynamic in-road charging: an emerging bet This approach offers a interesting alternative to large batteries, and could reduce EV costs while extending their range. However, it requires substantial infrastructure investment and ultimately depends on adoption from automakers. VINCI Autoroutes, Eurovia, and Omexom are working on an “electric highway” concept through induction charging. Clean Propulsion 44
  • 45. FUEL CELLS AND CLEAN FUELS Fuel cells: a future in heavy vehicles? Despite substantial investments by Toyota and Hyundai, FCEVs have been hampered by the prohibitive costs of vehicles, stations, and clean hydrogen. Estimates place FCEVs at four times the kilometric cost of BEVs. However, adoption seems likely for heavy vehicles such as buses, trains, trucks, construction and utility vehicles. Nikola is developing FCEV semi trucks, while Symbio offer fuel cell kits to increase vehicle autonomy. Hydrogen to retrofit conventional engines A transitional alternative to fuel cells is to retrofit the internal combustion engines (ICE) of existing vehicles, so they can use hydrogen. HyTech Power installs a device on diesel trucks which delivers hydrogen gas directly into the engine, increasing fuel efficiency and reducing air pollution. Clean Propulsion Photo: Maurizio Pesce 45
  • 47. URBAN MOBILITY TECH Scaling Solutions - Mobility-as-a-service is taking over cities. Bike sharing and electric buses are the low-hanging fruit to slash emissions and air pollution, along with shared electric cars and motorcycles. Conversely, e-scooters are not a climate solution, as they are short-lived and tend to replace walking and cycling instead of cars. - Intelligent transport systems and urban planning AI can further optimise urban transit. Technology Bets - Autonomous vehicles in shared electric fleets could remove 90% of cars in cities while increasing travel capacity, according to OECD studies. - Flying e-taxis (eVTOL) are one of the hottest cleantech sectors in terms of investment levels. However, their promise to reduce congestion remain highly speculative, and they require substantial energy and resources per passenger. 47
  • 48. ZERO-EMISSION BUSES Electric buses are a quick win for urban air quality and decarbonisation China is adding 9500 units every five weeks, equivalent to the entire London bus fleet, led by EV giant BYD. US bus manufacturer Proterra is betting on complementary business models, such as the electrification of third-party buses and turnkey fleet management solutions. A rapid transition to electric buses can boost the entire EV sector, by driving down the costs of batteries and related infrastructure technologies (wireless charging, vehicle-to-grid). Urban Mobility Photo: DKMcLaren 48
  • 49. ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES Motor scooters go electric with the help of MaaS — and battery swapping Most large cities now have at least one electric moped sharing system, operated by companies like Cityscoot and Coup. Scooters with swappable batteries, like Gogoro in Taiwan and Ather Energy in India, are a good fit for the scale of Asian megacities. Urban Mobility Photo: Maurizio Pesce 49
  • 50. 50 MOBILITY-AS-A-SERVICE (MAAS) Toward a sustainable MaaS? Early MaaS adoption is controversial from a sustainable mobility standpoint, as ride-hailing tends to compete with mass transit, increasing congestion and emissions. Still, the MaaS model could become a major driver of decarbonisation under certain conditions: 1. A multimodal integration which favours mass transit, bike-sharing, and electric two-wheelers. Whim charges a monthly fee for unlimited public transport and subsidised bike-sharing (along with car-sharing). Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft have started to add mass transit and shared bikes. 2. Shared electric vehicles with maximum occupancy. Carpooling is already an option today. 3. Autonomous vehicles could move the needle. According to OECD, shared electric AVs (shuttles and robo-taxis) would remove 90% of cars in cities while increasing travel capacity. Urban Mobility
  • 51. 51 AUTONOMOUS ELECTRIC VEHICLES First use cases are promising … While most AV investments (sensors, networks, algorithms) are not sustainability-driven, emerging use cases signal a convergence between autonomous, electric, and shared transportation, mostly geo-fenced and/or at very low speeds: Driverless shuttles like EasyMile and Navya, which operate in parks, campuses, industrial sites, public transport, and other supervised environments Autonomous electric trucks like Einride could both cut on emissions and reduce congestion, through fleet optimisation … But most climate gains remain faraway Studies expert electric shared AVs to eventually displace vehicle ownership in cities because of superior economics and traffic optimisation (see previous slide). However, robo- taxis and full autonomy remain long-term bets. Urban Mobility Photo: Linneakornehed
  • 52. 52 MEDIUM AND LONG DISTANCE 43
  • 53. MEDIUM AND LONG DISTANCE Scaling Solutions - Electric trucks are expected to hit the roads in the early 2020s, some of them semi-autonomous. - Maritime shipping could halve emissions with existing tech for fuel efficiency and biofuels Technology Bets - Hydrogen is emerging as a viable alternative for trains, buses, trucks, and other heavy vehicles - Small electric planes could be a solution for regional flights, but are still years away - Airships could leapfrog conventional freight in the developing world but development is early - Hyperloop could offer medium-range high-speed transport between certain city pairs, but it remains an expensive infrastructure bet 53
  • 54. 54 ELECTRIC TRUCKS Electric trucks on the road in the early decade Electric trucks (battery EV and fuel cell EV) are developed by market incumbents Volvo Trucks and Daimler Trucks, as well as new entrants Rivian, Tesla and Nikola Motor. Amazon ordered 100,000 delivery trucks from Rivian, and the world’s largest brewer AB InBev purchased 800 Nikola Motor. First units on the road are expected in 2023. Deploying the adequate charging and refuelling infrastructure will be a challenge, both on highways and within central depots in last-mile routes. Electric trucks could gradually become autonomous, such as the ones from Einride and Xos Trucks. Logistics Photo: Steve Jurvetson
  • 55. HYDRAILS Hydrogen trains could replace diesel propulsion in many regions Hydrails can decarbonise rail where it is not powered by low-carbon electricity (unlike in France). These trains can use zero-carbon hydrogen from off-peak electricity, with back-and-forth efficiency of about 30% (power-to-x and fuel cell). Although less efficient than electric traction, hydrails can lower the cost of new rail infrastructure without overhead catenary (2M€/km). The first hydra line started operating in Germany in 2018, using a fuel cell version of Alstom’s Coradia train. Other manufacturers include Stadler Rail, East Japan Railway, and fuel cell makers like Ballard, Fuel Cell Powertrain and Proton Motor. So far, hydrails remain more suited for regional trains than high-speed trains, which require more power. Medium / Long Distance 55
  • 56. 56 ELECTRIC MINIPLANES A solution for regional travel where rail connection is poor? Electric mini-planes for 20 passengers may help to decarbonise certain short-haul (400 - 800 km) travel for which rail connection is particularly poor. The first airliners certified for commercial flights are expected by the mid 2020s. Promising companies include Heart Aerospace, and Wright Electric. The latter offers battery swapping and already partnered with Easyjet. HES Element One and ZeroAvia develop similar- purpose aircrafts powered by hydrogen fuel. Medium / Long Distance Photo: Heart Aerospace
  • 57. CHALLENGES FOR SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY Tough technological bets Achieving 100% sustainable transportation ultimately requires to win a few tech bets, such as (i) sustainable batteries and hydrogen production, (ii) lightweight materials which are more easily recyclable (unlike most composites), and (iii) intelligent systems to maximise utilisation in logistics, mass transit, and shared vehicle fleets. The rebound effet Energy efficiency tends to be offset by the growth in transport demand. This happens within mature economies like France, and globally with access to mobility in emerging markets. Zero-emission technologies, systems and policies need to counter this. Long-term infrastructure investments Cars spend an average 10-15 years on the road, while aircraft and ships often hit 50. The full shift to zero-emission vehicles is thus a multi- decade effort, which requires large investments in technology and infrastructure, from battery production and charging stations, to clean fuel synthesis and distribution. Smart policy and carbon pricing Decarbonising transportation needs policies that orient consumers towards clean mobility, such as a (socially just) tax on carbon and heavy vehicles. Urban policies can aim to reduce individual cars and increase usage of mass transit and smaller vehicles, but they will also need to revamp taxation — especially with shared autonomous vehicles. 57
  • 58. BUILT ENVIRONMENT Selected cleantech and climate tech trends 58
  • 59. 18% A global construction transformation Three-quarters of the global infrastructure that will exist in 2050 has not been built yet, and architects estimate the world will add a city the size of NYC every five weeks for the next 30 years. This growth will be mostly located in Asia during the 2020s, then in Africa. Halving emissions every decade in both new and existing buildings can be done in three main ways: 1. Shifting to low-carbon building materials — recycled materials, wood, bio-based materials, and the emerging decarbonised concrete and steel. 2. Improving the efficiency of construction — with sustainable design tools, along with resource- and energy- efficient equipment and processes. 3. Unlocking the vast potential for energy and resource efficiency in building operations — through retrofitting, smart building technologies, low-carbon heating and cooling, and more efficient appliances. THE BUILDINGS CHALLENGE Share of global GHG emissions from the power (12%) and heat (6%) used by buildings (non-industrial activities) 9% Share of global emissions from cement (4%) and iron/steel (5%) production 59
  • 61. BUILDING MATERIALS Scaling Solutions - Low-carbon cement: geo-polymers and slag-derived cements are already on the market. Stricter regulation on lifecycle emissions are giving a boost to their development, but the latter remains constrained by the local availability of raw materials. - Mass timber is getting increased traction for its sustainability features, boosted by high-tech prefabrication. Technology Bets - Advanced low-carbon cement: CO₂-cured clinker and bio- cement are emerging alternatives for deep decarbonisation. - Low-carbon steel: Pilots by incumbents and startups involve decarbonised heat and electrochemistry. - Recycled materials: 100% recycled concrete and asphalt are now in pilot stage, while alternative products made from plastic are emerging for certain applications. - New materials derived from biotechnology and the use of carbon-dense biochar are emerging. 61
  • 62. LOW-CARBON CEMENT (1/3) Building Materials Clinker substitutes (low-clinker tech) 90% of emissions in cement production derive from clinker, due to fossil fuels used to heat the kiln, and the CO₂ released by limestone when it turns into lime. The most mature solution is to lower the share of clinker by adding materials with cement-like properties. Slag, a byproduct of steelmaking, is one such material, and can reduce cement emissions by 70%. However, this process depends on the availability of slag material, and is thus relevant in steel regions like China and India. Slag-based cement companies include Ecocem, which partners with VINCI, and Hoffman Green. Using a different approach, CarbiCrete makes carbon- negative concrete blocks, using slag without any Portland clinker, and curing the mix with captured CO₂. Photo: VINCI / Ecocem 62
  • 63. LOW-CARBON CEMENT (2/3) Building Materials Novel cements (alternative-clinker tech) Another approach is to use alternative clinkers as the main binder, using new materials and processes. Geopolymers are inorganic polymers made by reacting minerals (steel slag, fly ash, volcanic rock, clay) with an alkali-activator. Geopolymer cements commercialised by Zeobond achieve 80-90% emissions reduction. Like slag-based cement, material availability is variable. Carbonatable Calcium Silicate Clinker (CCSC) hardens with CO₂ instead of water, for 60-70% less emissions. CCSC is limited to precast concrete, but uses abundant materials and traditional kilns. Solidia is the leader in the field, and partnered with LafargeHolcim. Magnesium-based cements cured with CO₂ could reach carbon-negativity, but remain at the R&D phase. Credit: Ricardo Gomez Angel 63
  • 64. LOW-CARBON CEMENT (3/3) Building Materials Beyond cement: bio-based concrete A third approach is to ditch the traditional concrete recipe and rely on nature. While weak properties have traditionally confined bio-based concrete to niche applications such as insulation and soundproofing, some structural products are emerging, from companies like Biosys (hemp) or Alkern (wood). Biofabrication, a type of industrial biotechnology which “grows” materials using biological processes, could offer promising answers. Leading innovator bioMASON mixes aggregates with micro-organisms, which are fed an aqueous solution, hardening the mix in what the company called “biocement”. Photo: bioMASON 64
  • 65. Building Materials LOW-CARBON STEEL Decarbonising blast furnaces Greenhouse gas emissions in metallurgy derive from the fossil fuels used to heat furnaces. Alternatives rely either on decarbonised heat or on electrochemistry. Hydrogen furnaces attract investments from leading steelmakers, with pilots planned in Sweden by SSAB, and in Germany by ArcelorMittal and ThyssenKrup. This process will depend on the affordability of clean hydrogen. Circular carbon furnaces use fuels made from atmospheric carbon. ArcelorMittal is investing in a bioenergy-powered plant in Ghent, and one in Dunkirk using synthetic gas made from CO₂ captured from the blast furnace itself. Molten oxide electrolysis uses zero-carbon electricity to turn iron oxides into steel. MIT spinoff Boston Metal and EU project Siderwin, with EDF and ArcelorMittal as members, are developing this technology. 65
  • 66. RECYCLED MATERIALS Recycling building materials For hard-to-reuse material like concrete and glass wool, recycling can be a viable option. In some case it can be easier to upcycle into different products, such as asphalt made from roofing felt. Eurovia (VINCI Group) recently built a highway section with 100% recycled asphalt, using a mobile recycling unit from Marini-Ermont. Recycling waste plastics into building materials Plastic roads often incorporate plastic waste into an asphalt mix. They are commonplace practice in India, and the UK Department is doing a pilot with MacRebur. Another approach is to make prefabricated road elements from plastic waste, such as KWS and Total’s Plastic Road. Plastic bricks are alternatives to cinder blocks made from compressed plastic waste. ByFusion has developed recycling units which fit into shipping containers, for utilities and communities. Plastic gravels, such as ArqLite's, a sustainable and lightweight alternative to quarry rocks, for uses in non-structural concrete. Other examples include Zicla's urban furniture for cycle lanes. Building Materials Photo: Eurovia / VINCI 66
  • 67. Building Materials ENGINEERED WOOD Mass timber: the concrete of the 21st century? Cross-laminated timber (CLT) and other mass timber have been called “the concrete of the future,” due to their structural and environmental features. Tall timber buildings already exist in Europe, and a 70-story skyscraper is scheduled in Tokyo. Prefab and digital manufacturing technologies could further the adoption, as described in the next section. Engineering high-performance wood In the future, synthetic biology and green chemistry could produce new materials combining the sustainability properties of wood with high-performance features. Woodoo turns low-grade wood species into a product with the strength profile of metal, by removing the lignin and replacing it with a bio-based resin. The result is a translucid wood with higher resistance to shock, fire, and moisture. Photo: Øyvind Holmstad 67
  • 68. DESIGN AND BUILD PROCESS Credit: bobarc 68
  • 69. DESIGN AND BUILD PROCESS Scaling Solutions - Prefab construction has been around for ages, but high- tech modular systems for passive homes and larger buildings are gaining ground, reducing material waste and mainstreaming the use of mass timber - Battery electric and fuel cell machinery can leverage proven technology to decarbonise construction sites   - Low-carbon design software is already well deployed and continues to improve  Technology Bets - Materials marketplaces offer a solution to the reuse challenge (driven in part by regulation), but still face logistics, costs and quality control challenges. - Materials passports for buildings could also drive the reuse of materials after deconstruction, and be driven by the larger adoption of BIM sector-wide. 69
  • 70. LOW-CARBON DESIGN SOFTWARE Generative architecture Generative design uses algorithms to automate the creation of design options, and optimise them for certain parameters like material use, space utilisation, structural strength, or energy efficiency. Autodesk and its Project Refinery are among pioneers in that space.. At the city level, SpaceMaker uses AI to generate different ways to maximise the potential of a building site, along with detailed analyses. The idea is to allow architects, engineers, real estate developers, and municipalities, to decide on better solutions for urban sustainability. Advanced simulations Other solutions use data science to evaluate scenarios on sustainability criteria, such as Vizcab which simulates and compares the lifecycle analysis of scenarios for a given building, helping professionals to focus on improving what matters. UrbanFootprint uses parcel-based datasets, urban design toolkits, and interactive features for scenario building and data visualisation. This helps local governments and real state developers assess the impacts, including CO₂ emissions, accessibility, mobility, water and energy use, conservation, resilience, etc. Design and Build 70
  • 71. MATERIALS REUSE Marketplaces to reuse construction materials The built environment accounts for the majority of resource use and waste globally. One way of reducing this footprint is to reuse waste construction materials. Marketplaces like Werflink (Belgium) and Backacia (France) aim to facilitate the process, and to overcome challenges in logistics, quality and costs. Material passports for circular buildings Building materials and elements like window frames, inner walls, ceilings and foundations can be reclaimed during deconstruction. This requires circular design principles, along with a way to identify components in a building. Material passports aim to provide digital records serving this purpose. With the idea that “waste is a material without an identity,” Madaster offers an online library of geo-located materials, featuring BIM data provided by constructors. EU-funded BAMB (Buildings As Materials Bank) is another experimental material passport, tested on a range of pilot projects. Building Materials 71
  • 72. PREFAB TECHNOLOGIES Prefab eco-homes Prefabrication is not new. The goal is to save on time, costs and wasted material, by moving the building process in a factory, a method which is mainstream in countries like Japan. New players like Plant Prefab add a focus on passive homes with eco-materials, climate control systems, and clean energy. They often leverage modular chassis and digital manufacturing, like FactoryOS, Facit Homes and Wikihouse. Industrial Prefab: a sustainability driver? Other high-tech prefab players combine modularity and digital fabrication to build larger buildings, faster and with reduced waste, such as Project Frog and Full Stack Modular. Thanks to its vertical integration, Katerra is driving the adoption of CLT (see previous section) in the US. The company makes its own CLT in an automated factory, using AI to match wood boards and waste as little material as possible. Design and Build Photo: Andre Barbosa 72
  • 73. ZERO-EMISSION
 CONSTRUCTION SITES Decarbonising construction equipment In spite of prefab’s potential, a substantial part of construction work will remain performed on-site, where cities like Oslo are now demanding zero-emission operations. Technologies which matured in the energy and transportation are now also deployed to decarbonise construction sites. Battery electric equipment is available for medium-duty vehicles, such as small excavators and wheeled loaders offered by leading manufacturers like Volvo CE and Caterpillar. In off-grid construction plants, these machines can be recharged with solar generators, also used to power welfare cabins. Hydrogen fuel cells can also power on-site generators offered by companies like PowiDian, Powercell and Intelligent Energy — as a one-off investment or a pay-as-you-go model. Eventually, fuel cells might even replace combustion engines for heavy-duty equipment, which require too much power for battery electric. Design and Build 73
  • 75. CONSTRUCTION TECH Scaling Solutions - Smart building systems using remote sensors and controls, analytics and automation have already been vastly deployed to improve energy efficiency. The next stage is likely to bring about more integration between siloed data source, and a bigger role for AI. - Waste heat recovery is not new, but improvements allow to harvest new heat sources at the building and district level, such as data centers, AC units, and even air humidity 
 Technology Bets - Innovations in heat pump and cooling systems could help decarbonise heating and air conditioning, thanks to new materials, membranes, and smart combination of established thermodynamic processes 75
  • 76. SMART BUILDINGS (1/2) Toward a (Green) Building OS Energy IoT platforms like Enlighted allow building owners and tenants to control lighting and HVAC in order to achieve energy savings. Similar tools exist for equipment monitoring, water management, building information modelling (BIM), and more. The idea of a Building OS is to overcome these silos by aggregating different data types, generated by smart building assets, BIM systems, and by occupants themselves. A “digital twin” visual interface would then provide a visual and interactive overview. VINCI’s new HQ Archipel, opening in Nanterre in 2021, will feature a BOS co-developed with Spinalcom. Building Operations Photo: VINCI 76
  • 77. SMART BUILDINGS (2/2) Machine learning and the next frontier for energy efficiency in buildings The use of machine learning for energy efficiency is not new: it has been used by connected thermostats like Nest and more recently Ecobee (two of the most successful energy startups) along with smart building solutions. With a more sophisticated approach, Carbon Lighthouse deploys up to 300 sensors in its customers’ buildings to identify every possible “efficiency reserve.” The company uses machine learning to create a custom simulation based on sensor data, as well as historical data from 700+ asset types, collected in each supervised building. With one-off recommendations and ongoing optimisation, Carbon Lighthouse allows about 20 to 30% energy savings. Building Operations 77
  • 78. HEATING AND COOLING (1/2) Reusing waste heat Waste heat is an abundant renewable source, which can be harvested on-site and at the district level. On-site heat reuse can tap into many sources. Terrao uses high-performance heat exchangers to recover the latent heat from ambient humidity, providing heating and cooling. Accenta uses AI to recover waste heat produced in summer by AC units, along with solar heat, and uses it for underground inter-seasonal storage. District heating can use heat recovered from nearby facilities, in addition to traditional cogeneration sources. Facebook’s new data centre in Denmark will heat 7,000 homes, while Stockholm Exergi already serves 25,000 apartments with heat recovered from data centers and other commercial buildings. Building Operations 78
  • 79. HEATING AND COOLING (1/2) Improved heat pumps and cooling systems Ground source heat pumps are an efficient way use the earth as a heat sink in summer, and a heat source in winter. Dandelion uses a standardised unit and a low-drilling technique to reduce upfront costs by three. Thermal compressors can drive a heat pump using heat instead of electricity. Boostheat converts natural gas into useful heat much more efficiently than gas boilers. Low-emission cooling is an emerging field which tackles the climate impact of AC units, through energy efficiency and a lower use of HFC refrigerants. The Global Cooling Prize recently selected ten finalists which rely on new materials and membranes, along with a smart combination of existing AC technologies like vapour compression and evaporative cooling. Using thermal compression, scientists even envision to rely on waste heat to drive cooling systems. Building Operations 79
  • 80. CHALLENGES FOR SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY Policy and decarbonisation For existing buildings, energy retrofits need enough subsidies and counsel for owners and tenants. The French government is launching a simplified system, hoping to meet the target of 500,000 annual upgrades. Local governments can also rely on energy performance contracts to incentivise investment from operators. For new buildings, sustainable and second-life materials would be boosted by the recognition of embedded carbon in regulation and public procurement. Technological bets Deep decarbonisation in the built environment will eventually require to make substantial progress in fields like novel cements, cooling, energy storage, and hydrogen fuel cells. Innovating in a risk-averse sector The need for safety and predictability works against innovation in construction. This is true especially for the adoption of new materials, from engineered wood to low-carbon concrete and steel. Injuries, repairs, and delays could outweigh environmental benefits, making architects and builders reluctant to deviate from standards. Fostering education and awareness is thus crucial, not only among architecture and construction firms, but also regulators, trade associations, and educators. 80
  • 82. The need for carbon removal Even in the most optimistic IPCC scenarios, a rapid reduction of global emissions is not enough to keep global heating under 2°C, let alone 1.5°C — there is a need for large-scale “negative emissions.” “Negative emissions” consist in the removal of excess carbon from the atmosphere, through the restoration and creation of carbon sinks. 1. Natural solutions relies on the biological processes which underlie carbon sinks 2. Engineered solutions, which rely on technology to create artificial carbon sinks 3. Hybrid solutions, which combine photosynthesis and technology to create new carbon sinks The first category represents the bulk of available potential today — but the other two could mature within the next 10 to 20 years. THE NET ZERO CHALLENGE 400 GtCO₂ The minimum negative emissions required by 2100 in the most ambitious IPCC scenarios for 1.5C warming. This is equivalent to 10 whole years of current emissions. 82
  • 83. CARBON REMOVAL IN NET-ZERO SCENARIOS Source: UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2017 83
  • 84. NATURAL SOLUTIONS Reforestation and ecosystem restoration High-carbon ecosystems (forests, peatlands, wetlands, etc.) could store 150 GtCO₂ by 2050. Several tech firms provide scalable tools for reforestation and carbon markets. Large-scale reforestation solutions like Dendra Systems offer analytics and drone-planting solutions. Reforestation marketplaces such as Pachama allow companies to fund curated forest projects, and use machine learning to evaluate carbon storage based on lidar and satellite imagery. Carbon farming: restoring soil carbon Soil carbon can be increased by regenerative agriculture methods like low/no tillage, crop rotation, cover crops, perennial crops, and agroforestry. Carbon farming could store 170 GtCO₂ by 2050. Nori is a carbon farming marketplace, which verifies negative emissions with third-party carbon accounting tools. Carbon Removal Credit: Pachama Image: Pachama 84
  • 85. ENGINEERED SOLUTIONS (1/2) Carbon Removal Direct Air Capture (DAC) DAC uses electrochemistry to separate CO₂ from ambient air or seawater. The concentrated CO₂ can then either be stored in rocks, or reused as feedstock for new products (see next slide). Carbon Engineering and Climeworks already have commercial DAC plants. Two main challenges remain: bringing the cost down from $500 to $100 per ton of CO₂ (better materials could help, such as metal-organic frameworks), and making DAC units ultra-low-consumption. Enhanced Weathering (EW) Weathering is a natural process in which rocks react with CO₂ under rainwater to form bicarbonates, creating sediments in ocean depths. This process is the largest carbon sink on Earth on geological times, which EW aims to accelerate to a few days. Minerals, either natural or man-made (ex: steel slag) could react with atmospheric CO₂ directly (ex: on agricultural lands or coastal areas), but also with CO₂ from Direct Air Capture, such as the CarbFix project in Iceland, of which Climeworks is a partner. Overall, EW seems a very promising avenues for large-scale removal of atmospheric carbon, but R&D remain in its early days. Photo: Climeworks / Julia Dunlop 85
  • 86. ENGINEERED SOLUTIONS (2/2) Carbon Removal Capture Capture and Utilisation (CCU) CCU, or carbon tech, is the conversion of captured carbon (CO₂ or methane) into a feedstock to create new products. Technologies mostly rely on electro- and thermo-chemical processes, or industrial biotechnology. Only a fraction of CCU products are truly carbon-negative, while others have a reduced footprint. They include: Building materials like cement substitutes (see Chapter 4) and facades made from 95% biochar (MadeofAir) Fuels and chemicals (Opus12, LanzaTech, Enobraq) Plastics and polymers (Newlight) Food and feed (Kiverdi, Solar Foods) Advanced materials such as carbon fiber and carbon nanoparticles (Carbon Upcycling Technologies) Photo: Made of Air GmbH 86
  • 87. CARBON TECH: A 6.5 TRILLION € MARKET? 87
  • 88. THE EYE OF VINCI From VINCI and beyond 88
  • 89. THE EYE OF … ISABELLE SPIEGEL VINCI commits to carbon neutrality by 2050 on scope 1 and 2 emissions, with a milestone of 40% reduction by 2030, and we will strive to reduce scope 3 emissions from our value chain. More broadly, we also commit to boost the circular economy and preserve natural environments. We have been making investment in these areas for many years, because our business is highly dependent on resource availability. For a large part of this commitment, we have identified where and how to focus today: for instance on recycled asphalt, low-carbon cement, or hybrid engines for heavy-duty vehicles. But we need to invest in R&D to really move the needle beyond the obvious. For instance, demonstrate that the recovering of the kinetic energy from heavy-duty vehicles is a reality, finding a way to produce ultra-low- carbon cement in industrial quantities, or mineralising captured CO₂ to store it or reuse it into new building materials? For the past two years, we have seen a new cleantech acceleration. But the challenge is to move beyond early-stage companies to get these technologies to scale, and measure their impact. Sustainability Director, VINCI Group 89
  • 90. THE EYE OF … CHLOE CLAIR Yesterday’s construction methods are no longer compatible with planetary boundaries. Society will hold us accountable for embedded carbon and other sustainable development goals. Thankfully, there are already many solutions to help improve on this, and technology helps a lot. We already know how to make concrete with 30% less emissions, but R&D and pilots on ultra-low-carbon concrete are very promising, with 60% less embedded carbon and beyond. This will be one of the biggest revolutions in our industry as it is scalable. The main challenge, as always, will be execution, such as rapidly deploying the mixers. Low Carbone concrete has the largest impact on Carbone, but other concrete technologies can also bring their own improvement: for instance Ecoconcrete® technology allows biodiversity to thrive on coastal and marine infrastructure. Cleantech is relevant to our sector in many ways, for instance harvesting rainwater on construction sites or on our infrastructure, or decarbonising the power source of heavy duty vehicles. I also find cross-laminated timber interesting: if the supply chain can follow, it could have a positive impact on medium-scale building design. On the social front, prefab, robotization and automation can help alleviate the painfulness of construction and have less impact. We will launch in the coming weeks an open platform aiming to crowdsource all the very specific technologies which will allow to reduce our indirect (scope 3) emissions. CTO, VINCI Construction 90
  • 91. THE EYE OF … CORINNE LANIÈCE Our customers now expect us to reduce not only their energy costs, but also their CO₂ impact. We do this by deploying a portfolio of solutions, and through energy performance contracts. Wind and solar have matured and are cost-competitive, and we see a big interest in micro-grids. The real challenge is to solve energy storage. There will be no silver bullet: in addition to pumped hydro, power-to-gas  promising, and on the short-term, we can improve on the second life of Li-ion batteries. Demand response and V2G can also help balance the grid.  On the building front, smart digital tools are key to achieve this. With the new BOS piloted at Archipel, we will go even beyond, by involving users in environmental management. We can also improve HVAC, for instance with the Green Floor™ system developed with our colleagues from VINCI Construction, which uses convection and radiation to distribute heat more efficiently.  And of course we have an ambitious action plan to reduce our own emissions. The development of zero-carbon technologies for vehicles and construction machinery will be decisive for this. General Counsel, VINCI Energies 91
  • 92. THE EYE OF … IVAN DROUADAINE Eurovia is an integrated company: we develop our own materials. After 20 years of work on recycled roads, we recently showed that 100% recycled asphalt is feasible. Since this full-scale demonstration, confidence in high recycling rates has jumped to the forefront and we are deploying rates of up to 70% on structuring networks, which is today’s sweet spot, environmentally and economically.  Some innovations invite us to rethink how we commercialise our offering across VINCI. For instance, the Power Road system captures the heat on the road and redistributes it to nearby buildings and infrastructure, using a heat pump system. This invites us to have an integrated approach upstream in connection with the building and the neighbourhoods. I think we are experiencing a second wave of clean tech innovation, where the commitment from large companies is more profound, and startups offer many inspiring solutions. As always, we need robust scientific evaluation and lifecycle analysis. In the next decade, we expect an acceleration of clean mobility. Although it’s not easy to predict on which perimeter will hydrogen and battery EV prevail, and what will be the role of dynamic charging and fast-chargers, we want to be the best engineering partner to implement those solutions, this is the meaning of our current partnerships. Technical and Research Director, Eurovia (VINCI Group) 92
  • 94. FOUR MAIN DRIVERS FOR THE RENAISSANCE A planetary emergency The impacts are faster and stronger than anticipated, driving action across society and the economy. Society waking up The climate and ecological crisis is mobilising civil society and leading government to (re)act. Economic incentives Climate risks and new opportunities are reshaping agendas in the private sector. Technological progress With newfound maturity and diversity, technology is providing essential tools in the fight against climate change. 94
  • 95. #1: A PLANETARY EMERGENCY Climate change is already here With the spectacular nature of extreme weather events, many realise climate change is not a distant risk, but a very tangible reality — from fires in Australia, Africa and the Amazon, to European heatwaves, Indian droughts, and unprecedented ice loss in Greenland and Antarctica. Report after report, science is confirming: climate impacts are hitting us faster and stronger than previously anticipated. These patterns also include melting glaciers and ice sheets, sea-level rise, thawing permafrost, ocean acidification, additional stress on terrestrial ecosystems, and higher probability to cross climate tipping points. Meanwhile, the destruction of natural habitat means one in eight species face near-term extinction. The use of natural resources has more than tripled since 1970. Overall, the climate and ecological crisis is a threat to food security, infrastructure and health for hundreds of millions humans — especially the most vulnerable and poor. 95
  • 96. #2: SOCIETY WAKING UP New generations are mobilising Climate marches, school strikes, Extinction Rebellion: the streets often appear as the main theatre of mobilisation for the youth. However, their influence shall truly be felt in their votes, purchases, and career choices. Companies increasingly realise that an ambitious and consistent sustainability plan is key to attract the best talent, while the lack thereof can drive the rebellion of workers at Amazon, Google and Microsoft. In France, over 30,000 students pledged not to work for polluting industries. Governments are starting to react An increasing number of nations are translating carbon neutrality goals into law (France, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand), passing progressive regulations on circular economy and biodiversity. Economist Mariana Mazzucato has been influential in shaping the next EU framework program around mission-oriented innovation. Meanwhile, cities and regions are coordinating through networks like C40, and are positioning themselves at the forefront of climate action. Data and graphic source:
 Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit 96
  • 97. #3: ECONOMIC INCENTIVES Investors are taking notice "Climate risks are investment risks,” says Blackrock CEO Larry Fink. The world’s largest asset manager joined the Investor Agenda, which is driving 1200 of its peers, totalling $35 trillion assets, to increase investments in low-carbon technologies while adding pressure on corporate boards and governments for climate action. Investors also see a market opportunity: $12 trillions for solutions to the Global Goals. Impact investing has reached $500 billion and double annually. And tech investors are banking on climate tech, from thematic funds such as Fifty Years and Future Positive Capital, to Silicon Valley icons like Sequoia and Y Combinator. Net zero is the new black Over 300 large companies have set science-based targets to reduce emissions (scope 1 and 2) in line with the 2°C target. Besides, a growing number have set a carbon neutral or net- zero emissions target: VINCI, Microsoft, IKEA, Kering, etc. 97
  • 98. #4: TECHNOLOGY MATURING Technological breakthroughs against the climate and ecological breakdown Since the last cleantech wave in the 2000s, technology has improved in several levels. First, technologies like solar, wind, and Li-ion batteries have seen their costs fall dramatically (see left graphic). Such economies of scale accelerate the deployment of renewable energy. Second, digitalisation has been transforming all sectors, and is playing a big part in the decarbonisation of transportation, buildings the electricity grid, along with facilitating carbon markets. Second, deep-tech entrepreneurship (companies built on unique scientific and engineering IP) is on the rise in different areas, from energy to new materials and AI. Building a cleantech remains hard, but is not as daunting as it used to, thanks to technological progress and falling barriers to science venturing. 98 Source: Exponential Roadmap 1.5, 2019
  • 99. 99 CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME 1. Avoiding solutionism Technology is a fundamental pillar of the answer to the climate and ecological crisis, but it is not sufficient. Other pillars include behaviour change toward sobriety, and ambitious policies for a just transition to a decarbonised economy. 2. Keeping a holistic perspective Climate change is the defining issue of our times, but that should not lead us to compromise on other global commons — biodiversity, land, oceans, and freshwater. Rigorous and systemic impact management methods are essential. 3. Drawing lessons from the 2000s With notable exceptions such as Tesla and Sunrun, the first cleantech wave ended badly for most investors and companies, as Leonard explained in a previous article.
  • 100. LESSONS FROM THE FIRST WAVE Lessons from the past As summarised by a seminal MIT report: “VC firms spent over $25 billion [on cleantech] from 2006 to 2011 and lost over half their money.” Thin-film solar cells, biofuels, and battery swapping startups fared especially poorly. The authors estimate that cleantech startups were a poor fit for VCs because of four main reasons: • They required significant capital to scale • They have long development timelines • They were uncompetitive in commodity markets • There were too few corporate acquirers The authors conclude in 2016 that cleantech “does not fit the risk, return, or time profiles of traditional VC.” Source: MIT Energy Initiative 2016
 “Cleantech and VC: the wrong model for innovation?” 100
  • 101. REASONS TO BE HOPEFUL Why this time could be different In spite of this warning, several weak signals point to the possibility that the new wave of cleantech and climate tech could be different: • A more mature corporate innovation landscape which favours increased investment, partnerships and M&A with startups, including in deep tech. • A broader set of funder types and innovation models for science venturing in sustainability — patient capital like Breakthrough Energy Ventures and family offices, public funding like ARPA-E and the European Innovation Council (EIC), various incubator and studio models to commercialise science, and even philanthropic funding. • A convergence between hardware, biology, and software, which can both diversify and accelerate time to market, and in certain occasions, provide returns which are more VC-compatible (ex: Nest). • The four driving sources of the new cleantech and climate tech wave, listed earlier. Source: MIT and Prime Coalition in Stanford Social Innovation Review
 “The Investment Gap That Threatens The Planet”, 2018 101
  • 102. AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS MATTHIEU LERONDEAU
 VINCI Leonard
 Chief Editor BENJAMIN TINCQ
 Good Tech Lab
 Lead Author MANUELLA CUNHA BRITO
 Good Tech Lab
 Lead Author MARK BÜNGER
 Good Tech Lab
 DeepTech Expert
 LUDOVIC SINET
 Good Tech Lab
 DeepTech Expert 102