Last year was a record year for European climate tech. The sector brought in more funding than any year before — even as the wider tech sector suffered a downtick in investment. Will the industry remain resilient in 2023? And which companies will thrive?
Here’s what operators, founders and investors predict.
“I think 2023 will be a big year for reducing energy consumption. This will mean anything from software optimising how we use electricity in our homes and industries to passive cooling technologies. We’ve seen how dangerous and unstable it is to depend on fossil fuels, and while there is still a need for alternative energy sources and storage, I really look forward to seeing innovative ways to reduce our overall demand for energy in the first place.”
— Lindsey Higgins, head of climate insights at Pale Blue Dot
"A new trend we see emerging and one which will be one of the biggest in 2023, is the need for software to provide measurements and data around sustainability. Data which enables better decisions and with better decisions comes a more efficient, less carbon-intense society. This information is there. It is at our fingertips and so we need to go out there and use it.
"Better models are also needed to not only predict things like floods and forest fires but deal with the billions of people who will be displaced because of them. Industries that are focusing on the next five to ten years and changing the way we live and work will have some degree of protection, and these are exactly the types of industries we expect to prosper in a recession."
— Patrick Sheehan and Rob Genieser, managing partners at ETF Partners
“Heat is the often-overlooked ugly big sibling of electricity, accounting globally for 50% of today’s total energy mix (versus 20% for electricity). Currently humans are adding heat equivalent to four Hiroshima bombs per second to the planet. The efficient use of heat is mission critical. There are three main areas that we are excited about in heat: generation of clean heat, waste heat recovery and heat storage.”
— Sebastian Heitmann, Yair Reem, Eshel Lipman, Iris ten Have from Extantia Capital
"In 2023, there’ll be more adoption of light electric vehicles (LEVs). The most exciting ramification will be reimagining the city and returning to what cities used to be about. In the past 40 years we have given up large parts of our cities to cars, and with innovations like LEVs we can think about repurposing streets back to being for people. With safer streets and cleaner air, we are seeing an emergence of people socialising together outside.”
— Lisa Conibear, commercial director at ebike startup Zoomo
"Cultivated meat companies will seek out opportunities to successfully increase their speed to market. We’ll begin to see cultivated meat companies seek to localise the value chain to progress product development strategically, which in some instances will mean looking to countries with favourable regulatory environments, such as Singapore and the US (cultivated meat is not approved by European regulators).
"This will mean European companies establishing local partnerships for the commercialisation of products across the value chain."
— Caroline Wilschut, director of strategy at Meatable