Ask the Investor is an interactive series we run at CLIMAFIX that derives key insights from innovative climate investors on many different aspects of their investment journey. (See all posts at Ask the Investor)

This series is done as part of the CLIMAFIX Summit 2023, India’s largest climate startup summit, organized by CLIMAFIX & Energy Consortium – IIT Madras.

In this post, we have Sunil Cavale of Speciale Invest sharing his perspectives.

CLIMAFIX thanks Sunil Cavale for his valuable inputs.

1. Which are the specific climate tech domains that are of interest to you and your firm?

● Carbon Capture and Sequestration- CCUS (& conversion into usable derivatives)
● Green Energy – Hydrogen, Ammonia, & Sustainable Fuel
● HVAC – Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning – Efficient and Sustainable Heating & Cooling Solutions
● Energy Generation – Sustainable Energy – Solar, Wind, Geothermal, Gravity Based
● Energy Storage – Batteries (Sodium Ion, Redox Flow, Metal Air, Li-Ion)
● eMobility – EV – eVTOL, 2W, 3W, 4W, Trucks
● Sustainable Materials – Plastics, construction (Green Cement, etc), Packaging

2. According to you which are the underserved climate tech sectors where more investments are needed but where investing currently is a challenge?

● Energy Storage – Alternate Battery Chemistries to Li-Ion
● Green Ammonia
● Renewable Energy Generation – looking beyond Solar and Wind

3. What are the key challenges that you see in the Indian climate investment domain?

● Need greater access to growth stage capital to support the early stage climate tech ecosystem
● A greater willingness to underwrite technology/market risk from investors at the early stage
● Climate tech companies, especially ones building hardware, must demonstrate substantial outcomes to drive collective growth – which would not be possible without sufficient funding.
● Diversified funding/support at the Research/Academia level to bring out more entrepreneurs
● Greater action from Indian corporates to validate and adopt climate technologies developed by early stage startups in India

4. What are some of the climate tech innovations (Indian or global) that caught your attention?

● Conversion of captured Carbon into derivatives for sustainable Fuel, Proteins, Amino Acids, etc
● Process to generate Green Ammonia
● Using waste heat from industry to generate energy
● Using Geothermal wells (Earth) as long duration energy storage systems
● Fully functional large scale Vanadium Redox Flow battery systems
● Space based solar power (using reflectors in the orbit)
● Use of heat pumps to reduce energy consumption in buildings
● Electrification of ships and trucks

5. If you had a magic wand that could give you just one wish, what would your wish be?

Unlimited access to clean energy would be able to solve a majority of global challenges. Given an option, we should create solutions to get such access.

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