2023 trends: biomass, ESG, batteries and more

Part one of a conversation with Nat Bullard, who delivers us a monster slide deck on the biggest trends in climatetech.

On the Catalyst with Shayle Kann podcast this week:

It’s the first year of what we hope will be an annual event: Nat Bullard has released his first climate trends report. He was the chief content officer at BloombergNEF until last year, and now is a senior contributor at BNEF and Bloomberg Green. He’s also a venture partner at Voyager Ventures. 

There’s so much in this 141-slide deck that we’ve split the conversation into two parts. In this first installment, Shayle and Nat dig into topics including:

  • Land use. Forty percent of U.S. corn is used to offset just 10% of U.S. motor gas demand. Also, despite a growing world population, land used for agriculture globally has been shrinking. What do these trends mean for alternative proteins and sustainable aviation fuels?

  • Environmental, social and governance issues. In 2022, there were more anti-ESG than pro-ESG regulatory developments. And while ESG fund flows were positive last year, they’re still only a fraction of their peak in 2021. Where is ESG investment heading, and should we even be putting environmental, social and governance criteria in the same bucket? 

  • Batteries. Battery costs rose in 2022, but battery system costs rose faster. And yet there’s still increasing demand for utility-scale batteries. Meanwhile, the top 10 battery manufacturers of 2022 are all located in Asia. What do these trends mean for the battery market and manufacturing supply chains?

Recommended resources:

  • Nathaniel Bullard: Decarbonization: The long view, trends and transience, net zero

  • Catalyst: Climatetech’s surprising bottleneck: Land access

Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

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