Sun, air and algae with potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 300 million tons


Our press release today -

WWF will present its annual list of climate innovations that can facilitate the global transition to a low-carbon economy at a conference in central Stockholm today. The so-called Climate Solver companies are selected for their potential to reduce global CO2 emissions. New features include a solar-powered cooling system for houses in warm countries, energy efficient water cleaning with algae and a system for literally removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“These solutions have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 300 million tons per year by 2020 if distributed globally. That is more than five times Sweden’s annual emissions. In order to achieve this success, strong commitments from both policy makers and business are necessary,” says Håkan Wirtén, Secretary General of WWF Sweden.

WWF’s Climate Solver 2010 offers a mix of low carbon climate solutions – e.g. solar cooling for houses in warm countries, “green chemistry” that reduces energy and resource consumption in the production of paperboard and a system for bio-energy carbon capture and storage.

For these solutions to have a real impact, WWF calls for political entrepreneurship, that results in faster access to public funding and greater stimulation of private investment in the early stages of commercialization.

“In recent years, several international expert studies have concluded that support to developing climate solutions need to triple – at least – and even more is required for the commercialization phase. The prerequisites for achieving global distribution of Swedish climate innovations need to improve dramatically. Programs and financial instruments must be more closely linked to reality and correspond with science-based climate scenarios, as well as the needs of the climate entrepreneurs,” says Magnus Emfel, Acting Head Climate Program, WWF Sweden.
Since the start of the Climate Solver program in 2008, WWF has presented 24 climate innovations. WWF has now done a follow up of companies presented in previous years. As with any innovation, enterprise development varies for each company. Some have increased both sales and number of employees manifold, while others have not come much further than they were two years ago.


WWF has recently conducted a series of interviews with companies presented in 2008 and 2009. According to these climate entrepreneurs public funding is focused primarily on research and requires excessive efforts to apply for, resulting in relatively limited funding support., Swedish private equity investors tend to avoid investing in companies in the early stages of development and compared to their counterparts abroad they generally have limited knowledge of clean technology.
Entrepreneurs also say that it is difficult to establish operations and sales abroad and that public support programmes for this are inadequate. The climate conference in Copenhagen last year created a temporary boost, which now seems to have subsided.

Read more about what climate enterpreneurs think:

Nominations are made in cooperation with several key actors in the innovation arena in Sweden including Stockholm Innovation & Growth, Cleantech Inn Sweden, Innovatum, Competition for Environmental Innovation and Sustainable Business Hub.

In order to be considered a candidate, the selected technologies must reflect a breadth of solutions that can be used in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Calculations of climate innovations’ potential for reducing CO2 emissions are based on verified performance, conventional metrics for climate change impacts for different types of energy, as well as publicly available statistics and facts about the development of world markets.

Here are the five new climate innovations presented by WWF Sweden this year:

Solar cooling for houses in warm countries
ClimateWell AB has developed a solar-powered system, mainly for cooling of buildings in warm countries, but also for heating and hot water. The company is already established in Spain, Italy and Turkey. With a 25 percent market penetration, the company has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 101 million tons/year globally in 2020.

Heat pump for the houses and buildings
Octopus Energi AB has developed the heat pump Ice-Stick which primarily uses air to generate heat. Ice-Stick can store more than 60 percent of the energy for heating, and is an example of a mature technology with global, not yet realized, potential. If every fifth property on the global target market (homes, small buildings), installed similar heat pumps, the emissions of CO2 would be reduced by 29 million tons in 2020. The majority of the company’s sales are in Denmark, Poland and Romania.

Water treatment with algae
Clearwater Energy Nordic AB has developed a system where algae are used to clean water, for example in municipal water treatment plants, resulting in significant energy savings. The algae can also be used as biomass for biogas production. The technology could, in 2020, save 24 million tons of CO2 per year with a 20 percent market penetration. The company is based in Stockholm and has made its first installations there and in southern Sweden.

Green chemistry that reduces energy and resource consumption
OrganoClick AB works with “green chemistry” that makes cardboard and corrugated board stronger and lighter, which greatly reduces material consumption and emissions from transport. If 30 percent of all cardboard were produced with this technology in 2020, this technology could reduce CO2 emissions by 22 million tons/year. The technology can also be applied in other areas such as textiles and wood treatment.

Storage of carbon dioxide from bioenergy
Biorecro AB offers a system for capturing and storing carbon dioxide from bioenergy production and biofuel-powered industrial production. Bio-Energy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) reduces the CO2 content in the atmosphere in absolute terms. If 30 percent of the identified bio-fuel plants were to install BECCS, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would decrease by 100 million tons per year by 2020.

Launch of Climate Solver 2010


Five new climate entrepreneurs will be presented at WWF’s annual Climate Solver Conference in Stockholm tomorrow. In addition to presentations by the Climate Solver community’s latest additions, we will hear the results of interviews with entrepreneurs from earlier years. It will be interesting to hear whether or not coniditions have improved within the Swedish innovations system. Have investors gained a better understanding of this sector, which is sorely needed if they are going to have the confidence to make investments in this field. Has the application process for public grants and loans been simplified or are entrepreneurial companies still required to spend endless hours on applications rather than on developing their businesses. We hope to discuss these as well as other related questions.

We are also looking forward to an interesting panel discussion with our new State Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Daniel Johansson. Harald Overholm, Investment Director at Sustainable Technology Partners Nordic will bring us the investor’s perspective on how to stimulate private investments in cleantech while Olle Blidholm from IKEA will share how big business views their role as both potential customer and enabler of cleantech development.

Do join us if you’re in town. TryggHansa has generously offered to host this event at their main office in the center of Stockholm – Flemminggatan 18. Be aware however that the conference will be held in Swedish. View program here.