Prime’s assessment of emissions reduction potential (“ERP”) for early-stage companies is one of our core underwriting criteria as a climate-impact-first organization. It’s also a key aspect of tracking our companies’ progress toward that mission after making an investment, and setting aspirational climate impact operating milestones.In 2017, we partnered with NYSERDA to codify our in-house methodology for assessing ERP.
Writing this report made it clear that there is a gap in the marketplace for tools that can inform investors about the potential for their investments to mitigate future emissions.Existing climate impact assessment tools and services are exclusively designed to retrospectively assess the climate impact of a business as it exists now. This is not applicable for early-stage businesses with small operations and limited or no product deployment.
Starting in 2019, Prime is developing an online, open-source software tool -CRANE -that makes climate impact assessment of early-stage companies less labor-intensive, as well as more data-driven, transparent, and standardized. Our vision is to make it easier for a wide variety of investors, grantors, and entrepreneurs to incorporate climate impact into their own decision-making processes. The project is being supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, NYSERDA, and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
Prime is dedicated to supporting carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) and carbon removal solutions and the entrepreneurs behind them, recognizing that CCUS is a necessary element of advancing our nonprofit mission to help mitigate climate change. With support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, we evaluated the challenges and opportunities of investing in nascent carbon removal technology solutions, and worked with academic partners to develop three tools to assist with our evaluation of new technologies and due diligence of specific investment opportunities.
We are excited to share these three excel-based tools with user guides and hope more members of the climate-minded investor community will join us in accelerating development and deployment of critical CCUS solutions.
Carbon Estimation Tool – LCA of CCU Estimate Model
The model is intended to provide a user-friendly tool to help evaluate diverse categories of CCU technologies. It is currently in beta version and it is being continuously updated and improved. The model builds on an initiative developed jointly by University of Alberta and University of Calgary, focusing on a fair comparison of greenhouse gas emissions between different CCU pathways and possible end-products. The goal is to provide a rough, high-level estimate of the greenhouse gas emissions of CCU technologies. It is also aimed to support technology developers in identifying hotspots for improvement at early stages of development. Both the tool and a user guide are available on github through the link below.
Technoeconomic Assessment tools: Direct Air Capture (DAC) & Mineral Carbonation (MC) Models
Developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, these models provide comparisons and projections for the technical performance of novel systems, using published literature values and modeled process chemistry. Users can leverage inputs to generate projected costs, perform sensitivity analysis to identify key performance variables, and cross-check company claims against an independent model.