January 10, 2023

Black-Owned Climate Startup Gets Boost From Federal Clean Energy Funding

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is the biggest federal climate deal in history and is great news for Black-owned carbon transformation startup Twelve.

According to reports, the IRA contains $500 billion in funding to boost clean energy, reduce healthcare costs, and increase tax revenues. The Act follows negotiations on President Biden’s Build Back Better Act and is welcome news for climate startups like Twelve.

“The Inflation Reduction Act, that’s been really amazing. We’re so excited about that,” said Twelve co-founder Ethosa Cave in an interview.

“There’s so many provisions in there: the manufacturing investment tax credit is going to be big for helping us on our manufacturing floor.” 

From CO2 to jet fuel

Founded in 2015 by Stanford graduates Etosha Cave and Nicholas Flanders, Twelve is a carbon transformation company, making some of the world’s most critical chemicals from carbon dioxide instead of fossil fuels.

The aim is to transform the carbon present in the air into the carbon that goes into everything from our clothing and cleaning products to electronics and jet fuel.

Competing with fossil fuels

Cave, also Twelve’s chief scientific officer, shared excitement about the IRA’s policies relating to the sustainable aviation fuel production tax credit and the 45Q tax credit which will better support carbon removal tech developers.

“What it really does is just gives the ability to go to market quicker because we’ve always been kind of like, ‘Okay, how do we get to cost parity with petroleum?” Cave explained. 

“And we’ve seen that there’s small markets, there’s some customers that are willing to pay a premium early on, but not as many as you need to really get to scale. And so this helps us get to scale much quicker.” 

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Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.