The climate tech hype award goes to…

The climate tech hype award goes to…

Presented by


Which buzzy technology do you think is the most overhyped? Small-scale nuclear, 11%; direct air capture, 19%; green hydrogen, 18%; floating offshore wind, 12%; autonomous vehicles, 40%.

TECHNO-PESSIMISTS UNITE — The climate crisis has boosted a lot of technologies that might not pan out.

We asked attendees at last week’s inaugural POLITICO Energy Summit which of several buzzy sectors they thought were most overhyped. Autonomous vehicles got the biggest side-eye, with 40 percent of our 73 respondents picking them as the least promising technology.

While respondents may have viewed their choices as damning, panelists at the conference didn’t necessarily see it that way.

“I feel like people view hype cycles as a negative thing,” said Jigar Shah, head of the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office, which is in charge of handing out billions of dollars in loans to promising cleantech companies. “What it really is is a way to crowd in private capital into something and allow entrepreneurs the right to be able to take their ideas and figure out a way to bring them to market.”

And the technologies are doing okay, especially relative to how bad climate change is shaping up to be, another panelist said.

“Sure, they won’t all be successful, some of them won’t scale, but the technology itself that’s driving this change is better than we thought,” said Forbright Bank CEO (and former presidential candidate and former U.S. representative) John Delaney.

Want more of a glass-half-full take? We also quizzed a select group in April on which technologies are likeliest to work out.

Green hydrogen topped the list, followed by carbon capture and storage (which is different from direct air capture, to be clear. DAC is considered a form of geoengineering, which came in last).

Which breakthrough technology do you think has the most promise to get the U.S. and world back on track to Paris Climate Agreement commitments? Green hydrogen, 36%; carbon capture and storage, 32%; fusion energy, 19%; geoengineering, 4%; current technology is enough, 8%.

A message from American Beverage Association:

At America’s beverage companies, we are committed to reducing our plastic footprint. That’s why we’re carefully designing our plastic bottles to be 100% recyclable, including the caps. Our goal is for every bottle to become a new one, so they don’t end up in nature. Learn more at

For our money, carbon removal is the climate technology with the most hype, positive and negative.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called in March for “everything, everywhere all at once” to help fight climate change, but now a UN panel is souring on technological carbon removal, calling it “technologically and economically unproven, especially at scale,” as Corbin Hiar reports for POLITICO’s E&E News.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co, the world’s largest investment bank, this week announced plans to invest $200 million into long-term carbon-removal deals, as Avery Ellfeldt also reports for E&E.

The POLITICO Insiders is an invite-only online community of professionals from political, policy and public affairs industries whose perspectives inform and shape industry trends and influence the future of POLITICO. If you’re interested in learning more or would like to request an invite, click here.

GET READY FOR GLOBAL TECH DAY: Join POLITICO Live as we launch our first Global Tech Day alongside London Tech Week on Thursday, June 15. Register now for continuing updates and to be a part of this momentous and program-packed day! From the blockchain, to AI, and autonomous vehicles, technology is changing how power is exercised around the world, so who will write the rules? REGISTER HERE.

A message from American Beverage Association:

Advertisement ImagePin


GAME ON — Welcome to the Long Game, where we tell you about the latest on efforts to shape our future. We deliver data-driven storytelling, compelling interviews with industry and political leaders, and news Tuesday through Friday to keep you in the loop on sustainability.

Team Sustainability is editor Greg Mott, deputy editor Debra Kahn, and reporters Jordan Wolman and Allison Prang. Reach us at [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].

Want more? You can have it. Sign up for the Long Game. Four days a week and still free. That’s sustainability!

DON’T MISS POLITICO’S HEALTH CARE SUMMIT: The Covid-19 pandemic helped spur innovation in health care, from the wide adoption of telemedicine, health apps and online pharmacies to mRNA vaccines. But what will the next health care innovations look like? Join POLITICO on Wednesday June 7 for our Health Care Summit to explore how tech and innovation are transforming care and the challenges ahead for access and delivery in the United States. REGISTER NOW.


— The International Energy Agency says the rapid expansion of clean-tech manufacturing has solar and battery manufacturing on target to meet 2030 milestones, even as coal investment continues to rise.

France has eliminated some shorter-distance flights to help fight global warming. The Washington Post looks into whether the U.S. should follow its lead.

— Bloomberg talks with venture capitalist Dipender Saluja about how and why Silicon Valley got involved with climate tech.

A message from American Beverage Association:

America’s leading beverage companies – The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo – are working together to reduce our industry’s plastic footprint through our Every Bottle Back initiative. We’re investing in efforts to get our bottles back so we can remake them into new bottles and use less new plastic. 

Together, we’re: 

  • Designing 100% recyclable plastic bottles – we’re making our bottles from PET that’s strong, lightweight and easy to recycle.  
  • Investing in community recycling – we’re marshalling the equivalent of nearly a half-billion dollars with The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners to support community recycling programs where we can have the greatest impact.
  • Raising awareness – we’re adding on-pack reminders to encourage consumers to recycle our plastic bottles and caps.    

Our bottles are made to be remade. Please help us get Every Bottle Back.

( Information from was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

Leave a Comment

Share to...