The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), issued Notices of Intent on July 13 to invest in programs that facilitate carbon capture demonstration projects and scale up regional pipeline networks to transport CO2 for long-term earth storage or conversion into end-use materials.
The over $2.6 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will go into two programs: the Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program and the Carbon Dioxide Transport/Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Program. The programs are intended to further boost U.S. actions toward green energy and industrial innovation and support net-zero goals for 2050 while creating jobs and supporting economic growth. In line with the Justice40 Initiative, the investments also prioritize equity in achieving climate targets.
“To meet President Biden’s climate goals, we have to rapidly decarbonize our power generation and heavy industries – such as steel production – that are essential to the clean energy transition,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enables DOE to invest in carbon capture, conversion, and storage technologies that play essential roles in the development and deployment of clean energy.”
Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) – of which CO2 accounts for 76% – have rapidly increased in the past few decades. GHG speeds up climate change and brings up the risk of droughts and floods, and poses danger to health and agriculture. The two programs will allow for the capture, transport, and long-term storage of GHG emissions to decrease environmental impact while creating well-paid jobs and improving air quality.
The Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program
$2.54 billion will go toward the Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program which focuses on integrated carbon capture, transport, and storage technologies and infrastructure for fossil energy plants and large-scale industry CO2 emitters like cement, pulp and paper, iron and steel, and some chemical production plants.
Chosen projects will address technical, environmental, permitting, and financing commercial deployment challenges.
The projects will go through several phases, with selection happening in Phase 1 and Phase 2. During Phases 2 to 4, six facilities will be designed, constructed, and launched using integrated carbon capture and storage demonstration systems. These systems will need to prove at least 95% carbon capture efficiency and proof of safe CO2 geologic storage. The funding opportunity announcement for the Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program will come in the next few months.
The Carbon Dioxide Transport/Front-End Engineering Design Program
The Carbon Dioxide Transport/Front-End Engineering Design Program will receive $100 million to devise region CO2 pipeline systems that can securely transport carbon from key sources to centralized locations. The projects within this framework will advance government knowledge of transportation costs, network configurations, and other considerations in bringing carbon capture, removal and storage technologies to a commercial scale. The Department of Energy is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to ensure CO2 pipeline safety measures.
Department of Energy Introduces New Carbon Management Tools
DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) has also recently launched two carbon management tools: the Carbon Matchmaker Tool and the Carbon Management Interactive Diagram. The new tools will help provide the needed CO2 management resources to reduce GHG and transition to a greener future.