Exploring The Future Of Carbon Removal: An In-Depth Conversation With Noah Deich

Exploring The Future Of Carbon Removal: An In-Depth Conversation With Noah Deich - Carbon Herald

During the latest episode of the Carbonsations podcast, we had the privilege of speaking with Noah Deich, a senior advisor at the US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), about the state of carbon removal. 

Noah Deich shared his journey from co-founding Carbon180, a climate NGO focused on carbon removal, to his current role at the Department of Energy

He also provided a comprehensive overview of the FECM’s initiatives and the future of carbon removal technologies.

The Role of FECM in Carbon Removal

The FECM has been a pioneer in carbon management for decades, initially focusing on geologic storage of CO2 and adapting technologies from the oil and gas industry for climate purposes. 

Over the past few years, the office has expanded its focus to include atmospheric carbon removal, guided by the Carbon Negative Shot initiative. 

This initiative is a call for innovation across all carbon removal pathways, aiming to reduce the cost of carbon removal to below $100 per ton and achieve gigaton scale within a decade.

Relevant: Carbon180 Is Scaling Carbon Removal Through US Federal Policy

Noah emphasized the importance of a portfolio approach, supporting a wide range of technologies and solutions. 

This includes not only technological innovation but also developing standards and protocols for measuring, reporting, and verifying carbon removal outcomes. 

The credibility of these outcomes is crucial, as the primary asset generated is the carbon removal itself.

The Voluntary Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Challenge

One of the FECM’s exciting initiatives is the Voluntary Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Challenge. 

This pilot program aims to purchase carbon removal credits, signaling to the market the importance of high-quality carbon credits. 

Recently, the FECM announced 24 semifinalists for this $35 million program, with plans to down-select to ten finalists who will receive up to $3 million each upon delivering verified carbon removal.

Relevant: DOE Announces 24 Semifinalists For Carbon Removal Purchase Pilot Prize

Noah highlighted the importance of this program in providing technical rigor and confidence to the market. 

By sharing their evaluations, the FECM hopes to encourage more companies to purchase carbon removal credits, expanding both the amount and types of credits being bought. 

This initiative aligns with the U.S. government’s commitment to advancing high-integrity carbon markets, driving climate finance into impactful projects.

A Diverse Portfolio of Carbon Removal Technologies

The semifinalists for the CDR purchase pilot prize represent a diverse range of technologies, including direct air capture, biomass carbon removal, CO2 mineralization, and ocean CDR. 

This diversity is a strength, as different technologies will be suitable for different geographies and applications. 

Noah stressed the importance of not locking in any one technology prematurely, supporting a healthy competition that will drive innovation and cost reduction.

Relevant: Ocean Visions Is Expanding The Global Conversation On Ocean Climate Solutions

Looking ahead, Noah is optimistic about the technical innovation in the carbon removal field. However, he emphasized the need for continued policy and market development to scale these solutions. 

Unlike other clean technologies with existing markets, carbon removal requires the creation of new markets and sustained support from policymakers and the private sector.

Noah’s message is clear: the initial policy efforts are an essential down payment, but long-term investment and collaboration are crucial to sustaining the market and achieving significant climate impact.

Listen to the full conversation on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

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