NetZero was selected as one of the 15 winners of the XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition to take home the $1 million milestone award. The XPRIZE competition is the largest incentive prize in history with a total award pool of $100 million for the best carbon removal technology.
The French startup – selected among more than 1,100 applicants – specializes in deploying large-scale biochar production in the tropics.
“This international competition is a real opportunity to accelerate future carbon removal solutions, and we are very happy to see our project recognized among more than 1,000 ambitious applicants,” said Axel Reinaud, Co-founder and CEO of NetZero. “We have already demonstrated the viability of our model, with the opening of a biochar production unit in Cameroon last November and the opening of a new plant in Brazil very soon.”
Biochar is among the few solutions capable of removing carbon from the atmosphere for hundreds of years.
By turning crop residues into biochar, NetZero fights climate change while also advancing more sustainable agriculture and promoting energy access.
The emerging company’s business model is based on trading high-quality carbon credits in the rapidly developing market of long-term carbon removal.
Established by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation in 2021, XPRIZE aims to support carbon removal startups in tackling climate change by removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it safely for more than 100 years.
The companies are selected based on two criteria: their solutions’ cost-effectiveness and scalability (or having the potential to remove 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year).
The 15 winning startups will each receive $1 million and the three final winners will be announced in 2025.
A few days before the XPRIZE announcement on April 22, the latest IPCC report was published, stating that carbon removal is key to limiting global warming to +1.5°C by 2050.