Tencent To Invest $13.9M In Carbon Capture And Removal Startups

Tencent To Invest $13.9M In Carbon Capture And Removal Startups - Carbon Herald

Chinese tech giant Tencent is investing $13.9 million in promising startups in the carbon capture and carbon removal space. This initiative goes beyond traditional green solutions like solar and electric vehicles.

According to Xu Hao, head of Tencent’s Carbon Neutrality Lab, renewable energy and electric cars are ‘such bright spots’, but they’re not enough to help the world achieve its climate goals.

Tencent’s CarbonX program, launched in 2023, aims to find and support cutting-edge technologies that can help China achieve net-zero emissions by 2060. 

The program reviewed over 300 applications and recently announced its first 13 winners. These winners will receive financial backing and expert guidance. Some will even collaborate with Tencent’s partners to test their solutions in real-world situations.

“To pave the path for a greener economy, we must champion the development of cutting-edge low-carbon technologies,” said Jerry Yan, a CarbonX expert committee leader and chair professor of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

“Just as solar and wind power were nurtured in their infancy, emerging solutions like CCUS [carbon capture, utilization, and storage] and tech-based carbon removal demand our early support.”

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Once they reach commercial scale, each of the presented carbon capture and removal technologies is said to be able to eliminate as much as 100 million metric tons of CO2 emissions every year. 

While the cost of capturing and storing carbon dioxide currently varies widely (between $15 and $350 per ton), experts predict rapid advancements. 

The International Energy Agency forecasts global CCUS capacity to soar over sixfold to 300 million tons annually by 2030.

For industries like cement, steel, and chemicals, which are difficult to transition away from fossil fuels, CCUS offers a promising path to achieving full decarbonization in the near future.

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Tencent’s funding targets a diverse range of CCUS projects, from university research to near-market startups and infrastructure development. 

Some funded projects involve capturing carbon directly from steel mill emissions using steel slag, while others focus on converting CO2 into sustainable aviation fuel and valuable chemicals using innovative methods like electrochemistry and bioengineering.

This initiative aligns with Tencent’s previously announced goal of achieving carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2030. 

The Shenzhen-based tech giant has pledged over $28 million over three years to support innovative climate solutions.

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