The Department of Energy has announced that two direct air capture hubs will receive $1.2 billion in federal funding in a bid to develop and scale the technology which many believe is a crucial part of reducing the impact of climate change.
The South Texas DAC Hub in Kleberg County is led by Occidental subsidiary 1PointFive and partners Worley and Carbon Engineering. It’s first facility called STRATOS is already under construction and is slated to become operational by mid-2025.
Last week Occidental announced an MoU with Abu Dhabi oil giant ADNOC to evaluate the investment potential of DAC hubsin both the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
The Lousiana project, called Project Cypress is spearheaded by non-profit Battelle with technology developers Climeworks and Heirloom. Climeworks has the largest functioning DAC facility, the Mammoth project in Iceland, which captures 4,000 tons of CO2 annually, while Heirloom operates one of the few operational facilities in the U.S.
An additional $100 million will also be directed towards 19 projects aimed at exploring different engineering aspects, locations and approaches to direct air capture across the U.S.
The DOE also announced a Notice of Intent to launch a Responsible Carbon Management Initiative along with Carbon Negative Shot Pilots, as well as $13 million in funding for carbon management research and development.
Ben Rubin, Executive Director of the Carbon Business Council, a nonprofit coalition with more than 100 carbon management companies as members, commented on the funding by saying: “The Carbon Business Council applauds the Department of Energy for their continued leadership advancing climate action. The newest initiatives are a significant step forward for carbon removal, which will boost private sector investments and create high-quality jobs. Reaching gigaton scale carbon removal requires a holistic and technology neutral approach, which is reflected in the announcements this week.
The Responsible Carbon Management Initiative is a welcomed effort to ensure that carbon management scales responsibly. The inclusion of Community Benefits Plans for the Direct Air Capture Hubs will help to ensure that carbon removal benefits are maximized for local communities.”
These are the first grants from a larger $3.5 billion investment planned for DAC hubs, supplied by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. Through that bill and the Inflation Reduction Act (which provides a $180 credit for each ton of CO2 removed), the Biden administration has become the largest backer of carbon removal globally, identifying the technology as a key component of reducing carbon emissions.
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