The Biden-Harris Administration announced on July 24 it will invest $100 million in carbon utilization projects. The grants, made available through the Investing in America agenda will support states, local governments, and public utilities in purchasing products produced from CO2 emissions.
The funding aims to accelerate the adoption of advanced CO2 management technologies and build a market for environmentally sustainable fuels, chemicals, and building materials derived from emissions from industrial and power sites.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is helping transform harmful pollutants into beneficial products,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The funding announced today will scale up carbon management technology, lowering costs, and increasing access to clean energy.” State and local grants funded by The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will serve to demonstrate the economic viability of innovative carbon technologies, Granholm also said. This, in turn, is expected to result in significant reductions in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, while also creating new, high-paying jobs and contributing to cleaner air in communities throughout the country, she added.
Brian Asparro, COO of CarbonQuest – a company providing carbon capture services for commercial and residential buildings, also commented on the announcement for Carbon Herald.
“The $100M investment by the Biden-Harris administration to promote CO2-based products is a good step on a journey to scale CO2 utilization that shifts the market from a commodity obtained from a gas well to a recycled product that can displace petroleum in many types of products from aviation fuel to clothes to concrete.”
“As a company that captures CO2 and liquifies it for use in such products, CarbonQuest applauds all efforts to scaling utilization. However, we believe that there is more to be done. The 45Q federal tax incentive still deprioritizes CO2 utilization with a smaller credit than one for carbon sequestration. And yet, as the Department of Energy’s excellent Carbon Management Liftoff Report notes, sequestration will take time and isn’t economical without government support, while utilization can build new industries and generate jobs while decarbonizing the many facets of the economy that currently depend on petroleum, from aviation to building materials to everyday plastics. We are looking forward to engaging with the public institutions on their procurement choices as part of this program,” Mr Asparro added.
The Carbon Utilization Procurement Grants program aims to support states, local governments, public utilities, and agencies by covering 50% of the expenses associated with procuring and utilizing products derived from the conversion of captured carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions.
To qualify for these grants, the commercial or industrial products to be procured and used under the grants must show a substantial net decrease in greenhouse gas emissions compared to existing products. This assessment is conducted through a life cycle analysis (LCA), which is reviewed and approved by the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Vendors have the opportunity to submit LCA data on the greenhouse gas emissions reductions achieved by their CO2 conversion products through NETL’s Utilization Procurement Grants website.
Funding applicants must submit Community Benefit Discussions that address the social considerations and impact of the proposed projects, explaining how the projects bring environmental and economic benefits. The applicants should also engage the community and stakeholders, incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and promote job creation and development.
The Funding Opportunity Announcement is open until April 2024.