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U.S. Department of Energy Announces $14.5 Million Supporting Direct Air Capture and Storage for Low Carbon Energy Sources

Funding Addresses Urgent Need for Global Leadership and Collaboration on Deployment of Durable Carbon Dioxide Removal 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $14.5 million in available funding to leverage existing low-carbon energy to scale-up direct air capture (DAC) technology combined with reliable carbon storage. DAC, a carbon dioxide removal approach, is a process that separates carbon dioxide (CO2) from ambient air. The separated CO2 can then be safely and permanently stored deep underground or converted into products. DAC is considered a growing and necessary field that still requires significant investments to create a cost-effective and economically viable technology that can be deployed at scale in the commercial CO2 market. Advancing the deployment of DAC approaches is critical to combatting the current climate crisis and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050—a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration.

“We must deploy multiple approaches – such as emerging direct air capture technology – to address issues with difficult to decarbonize industries such as planes, ships, and farming equipment,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With President Biden’s largest-ever proposed investment in carbon removal and DOE investments to accelerate the carbon removal of current sectors by using low carbon energy, this Administration is taking significant steps to tackle the climate crisis, at home and abroad.”

Aviation, shipping and agriculture are among the hardest sectors to decarbonize (e.g., a large industrial facility or power plant). Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is an important tool that can help address these hard to decarbonize emissions on the path to net zero.

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), Direct Air Capture Combined with Dedicated Long-Term Carbon Storage, Coupled to Existing Low-Carbon Energy, will facilitate engineering studies of advanced DAC systems capable of removing 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per year from the air—the equivalent of electricity used by more than 900 homes in the United States for one year. These systems will also be suitable for long-duration carbon storage.

The studies will provide detailed information on the operation of these systems and potential investment costs that will allow DOE to accelerate research and development for existing DAC technologies, co-located with domestic low-carbon thermal energy sources, such as nuclear power plants, geothermal resources and industrial plants.

This FOA is a collaborative effort between DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM), Office of Nuclear Energy and Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office. Read the full FOA here.

FECM funds research, development, demonstration and deployment projects to decarbonize power generation and industrial sources, to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and to mitigate the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use. To learn more, visit the FECM websitesign up for FECM news announcements and visit the National Energy Technology Laboratory's website