The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced today the launch of a series of programs aimed at driving the commercialization of technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The programs will be funded with $3.7 billion from the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which allocates approximately $6.5 billion over five years in funding to carbon management projects and initiatives, including Direct Air Capture (DAC), carbon sequestration and transport infrastructure, and carbon utilization programs.

The new programs include the launch of the Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs program, with investments of $3.5 billion to develop four domestic regional direct air capture hubs. The DOE announced in May plans to select hubs for the program, each with the potential to capture and permanently store at least 1 million metric tons of CO2 annually, and with additional criteria including geographic diversity, regional potential for carbon sequestration or utilization, the carbon intensity of local industry, scalability, and the ability to create opportunities for skilled training and long-term employment in the region. With today’s announcement, $1.2 billion is being made available for conceptualizing, designing, planning, constructing, and operating direct air capture hubs.

Additional programs announced today include the Direct Air Capture Commercial and Pre-Commercial Prize, awarding $115 million to qualified direct air capture facilities and to incubate and accelerate research and development of breakthrough direct air capture technologies, Carbon Utilization Procurement Grants of up to $100 million to states, local governments, and public utilities to support the commercialization of technologies that reduce carbon emissions and using products developed from captured carbon emissions, and anticipated awards of $15 million for measurement, reporting, and verification-focused technologies for carbon removal solutions.

The DOE said that the newly-funded initiatives will work to accelerate private-sector investment, spur advancements in monitoring and reporting practices for carbon management technologies, and provide grants to state and local governments to procure and use products developed from captured carbon emissions.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, said: 

“No matter how fast we decarbonize the nation’s economy, we must tackle the legacy pollution already in our atmosphere to avoid the worst effects of climate change. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides the transformative investments needed to scale up the commercial use of technologies that can remove or capture CO2, which will bring jobs to our regions across the country and deliver a healthier environment for all Americans.”   

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