New Target Aims to Dramatically Scale Up Responsible Carbon Dioxide Removal, Slash Costs of Critical Clean Energy Technology 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm announced today the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) new goal to remove gigatons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere and durably store it for less than $100/ton of net CO2-equivalent. The “Carbon Negative Shot,” the third target within DOE’s Energy Earthshots Initiative, is the U.S. government’s first major effort in carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and is an all-hands-on-deck call for innovation in the expanding field of CDR—a key facet of the plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“By slashing the costs and accelerating the deployment of carbon dioxide removal — a crucial clean energy technology — we can take massive amounts of carbon pollution directly from the air and combat the climate crisis,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With our Carbon Negative Shot, we can help remove the greenhouse gases already warming our planet and affecting our health—positioning America as a net-zero leader and creating good-paying jobs for a transitioning clean energy workforce. The combination of the Carbon Negative Shot with our massive investments in hydrogen, battery storage, renewables and decarbonized fossil energy, can make net-zero emissions a reality here and abroad.”

CDR is defined as a wide array of approaches that capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere and durably store it in geological, biobased, and ocean reservoirs or in value-added products to create negative emissions. Nearly all climate and energy models that reach net-zero indicate the need for a near-term focus on CDR development and deployment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

By midcentury, CDR will need to be deployed at the gigaton scale. To put this in perspective, one gigaton of subsurface sequestered CO2 is equivalent to the annual emissions from the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet—the equivalent of approximately 250 million vehicles driven in one year.

CDR technology still requires significant investments in research and development to create a cost-effective and economically viable technology that can be deployed at scale and in time to meet the urgent needs of the climate crisis.

Through Carbon Negative Shot, the United States will accelerate CDR innovation and position itself as a leader in research, manufacturing and demonstration. It will also create tailored place-based approaches that meet the needs of individual communities that could participate in or be affected by CDR. DOE will work to meaningfully engage with these communities and a wide array of stakeholders, including environmental and climate justice organizations, tribal nations, labor groups, industry and academia. Carbon Negative Shot also supports a whole-of-government approach and seeks alignment in federal, state and local areas.

Four performance elements will define the technologies DOE will advance through Carbon Negative Shot:

  • A reduced cost of CDR of less than $100/net metric ton CO2 equivalent for both capture and storage;
  • A robust accounting of lifecycle emissions (i.e., ensures emissions created when running and building the removal technology are accounted for);
  • High-quality, durable storage with costs demonstrated for monitoring, reporting and verification for at least 100 years; and
  • Enables necessary gigaton-scale removal.

These performance elements will guide the creation and growth of a responsible CDR industry that can address the climate crisis at a scale needed to meet our net-zero goals.

For more information about this effort, visit DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management website. Also be sure to sign up for news announcements to keep up to date with blogs, press releases, funding opportunity announcements, resources and more.