Let’s talk Carbon!
The Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) hosted the InnovationXLab CarbonX Summit on October 21-22, 2020, bringing together leaders from industry, academia, and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Laboratories to discuss the role of carbon in the future energy economy.
Attendees of the Summit, the seventh in OTT’s InnovationXLab series, took advantage of a virtual interactive event platform organized by NETL. During the two-day event, visitors had the opportunity to visit 15 expo booths, where National Labs and private-sector partners displayed carbon-related programs and materials. Dedicated time was also set aside throughout the event for virtual networking sessions, giving attendees the chance to meet with fellow experts from government and industry and build relationships beyond the summit.
NETL organized an engaging speaker and panel lineup, including an opening keynote from Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. During his remarks, Deputy Secretary Menezes highlighted DOE’s latest innovations, in particular the Department’s work in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) research and development. “In recent years, the U.S. has led the world not only in producing oil and natural gas, but in reducing energy-related carbon emissions. It’s through innovation that we have increased production of low-emission natural gas, transforming scientific progresses into technologies that improve American lives. We’ve increased generation of zero-emission renewables and nuclear energy. We’ve made our coal cleaner than ever before, but the potential of CCUS is even greater than that. It can actually enable us to drive fossil-fuel emissions all the way down to zero. And just as we are leading the world in energy-related carbon emissions reduction, so too are we a world leader in advancing CCUS research and development with the Department at the helm.”
The summit provided a platform for attendees to engage with a variety of panel sessions, featuring topics from how industry can collaborate with DOE Labs to discussions on policy and promising new carbon technologies. OTT Director and DOE’s Chief Commercialization Officer Conner Prochaska participated in a fireside chat with Dr. Geoff Tuff, a Principal at Deloitte Consulting, to discuss the importance of public-private collaboration in the post-COVID-19 world. “It’s safe to say that in 2015, none of us nailed our five-year plans for where we’d be in 2020,” noted Prochaska. “The research labs need to be nimbler to react to the problems of today; it just wasn’t something they were built for, that type of reaction, but I think there are avenues and policies we can continue to work on, and lessons learned from doing this right here, through working on [COVID-19]. There was significant effort coming from National Labs to really get directly into the fight, which people initially would not expect. A lot of it is unlocking American creativity and spurring people’s imaginations about the great things that have been done at the Department and on what could be done in the future.” A full video library of the event’s panels can be found here.
After two packed days of engagement, the summit proved to be a tremendous success, stirring collaboration and partnerships between DOE and the private sector, once again demonstrating the importance of innovative collaboration in the U.S. energy ecosystem. “I believe it is more important than ever for the public and private sectors to engage, exchange ideas and cooperate to create the technology that will enhance the economic prosperity of our nation. The CarbonX Summit did just that,” Brian Anderson, Director of NETL remarked. “Advances in artificial intelligence and carbon capture, utilization and sequestration will improve our energy systems as we continue to serve the public. I anticipate significant impacts on the energy sector from the new innovations developed through partnerships between the DOE, the National Laboratories and industry partners.”
OTT would like to offer a special thank you to the NETL team for coordinating and producing such a productive event—one that so proudly showcased DOE technology and the National Laboratories’ capabilities in the carbon sector. Additional thanks are due to the speakers, panelists, and attendees for participating.
Want to learn more about the InnovationXLab series? Visit our InnovationXLab page for more information and updates on the next summit.