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How capturing carbon from the air might reshape the green transition

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times  or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The decarbonization landscape reveals a stark contrast between technologies
• Small, factory-made equipment like solar panels have seen costs drop and adoption rise
• In contrast, large-scale projects like nuclear plants face delays and cost overruns, while wind turbines struggle with scaling issues

🔭 The context: Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, which removes CO₂ from the air and stores it underground, exemplifies a new approach
• Climeworks’ DAC plant in Iceland is the world’s largest, capturing 36,000 tonnes of CO₂ annually at a high cost
• However, DAC’s modular nature suggests potential for significant cost reductions over time

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Scaling DAC could provide a viable and cost-effective method for large-scale CO₂ removal, essential for achieving net-zero goals
• If DAC costs decrease as predicted, it could become competitive with other carbon-abatement technologies, supporting global climate targets

⏭️ What's next: Continued advancements in manufacturing and energy efficiency are crucial for reducing DAC costs
• If successful, DAC could play a key role in decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors like aviation, which may find DAC more appealing than other expensive solutions

💬 One quote: “The DAC story looks broadly plausible, and would make it competitive with some of the costlier carbon-abatement options.”

📈 One stat: Climeworks’ DAC plant captures 36,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year, roughly the emissions of 4,500 UK households.

Click for more news covering the latest on carbon

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