Race to Develop Carbon Removal Technology Begins with Record Funding

A high-stakes race that will shape the future of direct air capture technology has officially begun.

The Department of Energy fired the starting gun Tuesday with the release of guidelines the agency will follow when awarding $3.5 billion for four regional hubs that aim to rapidly scale up systems for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That prize money, which comes from the bipartisan infrastructure law of 2021, will be distributed over the next five years in two prize competitions.

The infusion of cash comes as the direct air capture industry, or DAC, is still in its infancy. There are