Elon Musk donating $100 million for finest carbon capture technology

SpaceX operator and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses as he arrives on the crimson carpet for the Axel Springer Awards ceremony, in Berlin, on December 1, 2020.

Britta Pedersen | AFP | Getty Visuals

Elon Musk tweeted Thursday he will be “donating $100 million in direction of a prize for ideal carbon capture technologies.”

The Tesla and SpaceX manager didn’t supply any details outside of the tweet, but mentioned “specifics future week.” Hard cash rewards for innovation prizes usually are not new. For instance, the XPRIZE foundation is a non-earnings which facilitates funds prizes to incentivize innovation.

So what is actually carbon seize technological know-how?

Carbon capture, utilization and storage or sequestration (CCUS), which is often shortened to “carbon seize,” is a method of capturing carbon emissions, to either retail store or reuse, in order to stop the emissions from getting released into the environment.

Excess carbon dioxide gasses block warmth from escaping the earth’s ambiance and cause international warming. Considering that the Industrial Revolution, human activity has greater atmospheric carbon dioxide by 47% and is “the most critical extended-lived ‘forcing’ of local weather adjust,” in accordance to NASA.

The use of a contest to drive innovation in carbon seize engineering is “surely a incredibly fantastic idea,” said Ahmed F. Ghoniem, a professor at MIT who has a investigation desire in CO2 capture systems. Innovation in carbon capture technology is required for “lessening the value and complexity of the technology and strengthening the over-all performance,” he informed CNBC by email.

Carbon capture is not new. There are currently 21 CCUS large-scale industrial projects close to the world, according to the International Electricity Company, a Paris-primarily based intergovernmental electricity business. The initially just one was established up in 1972.

So significantly, carbon seize has been a disappointment.

“The tale of CCUS has mainly been a person of unmet expectations: its possible to mitigate local weather adjust has been regarded for many years, but deployment has been gradual and so has had only a constrained affect on global CO2 emissions,” the Intercontinental Energy Agency states.

But, that could be changing. “There are crystal clear indicators that CCUS may perhaps be gaining traction,” the IEA claims.

The U.S. federal governing administration “supports exploration and growth” of carbon capture equally in seeking for and evaluating the viability of geologic spots to store carbon and in acquiring technologies to much better comprehend what happens to carbon when it is saved for extensive intervals of time, according to the Office of Electricity.

Telsa did not quickly react to CNBC’s request for remark.

Musk, who is at the moment well worth $180 billion in accordance to Forbes, has signed The Offering Pledge, a public commitment for billionaires to give absent the the vast majority of their prosperity to philanthropy, but as of nonetheless has not created important charitable contributions specifically when in contrast with other billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.