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    Musk Offers $100mn for Carbon Capture Tech


The Tesla CEO's support for carbon capture is an admission that electrification is not the only answer to decarbonisation.

by: Joe Murphy

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Musk Offers $100mn for Carbon Capture Tech

Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on January 21 he would offer a $100mn prize for developing the "best" technology to capture CO2 emissions. 

The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned in December that carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) needed to be deployed at a much faster pace for countries to meet their climate goals. It can handle emissions from many industries and can be used to make natural gas-derived hydrogen clean.


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"Am donating $100mn towards a prize for best carbon capture technology," Musk said in a tweet, promising in a second one that details would come next week.

Tesla is a pioneer in electrifying vehicle transport, and electrification is touted as a key way to decarbonise other industries. But CCUS is a potential solution for areas that are not easily made clean with renewable power supply alone.

"When green gurus argue against carbon capture they often invoke the name of Elon Musk, along the lines of 'carbon capture is rubbish, we will electrify everything with 100% wind and solar, just look at Tesla'," Laszlo Varro, the IEA's chief economist, said on his personal LinkedIn page.1 "Well, it turns out that the real Elon Musk while having historical achievements on electrification apparently still regards carbon capture as an important technology which should get an innovation push."