Global climate change necessitates a move away from fossil energy.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) however recognises that this will not be sufficient and that carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere will be required on an extremely large scale.
The IPCC has also stated that carbon dioxide removal can be achieved via negative emissions generated from Direct Air Capture (DAC) of carbon dioxide with storage.
Australia is almost uniquely placed to play a leading role in this large and emerging global industry by using solar-powered DAC units deployed at a very large scale on lands experiencing some of the world’s highest solar intensity and located above or close to some of the world’s best geo sequestration sites.
International Markets for Negative Emissions are Starting to Evolve
Negative emission certificates generated by DAC and storage operations in Australia can already be traded in international markets, such as California or could be sold directly to leading sustainability focussed corporates like Microsoft.
Negative emission certificates in California can trade at between US$120-200 per tonne of CO2. Meanwhile, Microsoft has established a US$1 Billion fund to purchase negative emissions and has stated its intention to negate all of its historical emissions since its formation in 1975.
Trading platforms for negative emissions are now emerging to facilitate linkages between generators and purchasers. Leading accreditation agencies such as DNV GL are developing audit type programs to address governance issues for the trade in negative emissions.
Australian Jobs Creation: Local DAC Unit Manufacturing at Scale
Southern Green Gas is developing Australia’s first solar powered DAC units. The technology for these units has been developed with assistance from the University of Sydney.
Our model for DAC is based on small-scale modular units (each capable of capturing 1 to 2 tonnes CO2 per annum) rather than large petro-chemical scale units. These small, modular units can be produced in Australia.
Given the opportunity for local manufacturing, the production of DAC units to participate in the global negative emissions sector has potentially significant job creation benefits for Australia.
SGG intends to demonstrate our DAC technology in proximity to Australia’s world-leading geo sequestration sites by late 2022.
To learn more about the potential of negative emissions technologies for Australia, see this article authored by the head of our research partnership with the University of Sydney, Professor Deanna D’Alessandro.