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U.S. Department of Energy announces US$110 million for CCUS

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and NETL have announced approximately US$110 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects under three funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Approximately US$75 million is for awards selected under two FOAs announced earlier this fiscal year; US$35 million is for a new FOA.

These FOAs further the Administration’s commitment to strengthening coal while protecting the environment. Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is increasingly becoming widely accepted as a viable option for fossil-based energy sources – such as coal-or gas-fired power plants and other industrial sources – to lower their CO2 emissions.

DOE’s programme has successfully deployed various large-scale CCUS pilot and demonstration projects, and it is imperative to build upon these learnings to test, mature, and prove CCUS technologies at the commercial scale. A recent study by Science of the Total Environment found that DOE is the most productive organisation in the world in the carbon capture and storage field.

“This Administration is committed to providing cost-effective technologies to advance CCUS around the world,” said Secretary Perry. “CCUS technologies are vital to ensuring the United States can continue to safely use our vast fossil energy resources, and we are proud to be a global leader in this field.”

“CCUS technologies have transformative potential,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. “Not only will these technologies allow us to utilise our fossil fuel resources in an environmentally friendly manner, but the captured CO2 can also be utilised in enhanced oil recovery, which would help us maximise our energy production.”

Under the first FOA award, ‘Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) Studies for Carbon Capture Systems on Coal and Natural Gas Power Plants’, DOE has selected nine projects to receive US$55.4 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D. The selected projects will support FEED studies for commercial-scale carbon capture systems.

Under the second FOA award, ‘Regional Initiative to Accelerate CCUS Deployment’, DOE selected four projects to receive up to US$20 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D. The projects also advance existing research and development by addressing key technical challenges; facilitating data collection, sharing and analysis; evaluating regional infrastructure; and promoting regional technology transfer. Additionally, this new regional initiative includes newly proposed regions or advanced efforts undertaken by the previous Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) Initiative.

Under the new FOA, ‘Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE): Site Characterization and CO2 Capture Assessment’, DOE is announcing up to US$35 million in federal funding for cost-shared R&D projects that will accelerate wide-scale deployment of CCUS through assessing and verifying safe and cost-effective anthropogenic CO2 commercial-scale storage sites, and carbon capture and/or purification technologies. These types of projects have the potential to take advantage of the 45Q tax credit, which provides a tax credit for each tonne of CO2 sequestered or utilised. The credit was recently increased to US$35/t for enhanced oil recovery and US$50/t for geologic storage.

Projects selected under this new FOA shall perform the following key activities: complete a detailed site characterisation of a commercial-scale CO2 storage site (50 million t of captured CO2 within a 30 year period); apply and obtain an underground injection control class VI permit to construct an injection well; complete a CO2 capture assessment; and perform all work required to obtain a National Environmental Policy Act determination for the site.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the selected projects.

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