The cost of direct air capture and storage can be reduced via strategic deployment but is unlikely to fall below stated cost targets

John Young, Noah McQueen, Charithea Charalambous, Spyros Foteinis, Olivia Hawrot, Manuel Ojeda, Hélène Pilorgé, John Andresen, Peter Psarras, Phil Renforth, Susana Garcia, Mijndert Van der Spek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is necessary to minimize the impact of climate change by tackling hard-to-abate sectors and historical emissions. Direct air capture and storage (DACS) is an important CDR technology, but it remains unclear when and how DACS can be economically viable. Here, we use a bottom-up engineering-economic model together with top-down technological learning projections to calculate plant-level cost trajectories for four DACS technologies. Our analysis demonstrates that the costs of these technologies can plateau by 2050 at around $100-600 t-CO2-1 mainly via capital cost reduction through aggressive deployment, but still exceed the optimistic targets defined by countries such as the US (i.e., $100 t-CO2-1). A further analysis of existing policy mechanisms indicates that strong, project-catered policy support will be required to create market opportunities, accelerate DACS scale-up and lower the costs further. Our work suggests that strategic DACS deployment and operation must be coupled with strong policies to minimise the cost of DACS and maximise the opportunity to make a planet-scale climate impact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-917
Number of pages19
JournalOne Earth
Volume6
Issue number7
Early online date13 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • carbon dioxide removal
  • cost
  • direct air capture
  • learning curves
  • modeling
  • negative emission technologies
  • policy analysis
  • siting
  • techno-economics
  • technological learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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