Elon And Exxon Agree: Carbon Capture Expected To Massively Expand In 2021

Elon And Exxon Agree: Carbon Capture Expected To Massively Expand In 2021

February 25, 2021 0 By Stephen Callahan

Carbon capture, storage and utilization are expected to turn out to be America’s next big growth industries within the next few years. The SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second wealthiest man after Jeff Bezos, is eagerly looking forward to this looming technological opportunity to generate money. He has even pledged $100 million from his personal account as an award to any individual or company smart enough to invent a viable approach to make Carbon capture storage and utilization. It can be implemented to reduce the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere.

On January 21, Elon Musk wrote on tweeter to his 42.7 million followers stating, “Am presenting an award prize of $100 million to any company or person with the best carbon capture technology”, a second tweet soon followed promising to provide more details the following week. The week came and went and not a word from him. However, Musk’s reputation indicates that he wasn’t joking and details will soon emerge.

The Potential for CCSU in Texas

One week later, University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy supported by the George and Cynthia Mitchel Foundation, unveiled a recent study on 28th of January explaining Texas’ potential in playing the leading role in the growth of this particular economic sector. Kenneth Medlock is one of the authors of the report and he is the senior director of the Center for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute. He was also assisted by Keily Miller, the research controller at the Center for Energy Studies. The study entails the creation of a CCUS value chain. It further expounds on coordination challenges, legal, and commercial complications that can interfere with its future development in Texas.

Investors and consumers have continuously expressed their preferences for lower CO2 emissions. Market agents are changing their marketing and investments methods. This presents an excellent opportunity for policymakers and regulators to minimise uncertainties that have the potential to impede investment, and also consider fiscal measures that add value to legacy industries and formulate new pathways for expansion in new industries.

According to Miller and Medlock, a wide research and development portfolio, with assistance from government initiatives, will be vital to accelerate progress in this sector. Hydrocarbons are very important to the Texas’ economy. A strong and healthy R&D portfolio concentrates on improving efficiency in the current CCUS technologies, expanded utilization of hydrogen generated from hydrocarbon feed stocks, new combustion processes and Innovative carbon-based materials. It also spends lots of time in up-to-date use of carbon dioxide in manufacturing processes and generation of power. This can significantly contribute to a strong and healthy economy as well as a solid environmental future for the state of Texas.

Texas has a wealth of depleted gas and oil fields, more so in West Texas and the Gulf Coast. This presents a unique opportunity to gain from this latest growth in the next decade or so to come. According to Medlock and Miller, those gains can be potentially maximized by adopting intelligent public policy measures. The massive reservoirs in the depleted oil and gas reservoirs can provide storage space of enormous volumes for carbon capture and storage (CCS) operations. Companies that specialise in energy production in Texas have been conducting operations and experimentation connected to this area for over 10 years now.