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The Growing Importance of Carbon Capture

August 16, 2023

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies have long been seen as a tool to tackle climate chaos, but the potential was largely theoretical. Two projects at Sleipner and Snohvit off the coast of Norway have been capturing and safely storing millions of tons of CO2 for 27 years and 15 years, respectively, but overall deployment has been slow to take off.

However, this has changed as the urgency of climate action has gathered pace. In 2021, Orca, a large-scale direct air capture (DAC) and storage plant in Hellisheidi, Iceland, entered operations, becoming the first of a new generation of facilities based on newer, cheaper technologies. Although small (Orca only currently captures about 4,000 tons of CO2 annually), the Icelandic plant showed the potential. Since then, there has been a rush of planned CDR projects.

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