Elon Musk has said he’s putting $100million up for grabs to the best carbon capture and storage (CCS) tech – and Scottish firms are being told to go for it.
The billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, who briefly became the world’s richest man earlier this month, has been looking at “ways to donate money that really make a difference” and has apparently settled on CCS, considered a vital technology for meeting climate goals.
On Thursday night he tweeted: “Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology”, with “details next week”.
Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2021
Elon Musk has already had a response from the likes of NECCUS (North East Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage), an industry alliance to decarbonise industrial sites across Scotland, with the “heart” of the scheme being the Acorn CCS project at St Fergus near Peterhead.
The organisation replied: “Come on Scotland, we can win this. Let’s show ahead of #COP26 that we are world #CCUS technology leaders”, tagging the likes of Acorn, Scottish Enterprise, OGTC, as well as international players like Aberdeen-headquartered Wood and Baker Hughes.
Come on Scotland, we can win this. Let's show ahead of #COP26 that we are world #CCUS technology leaders. @scotent @Opportunity_NE1 @theogtc @IDRICUK @AcornProject_UK @ScotCCS @AkerCarbon @doosan_babcock @Woodplc @bakerhughesco https://t.co/WIyzIEOl6a
— @neccusalliance (@neccusalliance) January 22, 2021
Acorn, ran by Pale Blue Dot at the St Fergus Gas Plant, is designed to inject and store carbon emissions in depleted gas fields in the North Sea, meanwhile creating blue hydrogen at scale from natural gas.
Shell, Chrysaor and Total have all given the project its backing, with the aim to be operational by 2024.
Pale Blue Dot last year also got a shot in the arm, with Storegga and Australian investment giant Macquarrie coming on board.
NECCUS later aims to decarbonise other industrial sites across Scotland like Grangemouth, and, ultimately, other parts of Europe with plans to import carbon to be stored in the North Sea’s depleted fields.
So will they go for Elon Musk’s CCS prize? Let’s see what those details are next week.