Negative Emission Technologies
Emission reductions are not enough, as we are battling the climate crisis – instead, vast amounts of carbon dioxide will have to be removed from the atmosphere over the next few decades to keep us below the 2°C target. There are many methods for carbon dioxide removal (CDR), and although most of the current activities are based on managed land, the largest potential to increase CDR is based on technologies like DACCS, BECCS and biochar production. These technologies are also called negative emission technologies (NETs), since they can lead to a permanent or very long-term net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Currently NETs can be funded by voluntary carbon removal markets, or by national policies, such as the planned reverse auction system for BECCS in Sweden. Previous scenario work shows that there would be a global need for NETs in the order of tens to hundreds of gigatons CO2 during this century. Scenarios(1) also suggest that in Finland several megatons of CO2 each year would be removed by NETs. This creates expectations for a domestic market of hundreds of millions of euros per year, not to talk about the export potential up to trillion-euro scale. Read more about the markets here.
Why invest in developing NETs?
As said, the market potential is huge, but to achieve this, technology development is needed. This is essential to maximize the positive climate impact, but also to drive the costs down. The NETs markets are just emerging with rapid growth rates and plenty of room for new actors. Moreover, the cost of inaction – the social cost of released carbon dioxide emissions – is already today higher than some of the NETs available, even though the technology deployment is at its infancy and cost reductions can be expected.
How can VTT help?
If you are interested in NETs, we at VTT can support you in figuring out how to choose and implement a technology to remove carbon dioxide, develop your own technology, boost NETs in your city or tell you about related policies and regulation. We collaborate with different industries, municipalities and other stakeholders throughout the field. We also create impact together with VTT spin-offs, such as Carbonaide.
(1) Koljonen T., Honkatukia J., Maanavilja L., Ruuskanen O.-P., Similä L., Soimakallio S., 2021a. Hiilineutraali Suomi 2035 – ilmasto- ja energiapolitiikan toimet ja vaikutukset (HIISI). Synteesiraportti – Johtopäätökset ja suositukset. Valtioneuvoston selvitys- ja tutkimustoiminnan julkaisusarja 2021:62. Available: https://julkaisut.valtioneuvosto.fi/handle/10024/163638 (Accessed 8.3.2023)