Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that he will donate $100 million as a prize for the best carbon capture technology.
Carbon capture, which is also called “carbon capture and storage” (CCS), is what people call processes that involve capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) at the source of emission and sequestrating in order for it not to leak into the air.
It also sometimes involve technologies to use to the carbon for other purposes.
The concept has been suggested as a potential solution to slow down climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere or even reversing it in the future.
However, current carbon capture technologies have often proven inefficient and add cost to energy production – making it uncompetitive without carbon prices.
Elon Musk is Getting Involved
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced a plan to encourage the development of carbon capture technology by offering a prize of $100 million to the “best carbon capture”:
He didn’t reveal more about how the prize is going to be giving away, but he did say that more information is going to be released next week.
How Does it Play Into Tesla’s Plan
Musk has previous stated that Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the advent of electric transport and renewable energy in order to address climate change.
At a conference on the sidelines of the Paris Agreement, Tesla’s CEO described emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as the “dumbest experiment in history.”
He explained that due to the finite nature of fossil fuels, we, as humanity, are going to have to transition to renewable energy eventually.
Therefore, it is “dumb” to not want to transition as fast as possible if we don’t know the extent of the consequences of changing the content of the atmosphere, and the worst case scenarios are quite devastating.
“The worst-case however is more displacement and destruction than all the wars in history combined. These are the best/worst-case scenarios. Then we have about 3 percent of scientists that believe in the best case. About 97 percent that believe in the worst case. This why I call it the dumbest experiment in history ever. Why would you do this?”
Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the transition to try to avoid the worst case scenario, but if needed, carbon capture could be essential to limiting or reverting the impact of this “dumb science experiment”.
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