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May 28, 2024

DOE prize a step forward for quality

US Department of Energy announces Phase 1 winners for CDR prize

Lukas May OBE
Head of Expansion & Policy

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced today the companies that have been successful in the first phase of its Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Purchase Pilot Prize, with seven of those companies having already selected Isometric as their measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) partner. 

These seven companies span all four pathways and their proposals represent over 73,000 tonnes of carbon removal.

The Pilot Prize offers up to $35 million in awards for companies that put forward proposals for high impact CDR projects and eventually deliver carbon credits for the relevant projects. Through the Pilot Prize, the DOE “aims to establish clear precedent for the level of rigor required to successfully evaluate CDR technologies and catalyze the development of CDR”. 

24 projects will now move forward into the second phase, each receiving $50,000 in funding. In Phase 2, applicants need to refine, advance, and structure their CDR offtake agreement plan and submit binding offers to the DOE for the purchase of CDR.

This prize program reflects a growing trend of governments identifying the need for scientific rigor to inform quality standards in CDR and carbon markets. The recently agreed Carbon Removal Certification Framework (CRCF) in the EU directly raises the bar for quality in carbon credits, setting a minimum durability threshold of 200 years. 

This Prize also gives a clear signal to the market of what the US Government considers as essential requirements for high quality carbon removal credits. By publishing full details of their decision making processes, the DOE will help private buyers understand what good looks like and they are providing support for those in the private sector to follow their lead, through the DOE leaderboard

While there is currently no federal legislation equivalent to CRCF in the US, today’s separate interagency announcement of the Principles for Responsible Participation in Voluntary Carbon Markets is another crucial sign that the US Government is serious about helping set a minimum quality bar in carbon markets. 

Isometric strongly supports these initiatives. Governments have a critical role to play in ensuring carbon credits are of a high quality and thus ultimately helping to restore trust in carbon markets. This trust is critical to help carbon removal scale to the level the planet needs.

We congratulate all of our partners who have made it through to Phase 2. We are excited to work with them and the Department of Energy to raise the bar for quality in carbon removal credits. 

Phase 1 Winners

Those currently working with Isometric as their MRV partner:

  • Charm Industrial, Bio-oil Geologic Storage 
  • Eion, Enhanced Weathering 
  • Equatic, Electrolytic Marine Carbon Removal
  • Global Thermostat and Fervo Energy, Direct Air Capture
  • Graphyte, Terrestrial Biomass Storage 
  • Lithos Carbon, Enhanced Weathering
  • Vaulted Deep, Biomass Geologic Storage

Other Phase 1 winners:

  • Avnos
  • Carbon America
  • CarbonCapture
  • Climeworks
  • Heirloom
  • 1PointFive
  • 280 Earth
  • 8 Rivers
  • Arbor Energy
  • Carbon Lockdown
  • Clean Energy Systems
  • Climate Robotics
  • Alkali Earth
  • CREW 
  • Mati Carbon
  • Vycarb Inc
  • Ebb Carbon