XPRIZE to Organize Elon Musk’s $100 Million CCS Competition

Just last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised that he will donate a $100 million prize a plan to to the “best carbon capture technology.” It was the CEO’S attempt at encouraging the development of CCS technology. Now it appears that Musk is making good on his promise.

Carbon capture or “carbon capture and storage” (CCS), is the act of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) at the source of emission and isolating it before it is released into the atmosphere. It is a concept that has the potential to slow down climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the atmosphere. However, the current carbon capture technologies are not completely efficient, adding cost to energy production. The only carbon capture plant in the US even recently closed.

With his statement last month, Musk promised he would donate $100 million to help develop the best carbon capture technology. Now according to new reports we are learning that nonprofit organization XPRIZE will be organizing the competition. XPRIZE designs and hosts public competitions that encourage technological development in order to benefit humanity.

The organization confirmed that, thanks to Musk’s donation, the $100M competition has become the largest incentive prize in history: “XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity — fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, this $100M competition is the largest incentive prize in history, an extraordinary milestone.”

According to the competition’s webpage: “To win the competition, teams must demonstrate a rigorous, validated scale model of their carbon removal solution, and further must demonstrate to a team of judges the ability of their solution to economically scale to gigaton levels. The objective of this XPRIZE is to inspire and help scale efficient solutions to collectively achieve the 10 gigaton per year carbon removal target by 2050, to help fight climate change and restore the Earth’s carbon balance.”

Tesla CEO and $100 million Donor, Elon Musk said about the competition: “We want teams to build real systems that can make a measurable impact at a gigaton level. Whatever it takes. Time is the essence.”

According to the competition’s webpage, the contest will last up to four years. However, 15 finalists will receive $1 million each after 18 months to help kickstart their budget.

First prize will receive a whopping $50 million, while second will go home with $20 million, and finally third place with $10 million. Lastly 25 students will receive $200,000 scholarships.

The full details of the competition will be revealed on Earth Day, April 22, 2021.

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