‘XPRIZE’ Yourself

$20 million prize for carbon storage solutions; July 15th deadline nears

A four-and-a-half year competition designed to address carbon emissions from fossil fuels will begin in earnest this coming month. Houston-based NRG and Calgary-based COSIA (Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance) have organized the Carbon XPRIZE Competition, and registration will conclude July 15 for the first round. The grand prize is $20 million.

Registration opened back on September 29, 2015, when the competition was officially announced. Teams are challenged to develop breakthrough technologies that convert the most CO2 into one or more products with the highest net value. Co-sponsored by NRG and COSIA, the 4-½ year competition will include two tracks, with the new technologies tested at either a coal power plant or a natural gas facility.

“We are living in an age of unprecedented technological progress and prosperity driven by energy,” said XPRIZE Chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis. “Yet, most of this energy comes from burning fossil fuels, a leading contributor to climate change. We are embarking on one urgent step in XPRIZE’s energy roadmap of incentivizing a clean and positive energy future that addresses a suite of Grand Challenges.”


As CO2 emissions from fossil fuels continue to be a leading contributor to climate change, the Carbon XPRIZE will address global CO2 emissions by incentivizing solutions to convert CO2 from a liability into an asset. The Carbon XPRIZE will aim to secure technologies that convert CO2 into a product or suite of products such as: alternative cement, concrete, and other building materials; chemicals used to manufacture a variety of industrial and consumer goods; low-carbon transportation fuels; and possibly new products altogether.

“Carbon is a unique challenge in that as we move toward a low to zero-emission future, we’ll need to continue using fossil fuels to meet current energy demands,” said Sicily Dickenson, chief marketing officer, NRG. “Through innovation in carbon capture technology, we hope to challenge the world’s brightest minds to find a solution that helps solve emissions problems, and simultaneously creates viable products that we use every day.”

“We know that CO2 emissions contribute to climate change so we’re continually working to improve our environmental performance in the oil sands,” said Dan Wicklum, COSIA chief executive. “This competition will be a catalyst to accelerate our progress towards a cleaner global energy future by converting COemissions into valuable products. A team may win the money, but our energy future will win the prize.”

XPRIZE will appoint a judging panel to evaluate the various technologies and approaches developed by teams during the competition. XPRIZE will also appoint a third-party Scientific Advisory Board of experts available to advise on a variety of approaches to CO2 conversion.

The Carbon XPRIZE is a part of XPRIZE’s growing portfolio of Energy & Environment prizes and long-term vision for accelerating revolutionary energy technologies to help move the world towards a clean, abundant energy future.

There will be two competition tracks:

Teams in Competition Track A will demonstrate technologies using a flue gas stream consistent with emissions from a coal power plant.

Teams in Competition Track B will demonstrate technologies using a flue gas stream consistent with emissions from a natural gas power plant.

Each track will operate as a separate competition on the same timeline.

There will be three rounds of competition:

Round 1: Technical and Business Viability Assessment

Round 2: Pilot Scale Competition

Round 3: Demonstration Scale Competition

After each round only the top teams, as determined by the Judging Panel, will remain eligible to compete in the next round.

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