Technology

Microsoft is stepping up plans to capture carbon from wood burning

Microsoft is stepping up its controversial plan to capture carbon dioxide emissions from wood-fired power plants. The company announced a deal with energy company Stockholm Exergi to capture 3.33 million tonnes of carbon emissions from a biomass power plant in the Swedish capital. This may be the largest deal of its kind to date. equivalent to to take more than 790,000 gasoline cars off the road for a year.

It is intended to help Microsoft meet its requirements Goal As a company, the goal is to capture more planet-heating CO2 than it produces by 2030, and then to remove as much CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050 as it has ever emitted since its founding.

It is still unclear whether wood-fired power plants actually help combat climate change or make the situation worse. Celebrities Environmental groups including the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth International criticized the strategy as a “wrong solution”. And in 2018, nearly 800 scientists signed one letter to the European Parliament and asked it to stop supporting the use of wood for bioenergy.

Prominent environmental groups criticized the strategy as a “wrong solution”

Exergi operates a power plant in Stockholm, which runs on wood pellets and residues from forest waste, also known as forest biomass. Because this fuel comes from trees that can theoretically grow back to capture as much carbon dioxide as the power plant releases by burning wood, advocates see it as a carbon-neutral energy source. The European Commission is actually thinking about it Biomass combustion is the largest renewable energy sourcealthough it is associated with deforestation Europe and that US.

Microsoft and Stockholm Exergi are taking this idea a step further by adding machines to the power plant that are designed to capture much of the carbon dioxide emissions before they can enter the atmosphere. They believe they can achieve negative emissions by removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than this energy source produces. Negative emissions technologies like these have become popular among companies trying to offset the environmental impact of their carbon pollution.

Microsoft declined to respond The edgePlease comment. It also didn’t make clear how much it would spend on the deal with Stockholm Exergi. But Microsoft has heard these concerns before. It signed another deal last year with the Danish energy company Ørsted to capture 2.76 million tons of carbon dioxide from a wood-fired power plant in Denmark.

In Stockholm, construction of the CO2 capture equipment at the power plant is not scheduled to begin until next year – provided Stockholm Exergi secures enough additional funding from other contracts and government aid. It would then take ten years to remove all 3.33 million tons of carbon dioxide agreed in the contract.

Stockholm Exergi sees this deal as a major seal of approval for its carbon capture technology. “It is the greatest possible recognition of the importance, quality and sustainability of our project,” Anders Egelrud, CEO of Stockholm Exergi, said in a statement Press release.

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