In September 2022, Climeworks, a global leader in carbon dioxide removal (CDR) via direct air capture (DAC) technology, announced plans to scale up in the United States. The company now outlines its intent to engage in several large-scale DAC projects over the next few years, with the potential to create thousands of direct U.S. jobs in the process.
- The U.S. has taken a clear leadership position in global action necessary to fight climate change with policies that help advance carbon removal solutions, such as direct air capture
- With over 120,000 hours of real-world experience, Climeworks’ direct air capture (DAC) technology is deployed in the field, and has started to deliver high-quality, third-party audited carbon dioxide removal services to existing customers
- The company plans to hire over a hundred employees in the U.S. in the near term, in anticipation of several DAC projects focused on permanent carbon removal materializing
- Thousands of direct jobs could emerge by the end of the decade from the projects that Climeworks is involved with in the U.S.
Christoph Beuttler, Chief Climate Policy Officer at Climeworks
“Political momentum is essential for creating a carbon removal industry at the pace needed to reach global climate goals. The U.S. is now at the forefront of this, with legislation such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The effects have become visible: DAC companies, energy providers and storage experts can now work together to form regional DAC Hubs, ready to bring direct air capture to the next level.”
To accelerate deployment in the U.S., Climeworks has applied to participate in three hubs as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) "Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs" program with proposed locations in Louisiana, California, and the Northern Great Plains – each with a pathway towards megaton capacity by 2030. The company will lend its expertise and technology alongside some of America’s leading CO₂ storage and energy infrastructure organizations and fellow DAC companies to bring large-scale commercial DAC deployments to life in the country.
Why Climeworks is in the best position to spearhead the scale-up of the American DAC ecosystem
Since its founding in 2009, Climeworks has honed the technological and operational expertise necessary to lead the next phase of the CDR industry in America. Currently, Climeworks has:
- 14 years of technology research & development;
- Six years of project development and deployment experience with the world's first and to date only commercial DAC and storage (DAC+S) plant “Orca” operating since 2021 and the next one, “Mammoth”, currently under construction, both based on Climeworks’ second technology generation;
- Over 120,000 hours of real-world operational experience across various regions and climatic conditions, having put more than 15 DAC projects into operation;
- Achieved independent third-party validation of Climeworks’ and its storage partner Carbfix’ DAC+S methodology and implemented it at Orca with ongoing audits and verification processes;
- Grown its customer base to 160+ companies and has signed multi-year carbon removal agreements with U.S.-based multinationals such as Microsoft and BCG.
Realizing DAC projects in the U.S. will create jobs and benefit local communities
Today, Climeworks has a growing team on the ground in the U.S. with plans to hire over a hundred employees in the near term adding to its European workforce of more than 300. Open positions span commercialization, supply chain, engineering, finance, project management and project development teams, and include key positions such as U.S. Head of Commercial, Project Director and Supply Chain Category leads.
By 2030, Climeworks estimates that thousands of direct jobs could emerge from the Regional DAC Hubs’ project applications that the company participates in, harnessing and advancing the existing skills and knowledge of local workforces. They would include hundreds of positions in project management & execution and operations as well as over a thousand in construction and manufacturing. Based on Climeworks’ estimates, the hubs could moreover have a cascading economic effect, creating tens of thousands of indirect and induced jobs along the supply chain and in complementary industries, depending on factors such as DOE funding, permitting and supply chain development.
From the planning and construction of DAC projects to the operations and impact once deployed, Climeworks is committed to ensuring the needs and concerns of the communities are addressed at every step of the deployment process. Alongside project partners, Climeworks has already begun working with community stakeholders in all three potential hub regions as a means of identifying and soliciting feedback from the beginning of potential project buildout.
Jan Wurzbacher, co-founder and co-CEO of Climeworks
“On top of the very promising political and commercial environment, the U.S. offers access to renewable energy infrastructure and advanced CO2 storage sites – something that is essential to realize DAC projects that offer permanent carbon removal. This enables us to take forward our scale-up journey in the U.S. market in order to bring high-quality carbon removal to American stakeholders. On top of the DAC plant projects which are currently in the planning phase, we will strongly contribute to building up a supply chain, servicing major companies as CDR customers and leveraging the skilled U.S. workforce to help create thousands of green jobs going forward.”
Climeworks empowers people and companies to fight global warming by offering carbon dioxide removal as a service via direct air capture (DAC) technology. At Orca, Climeworks’ DAC facility in Iceland, the CO2 is permanently removed from the air by capturing and geologically storing it for thousands of years with Climeworks’ storage partner Carbfix. Climeworks’ DAC facilities run exclusively on clean energy, and our modular CO2 collectors can be stacked to build machines of any capacity.
Founded by engineers Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher in 2009, Climeworks is on a journey to climate impact at scale. To do so, we strive to inspire 1 billion people to act and remove CO2 from the air. Climeworks is spearheading the DAC industry globally, with the world’s largest DAC facility and storage installation in operation and a team of 300 Climeworkers determined to contribute to a net-zero future. Our growing customer base includes over 160 companies, including multinationals such as Microsoft, BCG, UBS, and Swiss Re, as well as more than 18,000 individual Climate Pioneers.