April 13, 2022
Conference Paper

Powering Negative-Emissions Technologies with Marine Renewable Energy


The majority of modeled emissions scenarios that meet the climate change goals outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement require not only significant reductions in anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, but also removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere ("negative emissions"). To date, research and development efforts have largely focused on land-based negative emissions technologies, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. However, ocean-based technologies also have significant potential, and avoid competition for land use and fresh water with agriculture and human development. Marine carbon dioxide removal approaches include biological solutions that seek to increase carbon fixation through photosynthesis and chemical solutions that aim to increase the absorption of carbon dioxide in seawater. Most of these approaches have significant power requirements, especially when implemented at the scale necessary to meet negative-emissions goals. Marine renewable energy is uniquely poised to power marine carbon dioxide removal given its ability to provide carbon-free power at sea. In this work, the power requirements of marine carbon dioxide removal systems and the potential of marine renewable energy to power them are investigated, culminating in recommendations for future research and development to enable such developments.

Published: April 13, 2022


Cotter E.D., R.J. Cavagnaro, A.E. Copping, and S.H. Geerlofs. 2021. Powering Negative-Emissions Technologies with Marine Renewable Energy. In OCEANS 2021, September 20-23, San Diego, CA, 1-8. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-164551. doi:10.23919/OCEANS44145.2021.9705807