U.S. Department of Energy Announces $35 Million for Technologies to Reduce Methane Emissions
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $35 million for a new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program focused on developing technologies to reduce methane emissions in the oil, gas, and coal industries. This funding opportunity will support projects that can be replicated easily and commercialized quickly to cut methane accumulation in the atmosphere and mitigate the effects of climate change.
“Methane is the second-largest source of greenhouse gases, many times more potent than carbon dioxide—that’s why it’s crucial we develop solutions to decrease these emissions at their source,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The REMEDY program will help us support the Biden Administration’s mission to tackle climate change head-on, create good-paying jobs, and deliver cleaner, fresher air for American communities.”
Methane is a greenhouse gas that is emitted during the production, processing, and across the value chain of natural gas, coal, and crude oil. Recent EIA estimates show that methane makes up nearly 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions every year, with the energy sector being one of the largest sources of U.S. methane emissions.
ARPA-E’s “Reducing Emissions of Methane Every Day of the Year” (REMEDY) program, will specifically address three target methane production sources in the oil, gas, and coal value chain:
- Exhaust from natural gas-fired lean-burn engines used to drive compressors, generate electricity, and increasingly repower ships;
- Flares required for safe operation of oil and gas facilities; and
- Coal mine ventilation air methane (VAM) exhausted from operating underground mines.
REMEDY seeks to directly address the more than 50,000 engines, 300,000 flares, and 250 mine shafts that are producing methane emissions.
“We don’t have to choose between climate, jobs, energy, and security if we can invent the best greenhouse gas-reducing technologies. Methane reduction is a critical priority for shale regions like western Pennsylvania and will be a strategic advantage for the United States. I will continue to support ARPA-E in taking on this challenge,” said U.S. Representative Conor Lamb.
Successful REMEDY proposals will develop highly-replicable technologies that work to decrease methane emissions across the oil, gas and coal energy generation industries, and directly address challenges related to commercialization of the technologies themselves. Potential projects should be able to operate in generation spaces where very-low methane concentrations are common, for integration into complete oil, gas and coal generation systems that can quantify emission reductions while ensuring consistent system operations.
REMEDY funding will be spread across two phases of the program over three years. Phase 1 focuses on confirming the operability of technical proposals, approaches, and system components. Following a down-select, Phase 2 teams will confirm performance in a limited field test or in larger, extended-lab-scale test environments. ARPA-E encourages diverse teams to apply for this funding, including those with manufacturing and operations expertise.