The scale-up potential for direct air capture is immense.
As outlined by the IPCC we need to limit global warming to 1.5°C. In order to do so, direct air capture and storage (DAC+S) needs to remove up to 310 billion tons of CO2 by 2100.
Furthermore, a scientific life cycle assessment that was conducted by the RWTH Aachen University in 2021 confirms direct air capture can play such a major role in mitigating climate change. The study clearly states that both the resources and energy required for climate-relevant scales of direct air capture are available - confirming the technology is able to remove billions of tons of carbon dioxide from the air per year.
Looking at the status quo, Climeworks’ Orca facility has a nominal capture capacity of 4’000 tons per year and we are on track for million-ton capacity by 2030. The capture capacity of our plants will increase and not just their number, hence it is difficult to indicate a specific number of direct air capture plants that are needed to help reach the 1.5° goal. We need to reach at least gigaton level, so our focus is on the fast scale-up of our capacity, enabled by the modularity of our technology.