Agreement Will Continue Successful Collaboration on Decarbonization to Combat Climate Change

November 8, 2021

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities today announced an extension of their existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) through 2025, expanding collaboration beyond offshore wind to also foster a diverse portfolio of solutions for carbon capture, utilization, storage and green hydrogen. Announced at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), the extended agreement recognizes a shared common interest to advance decarbonization, fight climate change, and develop a comprehensive strategy for emissions reduction. This announcement supports New York’s goals for 100 percent zero emissions electricity by 2040 and economy wide carbon neutrality by 2050 as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “We look forward to continuing our work with Denmark as we forge ahead to build a more sustainable future for all reflecting our mutual commitment to combat climate change. Sharing knowledge and resources to understand how carbon capture technologies and green hydrogen solutions could accelerate New York State’s path to decarbonization, particularly for the hardest to reach sectors of our economy, may also prove valuable to others looking at the same technologies.”

Today’s announcement expands the collaboration between New York and Denmark that began in 2018 to advance clean energy innovation and development as economic drivers and critical solutions in the global fight against climate change. The original MOU facilitated the sharing of expertise and knowledge critical to developing innovative solutions for the deployment of offshore wind energy. Additionally, earlier this year, NYSERDA and the Confederation of Danish Industry, Denmark’s largest private business and employers’ organization, announced an MOU designed to enhance collaboration on decarbonizing high-rise buildings in New York State.

Both solution-sets – carbon capture, utilization, and storage, and green hydrogen – are promising for advancing decarbonization efforts, with carbontech potentially playing an important role in managing emissions which, if left unmitigated, will cause continued extreme weather conditions. And green hydrogen has the potential to span sectors such as transportation, power, and in fuel cells that require no combustion, which offer valuable applications.

Carbon Utilization and Storage

Carbon captured from sources can be stored and utilized to make useful products for society. At a limited scale, carbon can be captured at a source, collecting the emissions before they enter the air. This technology can remove emissions from the atmosphere and help decarbonize hard-to-reach areas of the economy. The extended MOU agreement will foster a diverse portfolio of solutions focusing on:

  • Developing policies that enable government procurement of carbontech products, stimulate economic growth, and create a robust global marketplace with industry rules and standards.
  • Innovating finance solutions and deployment mechanisms for carbon utilization projects and building best practices for project development, siting, and workforce training.
  • Sharing knowledge and addressing supply chain challenges such as raw material procurement, manufacturing, and transportation.

Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen is produced using only renewable electricity and water and has the potential to lower or eliminate emissions across numerous difficult-to-decarbonize sectors of the economy. The MOU will advance optimized approaches to using green hydrogen as part of an affordable, resilient decarbonized energy system. Efforts under the MOU will include:

  • Comparing data and information on industrial applications
  • Exploring green hydrogen as an energy storage asset
  • Sharing best practices for safety, transportation, price modeling, and supply chain development

One example of NYSERDA’s continued support for innovation that drives decarbonization is the $19.5 million Carbontech Development Initiative, announced in April 2021, to provide entrepreneurs with resources, training, and to build the global network needed to scale carbontech innovations. Columbia University and Activate Global, Inc.Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. have officially been selected as partners to collaborate with NYSERDA to create a research, development, and commercialization hub and carbontech entrepreneurial fellowship program located in New York. The program will enable innovative researchers and companies to leverage the State’s existing assets to facilitate the rapid commercialization of carbontech products and increase the number of companies that are able to form and scale in this critical sector.

"One of the goals of Columbia University and the Climate School is to bring solutions to the climate crisis at scale," said Jason Bordoff, Co-Founding Dean of the Columbia Climate School and Founding Director of the Center on Global Energy Policy. "The Carbontech Development Initiative is designed to demonstrate that we can move beyond the traditional roles of academic institutions to not only better understand the impacts of a warming planet, but to develop the necessary knowledge and tools we'll need to manage and remedy it. We're grateful to partner with NYSERDA and Activate on this groundbreaking program. We are confident it will serve as a hub for innovation for New York and beyond."

“We are proud to partner with NYSERDA to bring the Activate Fellowship to New York and empower even more entrepreneurial scientists to reinvent the world by bringing their research to market,” said Karin Lion, Chief Growth Officer of Activate. “Activate New York fellows will leverage New York’s phenomenal scientific and startup resources to commercialize and scale critical carbontech solutions. Activate fellows in New York will join over 100 groundbreaking innovators nationwide in transforming industry to address climate change and other global challenges."

Carbontech is a broad emerging sector that pertains to products that capture, transport, and convert different forms of carbon into a diverse array of products and services. According to Carbon180’s carbontech fact sheet [PDF]Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., products that can be made using these technologies represent a $1 trillion market in the US and a nearly $6 trillion global market. Analysis provided to New York’s Climate Action Council by the firm E3 shows negative emissions technologies such as carbon capture will be needed in order to mitigate at least 15 percent of New York’s emissions to reach the State’s 2050 carbon neutrality goal.

Today’s announcement builds on NYSERDA’s launch of a hydrogen strategy study earlier this year in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, to compile the foundational, base-line information and data that will enable New York to have robust discussions and dialogue around the role green hydrogen could play in New York's decarbonization plans. This strategy study will place a particular focus on opportunities surrounding green hydrogen to align the State's hydrogen strategy with the existing mandates for 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 percent zero-emission electricity by 2040.

Funding for the Carbontech Development Initiative is through New York State's 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund. More information about this funding is available on NYSERDA's website.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Act

New York State’s nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.