Aker Carbon Capture, Ørsted and Microsoft announced today a new collaboration to explore the technological, regulatory, and commercial possibilities of developing carbon capture at biomass-fired heat and power plants.

Kimberly Lein-Mathisen, General Manager, Microsoft Norway, said:

“We’re very excited to leverage and build on top of our experience from other projects and to enter this new partnership between Aker Carbon Capture, Ørsted, and Microsoft. In Microsoft, we take our ambitious sustainability goals seriously, and this MoU is yet another great initiative that comes out of the Nordic region. We all need to do more and move faster if we are to succeed on reaching our sustainable goals.”

Carbon capture and storage is seen as a key instrument to in meeting the Paris Agreement goals to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Under the new memorandum of understanding (MoU), the companies will collaborate to explore ways to support the development of carbon capture and storage at biomass-fired heat and power plants in Denmark.

According to the companies, by capturing the carbon emitted by biomass-fired heat and power plants and storing it underground, it is possible to not only reduce, but also to remove carbon from the atmosphere, as carbon from sustainable biomass is part of a natural biogenic carbon cycle.

Valborg Lundegaard, Chief Executive Officer of Aker Carbon Capture, said:

“The relationship with Ørsted and Microsoft opens for a potential first-of-a-kind, accelerated biogenic CCS project.”

Ørsted currently has six biomass-fired units, providing around one quarter of Denmark’s district heating. The biomass used as fuel at the plants comes from sustainably managed production forests and is surplus wood that can’t be used for construction or furniture. While the company believes that renewable energy technologies will replace a substantial part of bioenergy in the district heating towards 2040, it expects carbon capture at a number of biomass-fired units to play an important role in the energy transition.

Ole Thomsen, Senior Vice President at Ørsted, said:

“Carbon capture will most likely be an important part of the green transition, and we see opportunities for capturing the carbon at some of our biomass-fired heat and power plants and either store it underground in order to achieve negative emissions or use the carbon for the production of green fuels in Power-to-X facilities. Therefore, we’re currently exploring the regulatory, technical, and economic possibilities of carbon capture at our facilities.”