Coastal Carbon and Planetary Technologies to advance ocean-based solutions with the potential for gigatonne-scale carbon dioxide removal

VANCOUVER, BC, June 7, 2024 – The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) is harnessing British Columbia’s vast coastline and ocean science expertise to invest in pilots and field trials aimed at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through ocean-based methods. These projects, led by Planetary Technologies and Coastal Carbon, will evaluate the effectiveness of ocean carbon dioxide removal, and measure the impact on coastal communities and marine environments.

To meet 2050 net-zero targets, achieving breakthroughs in large-scale carbon removal is essential. Oceans, which have the capacity to store about 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere, are the world’s largest carbon dioxide sink. Ocean-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods enhance the ocean’s natural ability to remove and store carbon dioxide (CO2).  However, to scale these methods safely, further research, pilot projects, and innovation are necessary.

“Scientists estimate that we need to remove at least 10 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide annually by 2050, which is more than the annual production of oil and gas combined. Ocean-based carbon dioxide removal methods hold enormous potential, but their impact on coastal communities and marine ecosystems must be carefully studied. By investing in early-stage innovation and leveraging British Columbia’s leading research expertise, we aim to support the development of safe, effective, and responsible carbon removal methods.”

Sarah Goodman

President and CEO of CICE

CICE’s investment into ocean-based CDR was underpinned by a techno-economic analysis completed for the “Catalyzing Carbon Dioxide Removal at Scale” report released in February 2024. The report identified that ocean alkalinity enhancement has 10 gigatonnes of global CDR absorption potential per year, more than any other existing CDR method. Based on the report findings, other focus areas for CICE include marine sensing technology, measurement, modeling, and data science.

Coastal Carbon has partnered with Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative and Ocean Wise to develop and pilot a remote seaweed biomass monitoring solution critical to the restoration and expansion of seaweed carbon sequestration projects along British Columbia’s 26,000 km of coastline. AI and remote satellite data will be used to scale a cost-effective model to measure where seaweed is and how much of it is there for better management and protection of these ecosystems, as well as carbon offset verification.

CICE has allocated $856,000 in non-dilutive investment to this $3,006,930 project.

“This project is the first step in enabling Canada’s coastline, which happens to be the world’s largest, as a nature positive carbon sink – helping offset our emissions and restore our natural coastal ecosystems. Effective, scalable, remote monitoring is key to enabling carbon financing for this restoration. CICE is helping us take the very first step in BC, enabling us to build and expand our technology in one of the most productive and diverse coastlines in Canada.”

Thomas Storwick

Co-founder and COO of Coastal Carbon
“Satellite monitoring technology has the potential to revolutionize seaweed restoration projects by providing highly accurate measurements and comprehensive mapping of biomass and canopy coverage. This advancement promises to significantly lower monitoring costs and enhance the precision of ecological assessments, facilitating more effective restoration efforts and improving ocean health.”

Scott Bohachyk

Director of Seaforestation at Ocean Wise

Planetary Technologies is combining expertise from Metro Vancouver, Ocean Networks Canada, the University of British Columbia, and other community stakeholders to develop a safe, small-scale ocean alkalinity enhancement field trial in Burrard Inlet. This project will measure the carbon removal and biological changes associated with a novel carbon dioxide removal system that employs ocean outfalls from Metro Vancouver’s Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant to clean up acidic CO2 in the ocean, restoring its natural ability to draw carbon out of the air. Baseline data collection and consultations with British Columbia’s top ocean scientists, academia, the public, the government, and Indigenous rights holders is underway, with the small-scale field trial projected to start in Spring 2025. Data analysis will be published for access by all interested parties.

CICE has allocated $1,901,060 in non-dilutive investment to this $3,896,572 project.

“To meet the world’s climate goals, on top of reducing emissions, we must remove massive quantities of carbon from the atmosphere. Our project aims to enhance the ocean’s ability to capture CO2. CICE has assembled a consortium of partners to further Canada’s leadership in safely developing the critically important practice of ocean carbon removal. If successful, we will restore our acidified ocean, draw down CO2 from the air, and create new jobs and opportunities in this emerging trillion-dollar industry.”

Mike Kelland

CEO of Planetary Technologies

About CICE

The B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that provides early-stage investment to fast-track the commercialization of British Columbia’s most impactful clean energy solutions – from Canada to the world. We match the urgency and efficiency of the companies we fund, driving innovation like the planet depends on it. Because it does. Together with our climate-first community of innovators, industry leaders, academia, government, and Indigenous partners, we advance future pathways to net-zero – leveraging B.C.’s clean energy advantages to attract investment, create good jobs and build sustainable economic prosperity for decades to come.



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