carbon capture device
Science for a Net Zero Future

The journey toward a Net Zero world requires big science – from fundamental to applied.

Modern life relies on access to abundant, affordable, and reliable supplies of energy and materials, the extraction and conversion of which currently generate vast quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The U.S. and numerous countries, subnational governments, and companies have set targets or laws for achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century, in order to halt climate change globally and its negative impacts on the environment, human well-being, and the economy. 

Achieving net-zero – defined as achieving a balance between emissions by sources and removals by sinks – will rely on economy-wide uptake of new technologies, business models, and institutional frameworks. Reaping the full suite of social, environmental, and economic benefits of these novel paradigms will require seamless coupling of groundbreaking scientific discoveries, applied R&D, and real-world implementation. ORNL’s world-class capabilities and interdisciplinary breadth is enabling us to develop cost-effective, scalable solutions to the most demanding challenges associated with an equitable energy transition.


ORNL's Net Zero Leaders

David Sholl outdoor portrait
Transformational Decarbonization Institute
David McCollum outdoor portrait
Senior Scientist, Energy Transitions
Net Zero World Initiative
Kate Evans portrait
Division Director
Computational Sciences & Engineering
Peter Thornton portrait
Climate Change Science Institute

ORNL Efforts Towards Energy Transitions


Through our extensive intellectual property portfolio, deep expertise, and network of partners, ORNL is driving innovation-based economic growth and opportunity around decarbonization.


Electric vehicle charging

Technology Transfer

The lab is helping to speed new decarbonization technologies to market while also building supportive and resilient ecosystems to the benefit of our local, state, and national communities.
Innovation Crossroads Cohort Six includes: Bianca Bailey, Agriwater; Rajan Kumar, Ateois Systems; Alex Stiles, Vitriform3D; Kim Tutin, Captis Aire; Anca Timofte, Holocene Climate; and Pete Willette, Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Entrepreneurial Support

Innovation Crossroads connects the nation’s top clean energy innovators with experts, mentors, and networks, and leverages our unique scientific resources and capabilities to support startups.
Collaboration Nation graphic

Academic and Industry Partnerships

Our broad range of partnerships allows us to pair our strengths with others for outstanding contributions to science while providing economic benefit across the United States.