Direct air capture (DAC), which removes CO2 directly from ambient air, is a critical negative emission technology for mitigating global climate change. Efficiency and the source of energy are crucial considerations for DAC to enable negative emissions. Substantial technological progress has been made in DAC technologies, and promising opportunities exist for commercial-scale deployments. However, DAC technologies require high regeneration energy to release CO2 from sorbents. Various approaches have been tested and optimized for different DAC systems. This review demonstrates that the work equivalent regeneration energy demand (supported by either the electric grid or fossil fuel combustion) ranges from 0.5–18.75 GJ/t-CO2 for solid sorbent DAC systems and 0.62–17.28 GJ/t-CO2 for liquid solvent DAC systems. The regeneration process is the energy-demanding process in DAC that is a key step for efficient operation. Potential methods to lower the regeneration energy demand include microwave, ultrasound, magnetic particle heating, and electric swing. Although the potential methods to date are still at the lab scale, significant work is being done to optimize DAC system processes.