Australia should keep open the option to deploy carbon capture and storage (CCS), in readiness for global calls for deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, according to the nation’s leading CCS research organisation.
In a submission to the Australian Government’s Energy White Paper, the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) has called for Australia to build on its CCS research skills, demonstration projects and strong knowledge base in the developing technology.
“CCS is currently the only technology that can deal with the very large quantity of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion,” said Dr Richard Aldous, Chief Executive of CO2CRC.
“Our heavy reliance on fossil fuels domestically, as well our globally significant fossil fuel exports, make CCS technology highly important for Australia.
“Studies from the International Energy Agency, the US Department of Energy and others have concluded that CCS, as part of a strategic mix of low emission technologies, is likely to give us both emission reductions and reliable energy supply at the lowest possible cost. CCS is a vital part of the lowest cost pathway to meeting the global 2050 emission reduction targets that most countries have committed to.
“At a high level there are no major technology gaps or impediments to CCS. However as an integrated system the technology is still in the early stages of its development and costs need to be driven down. Large-scale CCS plants currently being built around the world are providing real cost insights and paving the way for cost reductions through learning by doing.
“Australia has played a significant role in CCS technology development and demonstration over the last ten years, and maintaining this capacity will address the many aspects of CCS that are unique to Australia, including our geology, the chemistry of our coals, our energy system and the climate itself.”
The CO2CRC submission recommends that CCS development in Australia is continued and strengthened, and calls for Australian governments, industry and research organisations to:
· Support continued large-scale demonstration and CCS RD&D in Australia
· Continue to develop the nation’s precompetitive data on CCS geology
· Ensure that any policy settings or incentives for clean energy are technology neutral
“To meet our global obligations on greenhouse gas reduction we will need the full range of tools available,” said Dr Aldous.
“CCS is too significant a technology to be sidelined in developing national energy strategies that reduce our CO2 emissions.”
The CO2CRC Submission to the Energy White Paper process is available online: www.co2crc.com.au/media/
For further information and interviews contact: Tony Steeper, 0417 697 470, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: CO2CRC – Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies