Govt provides $25m for CCS research

Tuesday, 03 February, 2015

The Australian Government will allocate $25 million over five years to a carbon capture and storage (CCS) research project based in Victoria, according to Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane.

To be provided to the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC), the funding will be matched by contributions from CO2CRC members, including $10 million from the Australian coal industry’s Coal21 Fund and a $5 million Victorian Government grant announced in September 2014. It will support the centre’s research at its Otway geological storage test facility - the country’s first demonstration of the geosequestration of carbon dioxide.

“The grant ensures that this critical research continues for five more years and we expect to see important technological improvements to CCS modelling, monitoring and verification as a result,” Macfarlane said.

“The end goal is the wide-scale deployment of an effective system for capturing carbon dioxide and storing it safely underground.”

CO2CRC Chief Executive Officer Tania Constable commended the government for supporting CCS, stating, “The wide-scale deployment of CCS is critical to reduce carbon emissions as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. This funding will allow CO2CRC to embark on a new program of research to improve CCS technologies.

“In particular, the intention is to lower the costs of developing and monitoring carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites, enhance regulatory capability and build community confidence in geological storage of CO2 as a safe, permanent option for cutting emissions from fossil fuels.”

CO2CRC’s Otway site is recognised globally as a strategically important facility for demonstrating and progressing CCS. Constable noted that the site is “ideal for accelerated exposure testing of our capture technologies” due to the high concentration of CO2 present.

Macfarlane said the funding of CCS research is “a sensible investment in the nation’s future” which “allows Australia to take advantage of new technologies that can contribute to the reliable, sustainable and affordable supply of energy”.

“National energy policy should facilitate the market deployment of all possible options and a commercially viable CCS solution would help secure a prosperous future for Australia,” he continued.

“Encouraging innovation like this $25 million in new technology funding will not only help to cut emissions but also drive efficiencies and productivity, which will help to put downward pressure on electricity prices.”

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