$50m fund to accelerate carbon capture technologies

Carbon capture projects will get a boost through the Morrison Government’s $50 million Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Development Fund (the Fund), which opens today.

Carbon capture and storage technologies are one of five priority areas for investment under the Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said carbon capture technologies would be critical to achieving net zero emissions from power generation, natural gas and hydrogen production as well as process emissions from heavy industries like cement and fertiliser production.

“Australia has the potential to be a world leader in geosequestration. We have the right geology and storage basins,” Minister Taylor said.

“The Fund will provide targeted support to a wide array of carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) opportunities, including carbon recycling, negative emissions/direct air capture, and carbon capture and storage.

“The Morrison Government’s investment will reduce technical and commercial barriers to deploying these technologies and identifying potential project sites.

“It will also crowd in new investment from the private sector, supporting jobs and Australia’s economic recovery, particularly in regional areas.

“This investment is a practical example of the Morrison Government’s commitment to being a low emissions technology leader and reducing emissions through technology, not taxes.

“Australia’s potential to permanently and safely store emissions underground is being closely watched by our trading partners, including Singapore and South Korea.”

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the Fund will support the ongoing use of Australia’s abundant natural resources.

“Technology like this will be the key to further reducing emissions and ensure our premium quality coal will play an important role in Australia, and the world’s, energy needs for decades to come,” Minister Pitt said.

“I was pleased to visit Queensland’s Millmerran coal-fired power station recently where a trial of CCS is planned and I look forward to the results.

“The International Energy Agency confirms CCS combined with high-efficiency low emissions (HELE) technology reduces emissions by as much as 90 per cent, while providing cheap and reliable electricity.”

Successful projects will share in up to $50m in grant funding.

The Fund is part of the Government’s $1.9 billion new energy technologies package in the 2020-21 Budget. The $1.9bn package included resourcing to support the development of a CCS method for the Emissions Reduction Fund, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The Fund builds on the Government’s previous support for CCS technologies, including one of the world’s largest CCS projects, Chevron’s Gorgon facility in Western Australia. The facility has sequestered over four million tonnes of CO2 since it first started operating in August 2019 and will ramp up to four million tonnes annually once operating at full rate.

The government is actively pursuing opportunities to collaborate on technology solutions, including CCUS, with Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Biden Administration, the UK Government, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have all recognised CCUS as an essential technology to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap is a plan to create jobs, cut energy costs and reduce emissions.

The Roadmap will guide $18bn of Government investment over the next 10 years and drive at least $70bnof total new investment in low emissions technologies in Australia by 2030. According to Taylor, the plan will support 130,000 jobs by 2030 and avoid in the order of 250 million tonnes of emissions by 2040.

Taylor said in the press statement that investing in low emissions technologies will contribute to Australia’s continued success in meeting and beating the emissions reduction targets. Australia beat its 2020 target by 459 million tonnes and it is on track to meet and beat its 2030 Paris target.