The Federal Government’s decision to effectively abolish all financial support for carbon capture utilisation and storage is a staggering reversal of established Government policy which had positioned Australia as an innovation leader in this essential emissions reduction technology.
The Budget cut over $250 million in funding for Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and other low emissions technology as the Government shifted its support to harder-to-abate sectors.
CO2CRC CEO Matthias Raab said Australian CCUS technologies are years ahead of what industry currently deploys and provide the next generation of projects with sophisticated and tested technologies and at lower costs.
“Australia is poised to use its innovation to decarbonise its emission intense sectors and roll out these technologies globally. Research and innovation without government support will be virtually impossible, undermining Australia’s emission reduction targets,” Dr Raab said.
Speaking from the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies conference in Lyon, France, Dr Raab said the Government’s decision impacted Australia’s ability to achieve an accelerated and efficient energy transition.
“The world recognises CCUS technology widely and invests heavily, led by the US and many European countries,” Dr Raab said. “CCUS is recognised by the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) as critical to achieving net zero emissions goals by 2050.”
“The rest of the world is investing in CCUS, but the Australian Government is now withdrawing. The big swings in policy make it almost impossible to establish investment at scale and as does the lack of bipartisan support.
“It was the Rudd Labor government who accelerated Australia’s investment in CCUS, but the Albanese Government has now cast this aside.
“Australia through CO2CRC and its partners is leading the world in innovation and technology development. We are recognised and praised by the rest of the world, but now not supported in Australia.
“The lack of investment into our partnership program will set Australia back in progressing carbon removal technologies such as CCUS and direct air capture (DAC) and deny Australian industry its greatest chance to achieve significant emissions reduction this decade.
“This decision has damaged Australia’s international partnerships and reputation as a trusted ally to our trading partners looking for targeted emission reduction technologies.”
Dr Raab said the next five to 10 years shape as critical for Australia to develop the science and technology needed to reduce emissions through industrial-scale, multi-billion-dollar carbon capture, use and storage projects. He said the technology was essential to Australia achieving its transition to a cleaner energy future.
“The net amount of fossil fuels in the global energy mix is still 80%. Solar and wind deliver about 3% of the world’s energy,” he said. “Renewables will grow – and that’s very important in lowering emissions. But fossil fuels are part of the way our entire economy has evolved and cannot be simply set aside and replaced by renewables.
“If we aspire to a lower-emissions future, it must realistically be framed in the context that fossil fuels will be around for the foreseeable future. CCUS is the only viable way to a lower-emissions future that necessarily uses fossil fuels.”
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Operating since 2003, CO2CRC is a world leader in carbon capture, utilisation and storage research. We own and operate the Otway International Test Centre in Nirranda South, South-West Victoria, Australia. Our investors and members recognise the strategic importance of CO2CRC systematically progressing the science and engineering of CCUS to ensure an efficient and safe deployment of the technology. Our work receives support from global industry, universities and government bodies – bringing together the world’s best scientists, engineers and industry leaders to deliver research, products and services to advance the implementation of CCUS technologies.
For more information please contact:
Roy Anderson, CO2CRC on 03 8595 9624 or firstname.lastname@example.org