A word from the CEO
Delay will be deadly on road to NZE.
The at-times divisive public debate over our energy transition is well into its second decade, but there is widespread industry, community and political support for action to meet mid-century net zero targets.
The challenges of reaching those targets are also widely acknowledged, but too often, participants in the energy debate are too narrowly focused on promoting or defending their preferred solution.
Others, as we saw in a panel discussion I participated in at the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook conference in Sydney this month, take a broader view and say that all technologies that contribute must be embraced.
That is true, but we must also be honest about approaches that can have the most meaningful impact.
In an economy still dependent on fossil fuels, carbon capture and storage must play a role to ensure emissions reduction targets are met on time and at a reasonable cost.
As a participant in this public discussion, I must acknowledge that rhetoric and reality often don’t connect.
Australia’s Climate Change and Energy Minister, Chris Bowen, has recently pointed out that meeting our 2030 emissions target means renewables should provide 82% of our electricity 82 months from now. He acknowledges how challenging this will be.
In announcing amendments to the Safeguard Mechanism on emissions reduction this week, the Minister also recognises the role of CCS in the must-needed development of new gas resources.
With the passage of that legislation this week, the industry will have additional certainty on the road to net zero – and the time has come for less talk and more action. A greater sense of urgency is required, and technologies that can contribute can’t be ruled out.
Project proponents and investors need policy certainty and the removal of roadblocks rather than purely financial support.
Getting the regulatory and project approval frameworks right for CCS is a priority for CO2CRC. That’s why the CCS Project Regulatory Affairs Task Force was established last year.
The six proposed CCS projects, on- and offshore, could reduce Australia’s emissions by 8-12%. But approval processes to deliver these projects will likely take 6-8 years, bringing us to 2030 already.
We need to clearly reduce the impact of the bureaucratic process and pave the way today to accelerate success in the years ahead.
Delay will be deadly to getting to NZE on time while sustaining energy security.
Dr Matthias Raab, CEO.
Victoria’s HESC project highlights key role for CCS
This month’s confirmation of the Japanese Green Innovation Fund’s support for Victoria’s Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project marks a significant milestone, building on CO2CRC’s work on the Gippsland pilot program.
The project highlights the key role carbon capture and storage will play in the accelerated delivery of low cost and low emissions hydrogen.
The HESC project confirms that its two enabling technologies – hydrogen extraction from coal and CCS – are real, viable and affordable. The CCS component of the HESC project represents a fraction of the total project cost.
HESC will utilize Victoria’s engineering expertise and skilled workforce to produce low-emissions hydrogen at scale and quickly.
The project presents an opportunity to utilize the skills of the Latrobe Valley’s coal and oil and gas workforce to drive the energy transition in the region, and globally.
CO2CRC, together with GLP, worked on the Gippsland hydrogen production pilot for the HESC consortium partners J-Power and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, as well as Shell and AGL. GLP and CO2CRC designed and built the hydrogen purification unit to produce 99.999% pure hydrogen.
Otway International Test Centre Open Day
CO2CRC’s Otway International Test Centre has been part of its local community for almost 20 years. Part of nurturing that relationship has been to regularly open our doors to our neighbours. This month we held another community open day.
It takes a certain type of person to choose to visit a scientific research site in their spare time. Particularly when most of the business end of what we do at the OITC is under ground. But once again, community members turned out to visit the Centre in Nirranda South, near Peterborough on the last Saturday in March.
Dr Matthias Raab CO2CRC’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Barraclough CO2CRC’s Chief Operating Officer, Saw Hong Lim and myself enjoyed the day. Not only was it important for our social licence to operate, it was heartening and a privilege to spend some time showing these interested and motivated visitors the OITC infrastructure and to answer their many questions about carbon capture and storage and our research.
We at CO2CRC know that CCUS, the technology identified by the International Panel on Climate Change as vital to reduce humanity’s atmospheric emissions is really interesting. The steps we have taken at the OITC to make it more affordable and more predictable are fascinating.
We welcome visits, so let us know if you would like to visit the OITC to learn more about what we are doing to develop Carbon Capture and Storage technology.
13/03/23 Emissions: Australia’s gas industry can take advantage of carbon capture, utilisation and storage (afr.com)
APPEA CEO Sam McCulloch says Australia’s gas industries are better placed than most to take advantage of carbon capture and storage.
13/03/23 CO2CRC’s Reservoir is Half Full and Rising (PESA News)
Dr Matthias Raab, CO2CRC Chief Executive Officer says “Australia has a comparative advantage in carbon storage and the Australian Government’s focus on CCS and other low-emission technologies is setting the nation up to capitalise on our natural assets and become a carbon storage superpower.” Three page article on CO2CRC.
11/03/23 Barriers remain to commercial CCS rollout in Europe, despite high carbon prices | S&P Global
Carbon capture and storage developers say they still require state support to get projects up and running, despite record-high carbon prices that now cover much of the cost of the process, because of risks posed by relatively immature technology, a lack of an established economic model and the early stage of industry development.
11/03/23 Ineos announces full chain CCS milestone as emissions are buried offshore – The Chemical Engineer
A consortium led by global petrochemicals manufacturer INEOS has for the first time, initiated a cross-border offshore CCS project which takes captured CO2 in Belgium, and transports and stores it under the Danish North Sea.
21/03/23 Chemicals, other energy-intensive sectors must accelerate initiatives – ICIS
Chemicals and other energy-intensive industrial sectors must increase the use of carbon, capture and storage technologies to mitigate some of the worse effects of global warming, the UN panel on climate change said this week.
28/03/23 Safeguard deal will only fuel emissions and costs – The Australian
The federal government’s safeguard mechanism reforms ignore the crucial role of natural gas in getting to net zero by 2050 and risk making Australia’s climate targets even harder to achieve.
Australia’s “quiet quitting” of its LNG export juggernaut is making the world less safe both on climate and for the “rules-based” geopolitical order, said the head of Inpex, whose $60 billion-plus Ichthys project in Darwin is Japan’s biggest foreign investment.
Know a friend or colleague who would be interested in CO2CRC’s Insights Newsletter?
Tell them to subscribe below