Policy levers required for business to invest in carbon capture and storage

Australian Energy Ministers are urged to keep their eye on the main goals – to provide safe, reliable and clean energy for Australia and export to the world. A diverse mix of energy technologies will be required to achieve these goals over the long term.

As Ministers participating in the COAG Energy Council are about to meet, Ms Tania Constable, CEO CO2CRC said, “Policy parity with renewables for all low emissions technologies including carbon capture and storage, is required to encourage business investment.”

The success of renewables in Australia has been driven by the right policies, such as the renewable energy target. “Renewable energy accounted for 14 percent of electricity produced in the National Electricity Market in the 2015-16 year. But renewable energy alone is not enough. The recent issues faced in South Australia have highlighted the importance of having access to a reliable supply of energy that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – to power our homes, businesses, hospitals and to provide large and sustained amounts of energy to our steel, cement and fertiliser industries.

At a global level, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that renewables will account for 29 percent of all emissions reductions by 2050. Carbon capture and storage will provide another 15 per cent reduction in global emissions. These IEA forecasts indicate renewables and carbon capture and storage will have to work in tandem to keep a global temperature rise below 2 degrees.

“Carbon Capture and Storage is proven,” said Ms Constable. “Carbon dioxide can be safely stored for 1000 years or more and it is getting cheaper. There is no need for carbon capture and storage technology to cost more than equivalent amounts of wind or solar. What is needed to accelerate development of this technology is the right policy levers.”

“Canada has just captured and stored its one-millionth tonne of CO2 from a single power plant, and positive government policy helped the Saskatchewan Boundary Dam project get off the ground. Canada and Australia are similar, both resource rich, providing high value jobs to regions, and reliant on fossil fuels for reliable energy. Australia can learn from the Canadian example,” said Ms Constable.

June 2016 IEA figures show that to meet the 2 degree global target by 2050:

  • renewables must account for 29 percent of emissions reductions,
  • carbon capture and storage 15 percent,
  • end-use efficiency 36 percent,
  • nuclear 7 percent,
  • end-use fuel switching 12 percent,
  • and, power generation efficiency and fuel switching 1 percent.

“It is clear that no single emissions reduction technology or method is enough to meet Australian and global needs, but by employing carbon capture and storage now we reduce the opportunity cost for future generations,” said Ms Constable.


For further information and to interview Ms Constable, CEO CO2CRC please contact:

Robert Hilkes, CO2CRC Marketing & Communications Manager

0413 338 144 or robert.hilkes@co2crc.com.au