Thursday, 21 May 2020 16:34

Low-emissions technology a focus in Government releases of tech industry roadmap Featured

By
Energy Minister Angus Taylor Energy Minister Angus Taylor

The Australian Government has released its Technology Industry Roadmap which it says is aimed at bringing a strategic and system-wide view to future investments in low emissions technologies.

Released by Energy Minister Angus Taylor, the Minister says the roadmap discussion paper “at its core, is about technology not taxes,” and “it means reducing emissions, not reducing jobs and the economy”.

“It is an approach based on rigour, discipline and optimism, not ideology. As the nation’s largest early-stage technology investor, regular articulation of the Government’s investment priorities through annual Low Emissions Technology Statements will support a partnership with the private sector and the states and territories.

“Our efforts to accelerate new and emerging technologies will focus on areas of comparative advantage in agriculture, industry, mining and energy-intensive exports.”

The Minister said that Australia “consistently meets and beats our climate change targets and we will do so for our Kyoto-era targets, and for our 2030 target”.

“We have done so while keeping our economy strong and goods exports (much of these energy-intensive) have more than tripled since 1990. Our emissions per person and per dollar of GDP are now at their lowest levels in 29 years.

“As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must continue to prioritise investment in technologies that improve productivity and support a resilient economy.

Commenting on the Government’s roadmap, Australian carbon capture and storage research organisation CO2CRC CEO David Byers welcomed the Government’s embrace of science and technology as the “pathway to accelerating low emissions technologies and its identification of Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) technologies as a priority low emissions technology” - adding that it provides a “powerful endorsement of the potential for CCUS to play a vital role in meeting the dual challenge of supplying more energy but with fewer emissions”.

“As International Energy Agency Executive Director, Dr Fatih Birol declared earlier this year: ‘When we consider the scale of the energy and climate challenge, the critical importance of carbon capture is inescapable," Byers said.

“In that context, Australia is well-placed to be a world leader in CCUS. Recent project activity demonstrates to the nation that CCUS is not a dream for the future but a reality today.

“The world’s largest commercial-scale carbon dioxide injection project commenced in August 2019 at Gorgon LNG on Barrow Island, off the northwest coast of WA. Gorgon is now progressively ramping up to full capacity of up to 4Mtpa of safe and permanent storage of CO2.

“Santos is at an advanced stage of examining a large-scale commercial carbon capture and storage (CCS) project to be located in the Cooper Basin with a scalable potential to store up to 20 Mtpa of CO2 per year.”

Byers said the launch of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project in Victoria has been “another leap forward for CCUS in Australia.

“The CarbonNet Project is investigating the feasibility for a commercial-scale, multi-user CCUS network in Gippsland that will inject CO2 (including that ultimately produced from commercial-scale hydrogen production) into deep underground, offshore storage sites in Bass Strait. In January, CarbonNet reached an exciting phase with the conclusion of a successful offshore drilling appraisal well at the Pelican site,” he said.

“Finally, COAL21 is examining the development of a commercial scale CCUS project in Queensland’s Surat Basin with a final investment decision to begin construction of a $150m carbon capture plant at the Millmerran Power Station scheduled for later this year.

“Together, this project activity demonstrates once again that CCUS is not experimental – it is a proven technology, currently being deployed, storing millions of tons of CO2. On a global scale, more than 200 million tonnes of CO2 have been captured and injected deep underground since the 1970’s. One project - the Sleipner CCS operation in Norway has separated and injected about one million tonnes of CO2 per year since 1996.

“Today, 19 large scale CCS facilities are operating globally and another four are in construction.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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