More taxpayer money wasted on carbon capture nonsense

Taxpayer money

IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 03 July 2013, Zero Emissions Media Centre, Melbourne

Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray today announced more funding for the failed carbon capture and storage dream during a visit to the CO2CRC Otway Project.

Further funding for the project is opposed by energy security think-tank zero emissions.

"CCS is a myth, a marketing term and not something that should be confused for a real technology," said Matthew Wright executive director of energy security think-tank Zero Emissions.

"More carbon dioxide is captured, transported and stored in Schweppes soft-drinks at their Melbourne bottling plant than at the Otway basin CCS trial, which shows  just how trivial it is," said Wright

"The project is a smokescreen for the continued exploration, extraction, exports and combustion of fossil fuels such as fossil gas and coal which should be phased out.

"This project is nonsense and will amount to nothing, Gary Gray, the energy minister should be putting our valuable tax dollars towards renewable technologies such as Solar Thermal with storage and rooftop solar with storage which ultimately will reduce peoples power bills rather than into CCS, a go nowhere bottomless pit.

"Nowhere in the world is there carbon dioxide being captured from a commercial power plant, transported and stored.  There isn't one light bulb anywhere in the world powered by Coal or Gas Carbon Capture and Storage not one light bulb.

"Even on the fossil fuel industry's own numbers carbon capture and storage will not be ready by 2020 when the cost of solar and wind will be cheaper than those fuels in all markets(even without applying the additional cost of CCS).

"There is no way that the industry can achieve 90% of CO2 emissions stored from coal, there are geological issues that are different in every region and the cost of energy from these projects would more than triple, meaning that they'd be more expensive than installing solar and wind at today's prices.

"The CO2CRC can't be taken seriously when they quote Treasury numbers on the future potential of CCS in Australia, especially when lobbying from individuals associated with the organization had supplied the underlying (grossly exaggerated) assumptions informing that prediction.  That's what's known as an echo chamber.

"The 1.18billion CCS flagships is nonsense it is a boondoggle and should be abandoned, the money reallocated to building three large baseload solar thermal plants which can be built today.

The future is a zero emissions, decarbonised renewable powered clean tech economy without fossil gas or coal," said Matthew Wright.

FOR COMMENT: Matthew Wright 0421 616 733 matthew@zeroemissions.org.au

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Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray today announced a new network of research facilities to boost Australian development of commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) during a visit to the CO2CRC Otway Project.

Lead agency CO2CRC is eligible for $51.6 million from the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Future package, administered by the Education Investment Fund (EIF), to support CCSNET, a network of field facilities, onshore and offshore monitoring systems and world class laboratories.

“CCSNET will significantly enhance Australia’s CCS research capability,” said Dr Richard Aldous, Chief Executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC).

“The network will help to answer many of the outstanding research questions for large-scale CCS projects.”

The CCSNET network is:

·         The Otway Subsurface Laboratory; a major subsurface laboratory based at the CO2CRC Otway Project in Victoria, where CO2 has been stored safely underground since 2008;

·         GipNet; a CSIRO-driven submarine environment monitoring program in Victoria’s offshore Gippsland Basin;

·         CCS Labnet; new imaging and analytical research capability at The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, Monash University and The University of Adelaide.

The announcement is a great birthday present for CO2CRC, which celebrated ten years of great science on Monday. CCSNET will also attract significant matching funds from research institutions, as well as industry and state government co-investors.

CCSNET will primarily support Victoria’s CarbonNet Project, which is funded under the 
$1.18 billion CCS Flagships program, but the facilities will also be available for other Australian projects and potentially international collaborators.

“CCSNET will provide a unique basis for quality national and international CCS research, education and training,” said Dr Aldous.

“It reaffirms Australia’s strong global role in taking this technology forward.”

CCS has the potential to cut tens of millions of tonnes per year of Australian greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial sources such as power stations. Treasury figures estimate fossil fuel–fired CCS plants could provide between 26 and 32 per cent of total electricity generation by 2050, while safely and permanently storing up to 90 per cent of their emissions.

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FOR COMMENT: Matthew Wright 0421 616 733 matthew@zeroemissions.org.au