As the world makes the necessary and urgent transition to a low carbon future, resource and system diversity will be key to maintaining a resilient, competitive energy economy. Australia’s abundant, cost competitive and high quality coal and gas resources have long underpinned the economic strength and high standard of living achieved in Australia.
The challenge that Australia and the world face is to continue to realise the benefits and value of fossil energy resources without the associated emissions. It is therefore imperative that commercial-scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is developed and available. This assures that Australia and its trading partners can maintain energy security and meet future emissions reduction targets at the lowest economic cost.
Australia has the capability to provide leadership in CCS, especially CO2 storage with the Otway and Gorgon projects. These are considered leading examples of CO2 storage research, development and demonstration (RD&D) and commercial-scale deployment.
Urgent investment in CO2 storage site characterisation, CCS projects, techno-economic assessments, and public engagement is required to ensure that CCS can be deployed to achieve the deep reduction in greenhouse gas emissions required to meet national and global targets.
- CCS must be available on its merits in Australia’s energy mix to assure energy system security and affordability so that future emissions reductions targets are delivered at the lowest economic cost.
- CCS is required in the power sector (coal and gas generation) but will also play a vital role in decarbonising energy intensive industries, which unavoidably involve the continued use of fossil fuels.
- CCS is not an experimental technology. It is being deployed or available now at commercial scale to provide a competitive, carbon reduction option for reliable 24-7 power from fossil fuels.
- CCS development, integration and a focus on cost reduction is ongoing, including opportunities to decarbonise a number of existing and prospective emissions-intensive industries including natural gas and LNG production, iron and steel making, cement production, fertilisers, chemicals and textiles.