The Australian government revealed on Thursday, September 30th, a major boost for the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) hubs across the country. The news follows an earlier announcement about a $150 million in funding for the expansion of hydrogen energy hubs.
The new program will “turbocharge” the development of commercial-scale carbon capture utilization and storage with a substantial $250 million Australian dollars (US $180 million) financing. It will also create up to 1500 jobs in the country.
$100 million would go towards supporting the design and construction of carbon capture hubs and shared infrastructure, and the remaining $150 million will be set aside for supporting research and commercialization of carbon capture technologies and identifying suitable carbon storage sites.
“Analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows that half the global reductions required to achieve net zero will come from technologies that are not yet ready for commercial deployment…That’s why we’re partnering with industry to accelerate new projects and unlock the emissions and economic benefits of carbon capture technology,” said Australia’s Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction – Angus Taylor.
The carbon capture projects covered by the program are expected to be operational by 2029. The government initiative is also forecasted to encourage additional investment from international interested parties, state and territory governments.
According to the Minister for Resources Keith Pitt, CO2 capture technology has the potential to support the use of Australia’s resources like fossil fuels, including coal so that they would continue to play a role in providing the country with secure energy.
The sector is deemed by the oil and gas industry to allow for fossil fuels to make a contribution to the economy and jobs over the next few decades while the world transitions towards clean energy.
The $250 million investment by the Australian government is another testimony to the country’s preference towards alternative energy sources like CCS and hydrogen. Carbon capture technology is also outlined by IPCC and IEA as being an essential part of the world’s decarbonization agenda.