Australian Government Supports Carbon Capture and Storage Witih Scarce Funding

Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King has supported carbon capture and storage (CCS) as the way for the industry to reach net-zero emissions. “Traditional commodities, including our energy resources, will play an essential role in supporting Australia’s economy transition to net-zero while also continuing to underwrite energy security for our key trading partners,” King said at the APPEA 2023 conference and exhibition in Adelaide on May 16. “Whether it is the minerals that go into solar panels and batteries, or the gas required to process many of those minerals today, the net-zero transition is enabled and underpinned by the Australian resources sector.” King said CCS was a “necessary part of a wider decarbonization effort.” “Perhaps the single biggest opportunity for emissions reduction in the energy resources sector is through carbon capture and storage (CCS),” she said. “CCS represents an opportunity for Australia if we get it right. The will is there. The know-how is there.” “To this end, and in recognition of the need to scale up CCS, the government will shortly commence public consultation on a new round of greenhouse gas storage acreage.” Australian Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King addresses the media alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Kwinana, Australia, on March 4, 2021. (Paul Kane/Getty Images) Meg O’Neill, the chief executive of Woodside Energy and APPEA president, welcomed the decision, saying it provided “a great opportunity to outline the ongoing role of gas in the energy transition.” “In Australia, I believe this [CCS] is a technology that may have been judged too soon,” O’Neill told the APPEA conference. “It works.” “The Sleipner project in Norway has been storing one million tonnes of CO2 per year, deep below the North Sea, since 1996.” The CEO said the industry wanted to work with the federal government to develop a national CCS strategy, provide policy direction, and promote Australia as a regional leader in CO2 storage. “Countries in the region with limited CO2 storage potential, such as Japan and South Korea, are looking for partners to establish hubs, to meet their net-zero commitments,” O’Neill said. “Our gas industry is well-placed to be that partner and develop CCUS (carbon capture, utilization, and storage), given our expertise in geological storage and large infrastructure projects.” Critics Doubt if CCS Will Work However, critics of CCS accused it of an unproven, unsuccessful technology that distracts the world from actual climate action. U.S. Climate Envoy and former presidential candidate John Kerry said he has “serious questions” about whether the industry can make CCS happen at scale, affordably, and quickly, to stave off global warming. U.S. Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry delivers a speech at the Congress centre during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 17, 2023. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images) “We don’t have [CCS] at scale yet, and we can’t sit here and just pretend we’re going to automatically have something we don’t have today. Because we might not. It might not work,” Kerry told the Associated Press. “What they’re banking on is that they’re going to be able to do the emissions capture,” he said, “I have some serious questions about whether it will be price competitive.” Jeff Waters, a fossil gas campaigner from Friends of the Earth Australia, echoed the concern. “As John Kerry said, how can we possibly be staking our future, and the futures of our children, on unproven science that, in spite of decades of research and promises, has so far not been successful anywhere in the world.” Jeff Waters challenged O’Neil’s citing of the Sleipner project as a successful precedent. “It is not possible to replicate Sleipner’s achievements either scientifically or economically,” he told in an email. “In science, nothing is proven until it is able to be reproduced. In decades, no other CCS project has been viable.” Australian Sector Leaders Call for Government Funding Meanwhile, despite the vocal support from King, the federal government has not announced project funding to help with the roll-out of CCS. The Quest carbon capture and storage facility owned by Shell in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, in a file photo. (The Canadian Press/Jason Franson) The Australian government is better to remove regulatory barriers for CCS than back individual projects, King told the gas industry at the conference. This is a stark contrast with governments that are supporting CCS projects directly, including the Biden administration, where the Inflation Reduction Act offers a credit of $85 for every tonne of CO2 captured and permanently stored and $180 for every tonne in direct air capture projects. Sector leaders complain that the federal government is risking missing an opportunity to tap Australia’s natural advantages in carbon storage and secure its multibillion-dollar commodity export revenue. There i

Australian Government Supports Carbon Capture and Storage Witih Scarce Funding

Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King has supported carbon capture and storage (CCS) as the way for the industry to reach net-zero emissions.

“Traditional commodities, including our energy resources, will play an essential role in supporting Australia’s economy transition to net-zero while also continuing to underwrite energy security for our key trading partners,” King said at the APPEA 2023 conference and exhibition in Adelaide on May 16.

“Whether it is the minerals that go into solar panels and batteries, or the gas required to process many of those minerals today, the net-zero transition is enabled and underpinned by the Australian resources sector.”

King said CCS was a “necessary part of a wider decarbonization effort.”

“Perhaps the single biggest opportunity for emissions reduction in the energy resources sector is through carbon capture and storage (CCS),” she said. “CCS represents an opportunity for Australia if we get it right. The will is there. The know-how is there.”

“To this end, and in recognition of the need to scale up CCS, the government will shortly commence public consultation on a new round of greenhouse gas storage acreage.”

Epoch Times Photo
Australian Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King addresses the media alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Kwinana, Australia, on March 4, 2021. (Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Meg O’Neill, the chief executive of Woodside Energy and APPEA president, welcomed the decision, saying it provided “a great opportunity to outline the ongoing role of gas in the energy transition.”

“In Australia, I believe this [CCS] is a technology that may have been judged too soon,” O’Neill told the APPEA conference. “It works.”

“The Sleipner project in Norway has been storing one million tonnes of CO2 per year, deep below the North Sea, since 1996.”

The CEO said the industry wanted to work with the federal government to develop a national CCS strategy, provide policy direction, and promote Australia as a regional leader in CO2 storage.

“Countries in the region with limited CO2 storage potential, such as Japan and South Korea, are looking for partners to establish hubs, to meet their net-zero commitments,” O’Neill said.

“Our gas industry is well-placed to be that partner and develop CCUS (carbon capture, utilization, and storage), given our expertise in geological storage and large infrastructure projects.”

Critics Doubt if CCS Will Work

However, critics of CCS accused it of an unproven, unsuccessful technology that distracts the world from actual climate action.

U.S. Climate Envoy and former presidential candidate John Kerry said he has “serious questions” about whether the industry can make CCS happen at scale, affordably, and quickly, to stave off global warming.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry delivers a speech at the Congress centre during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 17, 2023. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

“We don’t have [CCS] at scale yet, and we can’t sit here and just pretend we’re going to automatically have something we don’t have today. Because we might not. It might not work,” Kerry told the Associated Press.

“What they’re banking on is that they’re going to be able to do the emissions capture,” he said, “I have some serious questions about whether it will be price competitive.”

Jeff Waters, a fossil gas campaigner from Friends of the Earth Australia, echoed the concern.

“As John Kerry said, how can we possibly be staking our future, and the futures of our children, on unproven science that, in spite of decades of research and promises, has so far not been successful anywhere in the world.”

Jeff Waters challenged O’Neil’s citing of the Sleipner project as a successful precedent.

“It is not possible to replicate Sleipner’s achievements either scientifically or economically,” he told  in an email. “In science, nothing is proven until it is able to be reproduced. In decades, no other CCS project has been viable.”

Australian Sector Leaders Call for Government Funding

Meanwhile, despite the vocal support from King, the federal government has not announced project funding to help with the roll-out of CCS.

Epoch Times Photo
The Quest carbon capture and storage facility owned by Shell in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, in a file photo. (The Canadian Press/Jason Franson)

The Australian government is better to remove regulatory barriers for CCS than back individual projects, King told the gas industry at the conference.

This is a stark contrast with governments that are supporting CCS projects directly, including the Biden administration, where the Inflation Reduction Act offers a credit of $85 for every tonne of CO2 captured and permanently stored and $180 for every tonne in direct air capture projects.

Sector leaders complain that the federal government is risking missing an opportunity to tap Australia’s natural advantages in carbon storage and secure its multibillion-dollar commodity export revenue. There is also concern that Australia will be surpassed by the United States and other countries investing billions into their CCS projects.

“Achieving the pace and scale of CCS deployment needed to support Australia’s net-zero commitments will require collaboration among energy industry players and between industry and government,” said Bill Townsend, senior vice president at Inpex Corporation in Australia, who described the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act as a “game-changer” in attracting investment and accelerating clean energy initiatives there.