Australia announces carbon capture initiatives

Article by Amanda Jasi

THE Australian Government has announced initiatives to encourage carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) efforts, including a A$250m (US$184.2m) hubs and technologies programme.

Through the CCUS Hubs and Technologies programme, Australia aims to deploy CCUS at scale. It will boost the nation’s CCUS applications by encouraging domestic and international research collaborations and lowering the cost of technology adoption.

Offering grants of A$1m–30m, the technologies stream will support businesses in funding research, development, and commercialisation of CCUS technologies and identification of viable CO2 storage sites.

The hubs stream offers grants of A$5m–50m to help fund design and construction of shared CCUS infrastructure between co-located CO2 emitters.

The CCUS programme is expected to support the Government’s goal – under its 2020 Technology Investment Roadmap – to achieve CO2 compression, transport, and storage for under A$20/t.

It complements the Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs programme, which will fund the development of hydrogen hubs in regional Australia.

Applications are open until 17:00 local time on 8 November.

Australia has also introduced a carbon capture and storage (CCS) method under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). Through ERF the Government purchases lowest cost abatement – in the form of carbon credits – from a wide range of sources to incentivise businesses, households, and landowners to proactively reduce emissions.

The new method makes Australia the first national government to award large-scale CCS projects with tradeable high-integrity units, Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). Each ACCU earned by a project represents 1 t of carbon emissions avoided. These credits can be sold back to the Government at biannual auctions or sold on the private voluntary market.

The Government also said that following a public consultation period, it will develop five new ERF methods in 2022, including for CCUS, hydrogen injection and use, and transport.

It will also further research and technology development to support future ERF methods, including for direct air capture (DAC) technologies.

Despite these and other announcements of funding to support reduction of the carbon emissions, Australia has yet to announce a formal net zero target and is reportedly facing increasing pressure to do so.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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