How much has Australia spent on CCS, and what has been achieved?

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Australia continues to put lipstick on the pig of CCS, a tiny pittance of research dollars intended to provide air cover for the emissions of the coal industry.

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About 200,000 tons of CO2 has been captured and sequestered in CCA project for power generation at a cost of over $A1 billion since 1998 in various schemes. The cost per tonne sequestered was about $4,300 AUD.

That’s a ratio of one to 38,000 of the CO2 sequestered vs the roughly 9 billion tons of CO2 emitted by Australia since CCS technologies started being investigated. It’s a ratio of about one to 2,300 of the 549 million tons of CO2 emitted by Australia last year alone.

Here are the various carbon capture, distribution and sequestration efforts made in Australia since 1998. Exactly two sequestered some CO2.

carbon chart

About $700 million of this was funded by the Australian government and $300 million by the industry itself, so the coal industry isn’t even paying its own portion of this failure. Australia continues to put lipstick on the pig of CCS with its Coal21 Fund, a tiny pittance of research dollars annually intended to provide air cover for the emissions of the coal industry.

Michael Barnard is a regularly published low-carbon innovation analyst. Source: Quora. Reproduced with permission.

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  1. Tim Forcey 2 years ago

    More carbon capture and storage info within this BZE Discussion Paper here.

    Note use of carbon capture to produce CO2 that is then used for “enhanced” crude oil recovery. Not exactly a great greenhouse gas outcome!

  2. john 2 years ago

    It was always a smoke screen and continues to be a joke

  3. Ian 2 years ago

    Let the truth be out. This is not a trivial amount of money. There should be accountability for this kind of expenditure.

  4. Les Johnston 2 years ago

    Matched by the Federal Government’s expenditure on the wind farm commission. Cut the waste of tax payers money.

  5. George Michaelson 2 years ago

    I am human, I can hold contradictory opinions. So this is great research, and great engineering, and its answered some questions and also opened some other questions out. Is it a good investment in that sense? Sure. We understand engineering challenges for sequestration much better.

    Is it a good energy/carbon investment? Well no. Demonstrably, its cost far more in R&D than we can expect to be returned in any economic form, given the ‘overtaken by events’ consequences for power generation.

    But the same could be said for any number of *research* activities. You don’t always strike gold, and we still need to fund research. Personally, I think the cash should come from a levy on coal mining and export, not the general exchequer. Thats the best place, to sink this cost. And any future cost.

  6. Joe 2 years ago

    Just bring back the price on carbon with an Emissions Trading Scheme like we had until the Abbott canned it. The ETS worked in reducing emissions. Once it was scrapped by the Abbott emissions have just gone up. What was wrong with everyone contributing to solving the problem when after all we are collectively all responsible for the problem. CCS is a fizzer. Burying the pollution does not make it go away.

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