CEFC to invest in carbon capture and storage technologies

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Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will be able to invest in carbon capture and storage technologies under federal legislation introduced May 31.

Removing the prohibition will allow the CEFC to support investment in CCS technologies. This could reduce emissions by 90 per cent.

The announcement was made in a statement issued by federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.

“Access to finance is one of the barriers to investment in CCS and a change to CEFC legislation will provide a significant signal of support and reduce risk for potential investors,” the statement read.

Coal Power Plant
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“This is the latest demonstration of the Government’s commitment to a technology neutral, non-ideological, approach to national energy policy.

“Removing the prohibition will allow the CEFC to support a wider range of low emissions technologies and thereby reduce emissions at lowest cost.”

‘Slap in the face’ for the renewable sector

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about CEFC funding being used for ‘clean coal’.

In February, the idea was criticised and called a “slap in the face” for the renewable energy industry.

In addition, it was argued that none of the three carbon capture and storage projects operating globally is commercially viable.

However, the Energy Minister’s statement says CCS technology has been acclaimed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency as critical to enabling the world to meet its emission reduction targets.

CCS a ‘proven technology’

“CCS is a proven technology being deployed globally with 17 large-scale commercial CCS facilities already in operation storing around 30 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide,” the statement read.

“In Australia, the Gorgon LNG project in Western Australia will soon become one of the world’s largest CCS projects when it begins sequestering up to 4 million tonnes per annum in carbon dioxide in the coming year.

“There are also significant opportunities for the application of CCS technologies outside of the energy sector. The International Energy Agency has stated that CCS is the only option available to significantly reduce emissions from some major industrial processes, such as iron and steel production, cement production, and natural gas processing.”

The CEFC’s investment in CCS technologies will complement other low emissions investment including more than $3 billion worth of wind, solar and storage projects.

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