Queensland Government – Clean Coal Not Viable For Now

The Queensland Government announced on Sunday that the ZeroGen “clean coal” project will not be going ahead at this point in time.
According to Premier Anna Bligh, “We had hoped to have a clean coal power station up and running by 2015 but the fact is that the early research has shown us that this is not viable at this time on a commercial scale.”
So far, $192 million has been spent in research; including $102 million from the Queensland Government.
While Ms. Bligh said the government isn’t going to walk away from controversial CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) technologies, it will be changing the focus of its efforts and undertaking further carbon storage site identification in other parts of the State which could become viable in the future.
The state government is now proposing that ZeroGen be changed into an independent entity, owned and run by industry and dedicated to the accelerated development and deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage.
$50 million of taxpayer money, in addition to a further $100 million from industry and the Commonwealth, will remain in the Clean Coal Fund to assist companies compete for funding for the development of CCS in Queensland.
To date, no large-scale CCS projects have been produced anywhere in the world. The United States CCS initiative, FutureGen, isn’t expected to become reality before 2040.
Aside from technical and safety challenges, clean coal technologies also require more energy to work. This means more mining and burning of coal and other fuels to create that energy; which may be a good thing for the Australian coal industry, but not so good for Australia’s environment.