Carbon capture and storage technology is well established in Australia, however, its effects will not be felt unless it is used on a global scale, CEO of the NSW Minerals Council Dr Niki Williams said.
“China is now the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Unless we have a solution to coal use in China, we definitely don’t have a solution to climate change,” Williams said.
“The technology is well established. The oil and gas industry have been capturing CO2 as part of enhanced oil recovery for more than 20 years and storage has been occurring in Sleipner, Norway for more than 20 years. There are 40 other projects around the world involving storage, including the Otway Project here in Australia. There are 13 other projects in Australia, eight involving storage and the rest demonstrating carbon capture technologies.
“However, there are challenges to the application of capture technology in power generation, including the economics of the technology and the identification of appropriate storage sites.
“The coal industry in Australia has long recognised the critical importance of carbon capture and storage technology in reducing carbon emissions. This is why it has made a world first, voluntary commitment of a billion dollars towards the demonstration and deployment of low emission coal technologies,” she said.
According to Williams, the Australian emissions trading scheme will represent the most significant economic transformation in Australia’s history.
“The mining industry supports transitional measures to allow businesses which have invested heavily in assets, including in coal-fired power generation, to manage their business in an environment where their competitors do not face the same carbon constraints,” Williams said.
“Australia is well positioned to respond to the climate change challenge. We’ve got the technology. We’ve got the scientific expertise. We have a very committed industry and the population of Australia is very supportive of the political drive for action on climate change.”
Williams will be speaking on new generation technology for fossil fuel fired power plants in Australia at the Gunnedah Basin Coal Conference in Gunnedah on 16-17 September.
To subscribe to Australian Mining magazine, call reader services on 1300 360 126.