The NSW Government can fund research into clean coal technologies after the passing of the Clean Coal Administration Bill 2008.
The Bill, which passed through the Upper House this week, will establish the new fund and the NSW Clean Coal Council.
“This research funding will contribute to the development of clean coal technologies in NSW with a view to meeting the Government’s target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2050 and return to year 2000 levels by 2025,” Mineral Resources Minister Ian Macdonald said.
“The purpose is to fund research, demonstration and commercialisation of clean coal technologies and to increase public awareness of the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through clean coal technologies.
“The Government will contribute to the funds and there will also be provision for voluntary contributions
“I as Minister for Mineral Resources will be responsible for administering the fund and will report annually to Parliament regarding allocations for research projects and expenditure.
“The recent Owen Inquiry noted the need for coal-fired power to meet the State’s base-load energy requirements beyond 2013 that is why clean coal technology is so important – we need to make our energy sources as clean and green as possible.”
In addition to the NSW $100 million Clean Coal Fund the Iemma Government has also committed $22m to two clean coal projects signalling its commitment to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The first pilot capture plant, at Lake Munmorah on the Central Coast, will open early next month.
“While renewable energy sources will play an increasingly important role it must be recognised that active support for clean coal technologies, to complement renewable energy plans, is needed if we are to achieve significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions,” Minister Macdonald said.
“The Iemma Government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in NSW, while continuing to maintain a strong and sustainable mining sector.”
Minister Macdonald said the new Clean Coal Council will receive applications for project funding and advise on policies to encourage the development and implementation of clean coal technologies.
“The Council will also make recommendations concerning opportunities for NSW involvement in interstate, national and international research projects,” Macdonald said.
There will be five NSW government agency members on the Council and five members jointly nominated by the Australian Coal Association and the NSW Minerals Council.