Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will today launch the Federal Government’s new Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.
The Institute will become a technology hub for ongoing carbon capture and storage research.
Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson told journalists that carbon capture and storage was important for the whole community because its focus is on energy security.
“This is not only smart environmentally, it is also smart economically for Australia; it is also smart for the global community to come together, to pool our resources, to try and make progress sooner rather than later,” Ferguson said.
Buffeted by criticism from green groups over its greenhouse emissions targets and by industry over its carbon trading plans, the Government has been dogged in its pursuit of the Carbon Capture and Storage Institute.
As of late yesterday, the Institute had over 85 global members including 16 national governments and more than 50 companies supporting the initiative.
While that list did not include China or India, Ferguson said Chinese companies were getting on board.
Parsons Brinckerhoff is one of the global member companies involved in the Institute.
The company’s regional director David Stuart-Watt told MINING DAILY the company was proud to be a part of the Australian initiative.
“The Federal Government funded Institute has a plethora of global companies backing it which just goes to prove that Australia is leading the way in terms of carbon capture and storage, environmental management and clean coal,” he said.
“We will be providing specialist engineering and environmental expertise for the development of both pre and post-combustion carbon capture technologies.
“This includes transportation and logistics in respect to geo-sequestration.
“It is clear this Institute is not just about theory – the aim is to have large-scale demonstration projects launched globally before 2010.”
The assumptions about long-term reductions in Australian carbon emissions are predicted on the emergence of cheap and effective clean coal technology.
Environmentalists have said the Government’s focus on clean coal has been at the expense of investment in alternative energy sources.
Phil Freeman from the Australian Conservation Foundation said clean coal had not yet been proven to be helpful.
“Clean coal is a potential solution; its unproven, and still to be tested at scale,” he said.
“So we need to look at it as a bonus, which may come online in 10 or 15 years.”