The Commonwealth Government has today announced a $250 million grants program to support the development of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) in Australia. This comes off the back of the announcement yesterday by the NT Government, CSIRO, and gas companies to assess the viability of a new CCUS project in Darwin Harbour.
The Environment Centre NT (ECNT) has expressed its concern over the NT Government’s announcement, citing the dismal track record of CCUS projects in Australia and worldwide.
Today’s announcement from the Commonwealth Government is also concerning to the ECNT.
ECNT energy campaigner Jason Fowler states: “Since 2003 almost $4 billion of public money has already been spent on CCUS with almost nothing to show for it. It is astonishing that the Federal Energy Minister spruiks the fact that Australia has one of the world’s largest CCS projects, when in fact this project has been a dismal failure and may even have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars purchasing offset credits because it couldn’t reach its targets.”
“Minister Taylor cited the International Energy Agency (IEA) report but failed to mention that it clearly states no new gas fields should be developed if climate catastrophe is to be avoided, even with CCUS. The IEA recommendation undermines the Government’s support for new fracking plans in the Beetaloo Basin and the offshore Barossa gas field.”
“Serious doubts surround the technically challenging and expensive CCUS’s feasibility because a high carbon price, of around $100/tonne, is required for the project to be economically viable. The current price of carbon in Australia is around $20/tonne. This presents a real risk of massive taxpayer subsidies being required to deliver a false solution that won’t meet its targets.”
“Instead of being required to pay for emissions offsets, oil and gas companies will now be eligible for federal government funding and once again receive subsidies for cleaning up their own pollution,” says Jason Fowler.
Contact for comment: Jason Fowler 0487 806 385