On 17 September 2020, it was revealed that the Federal Government will be investing in new and emerging technologies to support jobs, strengthen the economy and reduce emissions.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, the Hon. Keith Pitt MP, said Australia will be well placed to make full use of its diverse resources under the $1.9 billion investment package in future energy technologies. This includes opportunities for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to reduce emissions and strengthen power generation in Australia, as well as investments in advanced coal technology.
He said the Government’s plan would help deliver clean reliable sources of power utilising Australia’s abundant resources.
“The $1.9 billion investment package recognises the role for a range of technologies in Australia’s energy mix, which will be essential to ensure we have the affordable, reliable power to support industry. It includes a $50 million investment in a Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund,” Minister Pitt said.
“This announcement supports the Coalition Government’s technology-neutral approach to generation technologies. High-efficiency low emissions coal-fired power stations fitted with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can have a role to play in Australia’s energy mix.”
“Using these technologies can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent or more.”
Minister Pitt noted that other countries are successfully using CCS technologies to lower emissions from coal-fired power.
“There are 24 large scale CCS projects in operation or under construction globally and Australia is working to demonstrate the use of CCS technology through a retrofit of the Millmerran coal power station in Queensland through the CTSCo Project,” he said.
“The Coalition Government has also provided funding for indigenous-owned Shine Energy Pty Ltd’s feasibility study for a proposed 1GW high efficiency, low emissions coal plant at Collinsville in Queensland.”
The Government’s $1.9 billion investment package in future technologies includes:
- Supporting businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and transport sectors to adopt technologies that increase productivity and reduce emissions through a new $95.4 million Technology Co-Investment Fund that was recommended by the King Review;
- Piloting carbon capture projects that will dramatically help cut emissions with a $50 million investment in the Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund;
- Helping businesses and regional communities take advantage of opportunities offered by hydrogen, electric, and bio-fuelled vehicles with a new $74.5 million Future Fuels Fund;
- Setting up a hydrogen export hub worth $70.2 million to scale-up demand and take advantage of the advancements in this low emissions, high powered source of energy;
- Backing new microgrids in regional and remote communities to deliver affordable, reliable power with $67 million;
- Contributing $52.2 million to increase the energy productivity of homes and businesses, including a sector-specific grant program for hotels supporting equipment and facilities upgrades;
- Slashing the time taken to develop new Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) methods from 24 months or more to less than 12 months, involving industry in a co-design process and implementing other recommendations from the King Review into the ERF, worth $24.6 million; and
- Boosting energy and emissions data and cyber-security reporting and supporting the delivery of future Low Emissions Technology Statements under the Technology Investment Roadmap process, as well as developing an offshore clean energy project development framework, together worth $40.2 million.