Carbon capture utilisation and storage to bring ‘significant’ benefits to Australia
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) has thrown support behind the Climate Change Authority’s focus on carbon capture technology, after the importance of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) to reaching net-zero was highlighted in CCA’s new report, urging for more support to back the technology.
APPEA recently highlighted that a new Climate Change Authority’s policy paper, titled Reduce, remove and store: The role of carbon sequestration in accelerating Australia’s decarbonisation, underscored “the significant economic and environmental benefits” of CCUS for Australia.
The CCA released this report following estimates from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that around 6 billion tonnes of CO2 would have to be removed per year by 2050 globally, and about 14 billion tonnes per year by 2100 for a 50 per cent chance of limiting global warming to below 1.5°C.
The Climate Change Authority’s paper contains 23 policy insights as part of a deep dive designed to help policymakers, emitters and markets better understand how sequestration can be scaled up, accelerated and used responsibly.
The CCA commissioned the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to report on Australia’s sequestration potential to be able to base its advice to the government on the role of carbon sequestration in supporting increasingly ambitious emissions reduction targets.
The CCA partnered with the Clean Energy Regulator to co-fund the CSIRO technical report and the CSIRO-led technology workshops. The paper considers a range of carbon sequestration approaches, including nature-based solutions. However, it emphasises that the “government should prioritise the development of long-lived geological and mineral storage technologies,” primarily CCUS, as explained by APPEA.
Samantha McCulloch, APPEA Chief Executive, remarked: “Carbon capture is widely recognised as critical to protecting the environment and getting to net-zero while creating new economic opportunities. The oil and gas industry supports the CCA’s calls for greater direction and support for this technology.”
According to McCulloch, the CCUS, which is backed by authorities such as the CSIRO, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is seen as “critical to reaching net-zero. The recent Safeguard Mechanism policy has only strengthened the case for a greater focus on carbon capture to reduce emissions.”
In its recent 2023-24 Federal Budget Submission, the oil and gas industry called for a national CCUS roadmap to provide clear policy direction, progress carbon management hubs and promote Australia as a regional CO2 storage leader.
“Australia has an opportunity to not only accelerate to net-zero but also create a new industry and ride the wave of global momentum for CCUS, with around 300 commercial projects in development. But government leadership is critical,” added McCulloch.
Furthermore, the Climate Change Authority recommends that “governments should explore risk-sharing approaches (e.g. CCS hubs) including opportunities to co-invest in subsurface basin analyses for geological sequestration both on and offshore, and keystone infrastructure for storage and transport.”
As the effective voice of Australia’s oil and gas exploration and production industry, APPEA believes that Australian natural gas provides “the firm dispatchable energy” required to unlock the country’s renewable energy potential.
Earlier this year, APPEA pointed out that investment in new gas supply and emissions reduction measures would put sustained downward pressure on gas prices, help deliver energy security, and fast-track the path to net-zero.
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association sees the gas industry as “pivotal to delivering step-change technologies” such as CCUS and low-carbon hydrogen, which are perceived as “critical” to achieving net-zero, not only in the energy sector but also in hard-to-abate industries where few alternative decarbonisation technologies are available.
“Governments around the world are rapidly increasing their support for CCUS, with the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States a game changer providing significant financial incentives for large-scale deployment of the technology,” concluded McCulloch.