The Australian Government has announced long-term funding and an expanded focus for investment in emerging technologies that lower emissions from industries such as oil and gas.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed a $1.9 billion investment package in future technologies to lower emissions, back jobs into the future, cut costs for households and improve the reliability of Australia’s energy supply.
The funding will also pave the way for large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS), which the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have identified as a critical technology to achieve the world’s climate goals.
Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said despite the welcome growth in renewable energy, the world remained heavily reliant on oil, coal and natural gas and would continue to demand these fuels for at least the next two decades
“Combined with accelerated deployment of renewables, zero-emissions technologies for hydrocarbon fuels and for industries such as power generation, cement and steel, may well provide the fastest, lowest-cost pathway to meet the world’s emissions reduction targets,” Gallagher said.
“Today, CCS projects store around 40 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide, far short of the more than two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide the IEA forecasts that CCS projects will need to store each year by 2040.”
Gallagher added that Australia needed low-cost abatement to maintain its position as a leading energy exporter and manufacturer of energy-intensive materials, and to enable new industries like hydrogen.
In addition, Santos stated it wanted to be ready to take a final investment decision on its Moomba CCS project by the end of the year, which following the announcement that the Clean Energy Regulator will take over methodology development, the company is confident of making.
“We will need an approved methodology for CCS to be in place before we can take a final investment decision on our Moomba CCS Project because carbon credits are essential to make it stack up economically,” Gallagher explained.
“We are growing production in the Cooper Basin again, and that, combined with the Moomba CCS project, has the potential to make Moomba a vital supplier of cleaner energy for Australia for another 50 years, supporting thousands of skilled, secure, well-paying jobs and decarbonising energy at its source.”
Morrison and the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor also revealed a total funding package of $1.62 billion for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), including guaranteed baseline funding of $1.43 billion over the next 10 years.