Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Russel Northe’s announcement of an additional $5 million to Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) has been welcomed and will go straight into world-leading research in carbon dioxide storage at the Otway site.
Following an examination of the international progress of carbon capture and storage (CCS) at Australia’s biennial National CCS Conference, CO2CRC CEO Dr Richard Aldous said that the Victorian Government has recognised the crucial role that technology has to play in tackling climate change.
“In a world in which demand for fossil fuels is projected to continue for many decades, we must embrace all technologies with real potential to limit, or prevent, carbon emissions from fossil fuel use. CCS is a vital component in that portfolio of technologies,” Dr Aldous said.
“The Victorian Government’s new funding confirms the next stage of the CO2CRC Otway Project research program will go ahead, and it secures the ongoing use of Victoria’s brown coal.”
According to Dr Aldous, the Otway Project has shown that CO2 storage is a safe, credible and long-term option for mitigating emissions that would otherwise be allowed to escape into the atmosphere.
At present, CCS is the only available method of making significant cuts to emissions from fossil fuel-powered energy.
Dr Aldous said that the funding will go toward new experiments to take place at the Otway site.
“Otway offers one of the most comprehensive CO2 monitoring programs of its type in the world, providing technical information on geosequestration processes, technologies and monitoring, as well as verification schemes,” he said.
During the past 10 years, the Otway Project has injected and stored more than 60,000 tonnes of CO2 in a depleted gas reservoir deep underground near Warrnambool in Victoria. In the lead up to the National CCS Conference, Commonwealth Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane launched Geologically Storing Carbon: Learning from the Otway Project Experience.