CCS in Australia

CCS in Australia


Australia is a country rich in natural resources with significant petroleum, natural gas and coal reserves. It is also one of only three countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that is a significant net energy exporter. While energy commodities are a significant source of export earnings for Australia, its energy consumption continues to increase.

In 2010, Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory total was 560,773.28 gigatonnes, made up of energy, industrial processes, agriculture, waste and land use (land-use change and forestry).

Figure 1: CO2 Emissions by Sector in 2010. Source: National Greenhouse Accounts 2010, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

Energy profile

Net energy exports accounted for 68 per cent of Australia’s energy production in 2008-09. Australia is also the ninth largest energy producer, accounting for 2.4 per cent of world energy production. According to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, Australia is well placed to continue its role as an important supplier of world energy needs, while maintaining domestic energy supply.

Figure 2: Australian Energy Production. Source: Australian Energy Statistics, ABARES

There has been a long-term decline in the energy intensity of the Australian economy. This is attributed to improvements to energy efficiency through technological improvements and fuel switching and the growth of less energy intensive sectors such as commercial and services sectors relative to more energy intensive sectors such as manufacturing. Government policies (national and state/territory level) have also contributed to the implementation of new technologies that improve energy efficiency.

In 2009-10 Australia’s total final energy consumption was 3703 petajoules with the transport sector making up 38 per cent of total consumption (Figure 3). This figure largely reflects an increase in the fuels used in the air transport sector.

Figure 3: Australia’s Energy Consumption by Sector. Source: Energy Update 2011, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Policy environment

Australia has demonstrated its support for CCS through a number of initiatives including:

Status of CCS

A number of CCS projects (commercial, demonstration and R&D) are underway in Australia. These include:

A list of all projects in Australia is available from the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC).

Members of the Institute

The Institute has over 70 Australian-based Members, representing a cross section of government (federal and state/territory), industry and academia. Members active in the Australian CCS space include:

Global CCS Institute activities in Australia

A key factor in the uptake of CCS worldwide is the ability to use the knowledge that is currently being developed to accelerate new and existing projects at the required scale. To demonstrate its support of CCS in Australia, the Institute has invested a total of approximately $6 million towards:

  • the CSIRO for a body of research quantifying the potential impact of CO2 capture technology on air quality
  • CarbonNet for:
    • studies to develop the business model and commercial structure for a hub concept; and
    • development of a national framework for measuring, monitoring and verification programs.
  • WorleyParsons for a study looking at the impacts of post-combustion capture deployment on an existing sub-critical pulverised fuel power plant. This study, which is used to demonstrate a methodology for independently validating a plant’s performance, will be carried out for the Loy Yang A power station in Victoria;.
  • the South West Hub Project, towards a feasibility study that articulates a business case for CCS, as well as high level execution plans for CO2 transport and storage; and
  • the Callide Oxyfuel Project, to facilitate site selection activities in the Northern Denison Trough and other locations in South East Queensland.