Energy Security and Prosperity in Australia — A Roadmap for Carbon Capture & Storage

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

On 15 February, the CO2CRC released “A Roadmap for Carbon Capture and Storage”, including three detailed working paper reports. The Roadmap contains analysis and recommendations for policy makers and industry on much needed efforts to ensure CCS deployment in Australia. The work was authored by the University of Queensland and Gamma Energy Technology, and was overseen by a steering committee comprising the Commonwealth Government, NSW Government, CSIRO, CO2CRC Limited, ACALET and ANLEC R&D.

On CO2 storage, the Roadmap briefly outlines a pathway to ensure the appraisal of prioritised storage basins. The Institute endorses the Roadmap’s focus on two key areas:

  • Prioritisation and then exploration of specific sedimentary basins; and
  • Confirmation of national storage capacity that could be utilised by CCS facilities.

A series of incentives including grants and tax incentives could potentially spur these storage exploration activities. 

The Institute also strongly endorses the Roadmap’s view of the significance of legal and regulatory frameworks for supporting CCS deployment. We note particularly:

  • The Roadmap’s recommendation that legal and regulatory models be harmonised, to ensure a consistency of approach Australia-wide. The Institute strongly supports the need for a consistent approach to regulation, which will provide certainty for operators and help promote investor and public confidence in the technology.
  • The findings of the Institute’s Legal Fellowship report, with regard to the need for greater clarification around the requirements of monitoring regime, which have been highlighted in the Roadmap.  

While Australia’s legal and regulatory frameworks offer some of the most advanced models of CCS-specific regulation in the world, the Institute recognises that further improvements will be necessary. To this end, the Institute endorses the recommendations for further development.

On other aspects, the Roadmap’s working papers allude to the need to consider appropriate policy and commercial arrangements, including general incentives to establish a business case for large scale CCS deployment, as well as methods to address counterparty risk which may inhibit full-chain project development.

The Roadmap will serve as an important focal point for stakeholders advocating for CCS in Australia, and will provide a platform for further work feeding into the Australian Government’s review of climate policy in 2017 and beyond.

Download the Roadmap Report here.

Download the Energy and Climate Report here.

Download the Financial Incentives Report here.

Download the CCS Roadmaps and Projects Report here.