About carbon capture and storage
Carbon capture and storage (CCS), also known as carbon dioxide geosequestration, is a way of reducing the contribution of fossil fuel emissions to global warming.
Burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere adding to the potential for climate change.
The CCS process is based on capturing carbon dioxide from stationary emission sources such as power stations, industrial facilities, or natural gas production and injecting it deep underground as a dense fluid into geological formations, preventing it from entering the atmosphere.
One of the most critical factors in geological storage is identifying rocks with suitable pore volumes for storage and cap rocks to trap the stored CO2.
CCS is one of many options the Australian Government is pursuing to help reduce domestic and global GHG emissions. In addition, the Australian Government is committed to developing these technologies in the domestic and international spheres.
How is RET involved?
The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET) is responsible for:
- Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships program
- The Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships program is designed to accelerate the development and demonstration of CCS technologies.
- International engagement
- Australia is an active member of a number of multilateral forums for advancing CCS technologies, and works in collaboration with key bilateral partners through research and development partnerships and high-level policy dialogue.
- Australia's offshore greenhouse gas storage legislation is the regulatory framework that guides the CCS projects that have been proposed to permanently store CO2 in Australia's offshore sedimentary basins.
- National Low Emissions Coal Initiative
- The Australian Government established the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative (NLECI) to accelerate the use of low emission coal technologies in Australia, cut greenhouse gas emissions and secure the economic future of the Australian coal industry. The initiative is supported by the National Carbon Capture and Storage (NCCS) Council and the Carbon Storage Taskforce.
- Pre-competitive geological storage data acquisition
- Identifying suitable geological sites for CO2 storage is a prerequisite for large scale demonstration and deployment of CCS technologies in Australia. This is a focus of the National CO2 Infrastructure Plan and the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative (NLECI).
- Carbon capture and storage acreage release
- Offshore acreage release enables prospective GHG storage operators to obtain the necessary injection and storage property rights and provides the investment certainty needed to develop commercial storage operations.
National CCS Week events
The first National CCS Week was held from 28 November to 3 December 2010. It covered various CCS-based events around Australia and provided a focus for CCS as an essential part of the global GHG mitigation portfolio. The CCS week was a major opportunity for global CCS practitioners to debate, connect and exchange information.
The second National CCS Week was held 21–26 October 2012. A major event during the week was the CCS Conference, 21–23 October, to raise awareness amongst key influencers and the broader Australian community on the real progress on CCS projects in Australia and around the world.
For more information about carbon capture and storage in Australia, the research being conducted and the first large-scale storage of CO2, follow the above links.