Experts urge CCS leadership
The International Energy Agency (IEA) says Australia should get into carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
IEA chief Dr Fatih Birol has visited Australia for meetings with Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg.
Dr Birol said government support was needed to boost investment in CCS.
“In today's world, no country is an energy island - the technology development across the world, they are not very different from one country to another,” he said.
“In addition to renewable energy efficiency, there is a stronger role to play from CCS.”
The Federal Government is still looking at lifting a ban to allow the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to invest in CCS technology.
CCS critics say the idea only works in theory.
Professor Stuart Haszeldine, a CCS expert at the University of Edinburgh, says it can work.
“The science and technology and engineering is all there but it always falls over at the financing model because countries find that introducing carbon capture and storage in competition with low-cost renewables is very difficult financially,” he said.
“[Australia] has to safeguard its own energy security and part of that is being able to use low-cost fossil fuel with the ability to capture carbon wrapped in part of the package.”
Climate Institute chief John Connor says renewable technology is the key to lowering emissions.
“I'd prefer Australia being a world leader in responsible action in climate action and that's getting the net zero emissions before 2050 [and that] means phasing out our current stack of coal-fired power stations,” he said.
“Carbon capture and storage is going to be important but probably more important actually is helping take carbon out of the atmosphere where it's already at dangerous levels.”