The International Energy Agency forecasts a 56 per cent increase in fossil fuel use over the next 25 years, even with significant uptake of renewables. Throughout the developing world the use of coal in electricity generation coal will remain cost-effective.
For carbon capture and storage to be a widely deployed carbon reduction solution, and to have the support of the community, it is essential that it be reliable – reliable in safely storing CO2 over the long-term. Within a number of energy applications CCS must also be cost effective against a suite of renewable technologies which are becoming cheaper each year. To meet these reliability and cost-reduction goals, and to provide research support to flagship CCS projects within Australia, the Australian Government’s Education Investment Fund provided CO2CRC with $51.6 million to distribute on a competitive tender basis among CCS leaders. The funding is being used to establish a national network of CCS research assets across all phases of the CCS chain.
The project, known as CCSNET, has been designed to support the CarbonNet Project, which is investigating the potential for a commercial-scale carbon capture and storage network. CarbonNet, which is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments, aims to bring together multiple CO2 capture projects in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, transport CO2 via a shared pipeline and inject it into deep underground, offshore storage sites in Bass Strait.
CCSNET is a collaborative network of research infrastructure comprising laboratory upgrades and new plant and equipment located at universities and national research centres in Victoria, the ACT and South Australia. Marine monitoring infrastructure is also located offshore in Gippsland, Victoria.
CCSNET will build on existing research and development facilities at the CO2CRC Otway Research Facility and enhance its global profile as one of the premier subsurface laboratories for carbon capture and storage in the world. CCSNET will also make an important contribution to accelerating capture field trials in the Latrobe Valley.
The goal of CCSNET is to deliver the infrastructure network that produces the technologies which will drive down costs and make carbon capture and storage a price-competitive carbon reduction technology.