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Retrofitting carbon capture and storage to coal cheaper than solar

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Using a black coal power plant retrofitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) can be cheaper per megawatt hour than with solar PV a new study by CO2CRC and Gamma Energy Technology has found. The report, Retrofitting CCS to Coal: Enhancing Australia’s Energy Security, analyses the options for retrofitting brown and black coal fired power stations in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The adjunct report to the Australian Power Generation Technology report of 2015, found the levelised cost of electricity on a black coal power plant retrofit with CCS to be $103 to $154MWh, with utility 1 PV axis tracking at a range of $95 to $121MWh.  A brown coal plant with CCS is cost-competitive at $122 – $164MWh.

Tania Constable, CEO of CO2CRC said, “Not only is CCS cost competitive in Australia, but the technology captures almost 90 percent of carbon dioxide and is available 24/7 without interruption.”

The report shows the conservative cost of retrofitting in Australia is $2.45b for a single 500MWe boiler to as little as $1.48b. CCS retrofit is suitable for some coal plants and regions but not all.

“The advantage of CCS is that it utilises existing infrastructure, resources that we have in abundance, and maintains high value jobs without compromising emissions targets or energy security,” Ms Constable said.

The retrofit report will form part of CO2CRC’s submission to the Finkel review. CO2CRC is calling for a fair playing field in both policy and incentives for low emissions technologies. CO2CRC is specifically seeking changes to see the CEFC prohibition on CCS lifted, inclusion of CCS in ARENA’s mandate, and the Renewable Energy Target amended to include all low emissions technology solutions including CCS.

View the Retrofitting CCS to Coal: Enhancing Australia’s Energy Security report.

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To discuss the report with Tania Constable, CO2CRC’s CEO, please contact:

Robert Hilkes, CO2CRC media, 0413 338 144