Australia to allow CCS to be given carbon credits as government continues to push industry
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Combustion Industry News Editor
The government of Australia has set a rule allowing for carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from industrial processes to be given carbon credits, with the aim of encouraging more CCS projects to be built around the country. Gas and coal are Australia’s second and third largest exports, and CCS is seen as a means of prolonging their use around the world while Australia shifts to production of low-/zero-carbon fuels/vectors such as green hydrogen and ammonia. Each tonne of CO2 captured and stored or used will now earn an Australian carbon credit unit (ACCU), which can then be auctioned to the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, or sold on the private market. (Prices for an ACCU were around AUD$26 (US$18.9/€16.3) in September, far below the equivalent under the EU Emissions Trading System.) Gas producer Santos has already declared that it will register its Moomba CCS project for ACCUs, and other companies are likely to register their own projects. Meanwhile, Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, founder of Fortescue Metals Group (which last week announced a 2040 net-zero target, including Scope 3 emissions), has criticised carbon capture and storage as a technology, saying that CCS projects have failed “19 times out of 20”. He was speaking in response to another announcement by the Australian government in that it would invest AUD$250 million (US$182 million/€157 million) to further CCS, including in identifying storage sites and in supporting research, development and commercialisation. Mr Forrest has set up the Green Hydrogen Organisation with former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to further green hydrogen production and use.