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Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute

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The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute was announced in September 2008 as a global initiative by the Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and the Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson. Announcing that the Australian government would invest $100 million a year in the institute, Rudd stated that a global plan on climate change "must deal with carbon capture and storage. Unless we deal with coal we are not dealing with a core part of the challenge." Rudd claimed that CCS had the potential to capture nine billion tonnes of carbon by 2050 which would represent approximately 20 per cent of the total reduction required to limit atmospheric greenhouse gas levels at 450 parts per million. "We have got to crack the whip and make it happen," Rudd stated.[1] [2]

In April 2009, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that the former President of the World Bank, James D. Wolfensohn, had been appointed as Chair of the International Advisory Panel of the Institute. The first meeting of the panel is scheduled for late April 2009.[3]

In the 2010 Australian federal election campaign, the leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott told reporters that the institute was a part of deposed prime minister Kevin Rudd’s "grand Copenhagen plan" and that "frankly if we’re the only country that is backing it and funding it, it’s never going to happen, let’s save the money". In response, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard defended the institute. "I’m not surprised Mr Abbott would pick it for a cut given he has been completely dismissive of the science of climate change". CCS, she said, is "an important new technology for the nation’s future as we combat climate change."[4]

The announcement

In a presentation to a meeting of industry representatives in Canberra, Rudd and Ferguson announced that they would commit $A100 million per annum to the costs of a global institute to develop Carbon Capture and Storage projects. The media statement announced that the institute, which Australia was offering to host, would "aim to accelerate carbon projects through facilitating demonstration projects and identifying and supporting necessary research - including regulatory settings and regulatory frameworks." Rudd and Ferguson announced that the proposed institute would be the subject of discussions with other governments and industry with a view to facilitating the "commercial deployment" of CCS "across the world by the end of the next decade."[5]

They also stated that a bill before the parliament would establish a regulatory framework for CO2 storage under the seabed in Commonwealth waters" and that, once passed, would allow the government "to offer the first carbon storage blocks for commercial development in early 2009."[5]

In his speech announcing the project, Rudd stated that "climate change is a threat for the future. It is a threat also for the future of our coal industry in Australia. Not enough is being done globally on this."[6] Rudd also flagged the intention for the institute to be operational in January 2009.[7]

Rudd outlined four reasons for proposing the institute. They were[8]:

  • "Firstly to make sure that we can facilitate those projects in reality by in part assisting with the organisation and finance for them, ideally through private consortia but leaving open the possibility of public participation as well";
  • "The second is to ensure that we have a dedicated and integrated research capacity. There is so much going on around the world which is not coordinated, it’s time this was brought under a single roof. That is, for Australia to be the go-to place globally for information about how you do carbon capture and storage projects";
  • "Third thing is to make sure that we’re also the go-to place on regulatory and legislative questions ... And around the world the big debate at the moment (inaudible) what sort of regulation and legislation you need for on-shore and off-shore storage to make these projects work."
  • "And finally, communication. To get all the information on where projects are, how they could be financed, what the technology is, what the science is, and what the regulatory information is and how it can be deployed, making sure that is disseminated across the world."

The Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Martin Ferguson, noted that the discussions with the industry prior to the media conference included electricity generators and "key coal industry companies such as Xstrata, BHP and Rio Tinto." Recognising the widespread criticism of CCS by environmental groups, Ferguson sought to enlist some third party legitimacy. Ferguson said that "we also received absolute support from the scientific community, representatives of the environmental non government organisations such as the WWF, the Climate Institute and also key representatives of the labour force working in these activities such as the CFMEU and the AWU."[8]

Reaction

In response to the announcement, Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne, said that "the coal industry should be paying for its own research," she said."The coal industry has made mega profits for many, many generations at the expense of the atmosphere, and now we are all paying for that."[6] In her media release she pointed out the lack of any announcement for major funding for anything but coal. "Where is the $100 million fund to make Australia's world leading solar researchers a global knowledge hub? Where are the half a billion dollar funds to roll out solar thermal power stations, ocean power stations and geothermal demonstration plants? All of these are ready and able to provide vast quantities of base-load power well before a single coal power plant using geosequestration can be built," she said.[9]

The Minerals Council of Australia, the peak mining industry lobby group, welcomed the announcement[10] as did the CSIRO.[11] The Victorian government made a grant of $25,000 to the Latrobe City Council for the development of a business plan to locate the the GCCSI in the Larobe Valley.[12]

Preparing for the Official Launch of the Institute

Following Rudd's announcement, the government's of Norway and the United Kingdom announced their support for the project.[13]Masdar, the energy project of Abu Dhabi, has also agreed to become a founding member of the institute[14], as did The Climate Group[15] Anglo American[16] and Shell International[17]

It was reported in late January 2009 that the institute would be based in Canberra and would be formally launched in February 2009. It was also reported that the institute would be headed by Nick Otter, who had previously worked for the UK power company Alstom Power, with Dayle Seymour as deputy. (Seymour would be on secondment from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries). South Korea has also agreed to support the project. Other supporters include Alstom Power, Mitsubishi, Rio Tinto Services Petroliers Schlumberger, Xstrata and the William J. Clinton Foundation. The Boston Consulting Group has been hired to develop a business plan for the institute.[18]

International Advisory Panel of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute

In April 2009, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced the formation of the International Advisory Panel of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute which he stated would "provide broad strategic guidance to the Institute and work globally to enhance its international reputation and networks." Rudd announced that the former the former President of the World Bank, James D. Wolfensohn, had been appointed as Chair of the International Advisory Panel of the Institute. The first meeting of the panel is scheduled for late April 2009 but the other members of the panel have not been announced.[3]

2010 Grants

In October 2010, the Australian government announced the first round of grants from the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, with two Australian projects to share $4.3 million in funds, but the bulk of money going to projects in the US and Europe. The six grantees were chosen from more than 50 applications, with two projects selected from Australia, two in the US, and two in Europe (Holland and Romania). The Australian grantees included CarbonNet in the Latrobe Valley, which will receive a total of $2.5 million for work on developing a “hub concept” and on a technical framework for the measurement, monitoring and validation of stored CO2. In Queensland, the Callide Oxyfuel Project may receive $1.83 million in funding to support an injection test of CO2 into a potential storage site in various locations in south east Queensland, although terms have not been finalised.[19]

The US project includes research into transporting captured CO2 via existing natural gas pipelines and storing it in saline aquifers, a concept study in Tenaska's Trailblazer Energy Center east of Sweetwater, Texas, which will receive $7.7 million in grant money. The other American project to receive funding is another Tenaska effort, a plan still in its early stages to retrofit with carbon capture technology a coal-fired power plant in Louisiana.[20]

Foundation Members

At the official launch of the GCCSI in April 2009, Rudd stated that the foundation members were:

  • The Government of Australia
  • The Emirate of Abu Dhabi
  • The Government of Canada
  • European Commission
  • The Government of France
  • The Government of Germany
  • The Government of Indonesia
  • The Government of Italy
  • The Government of Japan
  • The Government of the Republic of Korea
  • The Government of Mexico
  • The Government of Netherlands
  • The Government of New Zealand
  • The Government of Norway
  • The Government of Papua New Guinea
  • The Government of South Africa
  • The Government of United Kingdom
  • The Government of United States of America
  • The State Government of New South Wales
  • The State Government of Queensland
  • The State Government of South Australia
  • The State Government of Victoria
  • The State Government of Western Australia

Collaborating Participants

Contact details

Level 2, 64 Allara Street
Canberra ACT 2601
Australia
Email: info AT globalccsinstitute.com
Phone: +61 2 6175 5300
Fax: +61 2 6162 1928
Website: http://www.globalccsinstitute.com/

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. "Rudd's $100m climate institute", Sydney Morning Herald, September 19, 2008.
  2. "Press Conference with the Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Martin Ferguson", Parliament House, Canberra, 19 September 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kevin Rudd, "Appointment of Mr James Wolfensohn to Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute Advisory Panel", Media Release, April 6, 2009.
  4. "Abbott to axe clean-coal funding", Sydney Morning Herald, July 20, 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Global Carbon Capture and Storage Initiative", Joint Media Release with the Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Martin Ferguson, September 19, 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Emma Rodgers, "Rudd unveils $100m clean coal plan", ABC News, September 19, 2008.
  7. "Clean coal research institute proposed in Australia", ABC Radio Australia, September 19, 2008.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Kevin Rudd and Martin Ferguson, "Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute", Press Conference with the Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Martin Ferguson Prime Minister's Courtyard Parliament House, Canberra, September 19, 2008.
  9. Christine Milne, "Rudd keeping coal on life support. Why won't he breathe life into solar?", Media Release, September 19th 2008.
  10. Minerals Council of Australia, "Carbon Capture and Storage Institute – Missing Link in Climate change Strategy", Media Release, September 19, 2008.
  11. CSIRO, "CSIRO welcomes ‘Global Carbon Capture & Storage Institute’ initiative", Media Release, September 19, 2008.
  12. "Brumby Government Backs Victorian Push for Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute", Media Release, October 15, 2008.
  13. Sandra O'Malley, "Norway, UK back carbon capture and storage institute", AAP, September 25, 2008.
  14. "Masdar commits to Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute", Media Release, January 22, 2009.
  15. The Climate Group, "The Climate Group partners on Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute", Media Release, November 27, 2008.
  16. Tshepiso, "Anglo American established as a Founding Member of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute", Africa Investor.com, November 28, 2008.
  17. Shell International Petroleum Company Limited, "Shell leads the way on Global CO2 Capture and Storage Institute", Media Release, November 25, 2008.
  18. Louise Dodson, "CO2 Research Draws Recruits", Australian Financial Review, January 23-26, 2009, page 14. (Sub req'd)
  19. "GREEN DEALS: Cash and capture" Climate Spectator, October 12, 2010.
  20. Jaime Adame, "Tenaska awarded $7.7 million in grant money" Reporter News, Oct. 12, 2010.

External resources

External articles

Australian Government Media Releases about the Institute

General Articles

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