NSW supports CO2 dumps

Just dump it: The Government was using the best technology available in a bid to reduce emissions and research new ways to provide cleaner, greener energy. Clean coal research was identified as one of five key actions in the Government’s statement on innovation released in November last year. That was why the Government would contribute $22 million towards two pilot clean coal projects to reduce greenhouse emissions from power stations in New South Wales. This included a $20 million contribution to a geosequestration project and a freehold land grant valued at $1.9 million for the construction of an ultra clean coal demonstration plant at Cessnock.

Coal pulling power continues: This commitment to clean coal research was part of the Government’s longer-term response to climate change. "We cannot have a climate change policy that does not take into account short-term reliance on fossil fuels," he said. "Coal is the world’s most abundant and widely distributed fossil fuel source. In New South Wales about 90 per cent of our electricity needs are met from coal-fired power stations. Burning coal without adding to global carbon dioxide levels is a major technological challenge that must be addressed".

Tech options to store carbon: A number of technologies could be considered, including the strategy of advancing CO2 capture and storage, advanced pollution control devices, ultra clean coal as a turbine fuel, coal gasification and advanced coal-fired power stations including super critical generation, and oxy-firing technology.

CO2 dump sites sought: The initial stage of the project would identify potential CO2 storage sites in New South Wales. The second stage would capture and permanently store CO2 inside the geological formations. The total cost of the geosequestration project would top the $60 million mark. The $20 million contribution from the State Government was to be matched by the coal industry’s Coal 21 Fund, a voluntary fund set up by the coal industry to address greenhouse gas emissions.

Feds not cooperative enough: MacDonald said he had written to the Federal Minister for Resources, Ian McFarlane, asking for the Commonwealth to match the State Government and industry’s financial commitment to the project. But once again the Federal Government refused to provide a real financial commitment by offering only in-kind support to the project.

"Ultra clean coal project": MacDonald said the NSW Government was also supporting the ultra clean coal project that would produce a high-purity, clean coal that can be burnt directly in gas turbines to generate electricity. Ultra clean coal-fired turbines potentially could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the generator by 20 per cent to 30 per cent.

Reference: Eddie Obeid, Member of the Legislative Council, NSW; Ian MacDonald, Minister for Primary Industries, NSW 29 May 2007

Erisk Net, 29/5/2007

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