Sunday, September 6, 2009

The planet-saver that's still just a pipe dream

Carbon capture and storage is expensive, risky and may not work, writes Paddy Manning.

September 7, 2009 : THERE may be a few forced smiles when Martin Ferguson dishes out $2.4 billion in funding for a handful of "flagship" carbon capture and storage projects (CCS), intended to clean up carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power stations.

As the Energy and Resources Minister knows, these CCS projects have taken one helluva time to get up and running - and it will be a long while yet before they make any significant contribution to Australia's CO2 emission reductions.

For at least a decade, the coal industry has promoted a range of clean coal technologies, including CCS, as an alternative to renewable energy. But as necessary emission reduction trajectories get deeper and steeper, the industry has been tardy - stubborn, even - about paying for it.

Instead the public will foot most of the bill for CCS, and will wear the liability if it goes wrong. More >>>