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‘Clean coal’ buries taxpayers’ money but no carbon

By The Australian Institute

The Australian Government has put $1.3 billion of taxpayers’ money towards Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) initiatives since 2003, with zero large scale operational projects to show for it, according to a new report from The Australia Institute.

The report, Money for nothing, found that despite years of generous taxpayer funding, there are no large-scale CCS projects operating in Australia and no planned coal CCS projects at any stage of development.

Several proposed coal plants with CCS received federal grants, but all have since been cancelled or liquidated.

“After spending more than one billion dollars of taxpayers’ money on various carbon capture and storage initiatives, the Australian Government has absolutely nothing to show for it,” said Rod Campbell, Director of Research at The Australia Institute.

“By proposing to redirect the CEFC funding from renewable energy to ‘invest’ in carbon capture and storage, Minister Frydenberg might as well direct the CEFC to set fire to taxpayers’ money.

“The government talks about coal with carbon capture and storage as if it is a proven technology, when in fact there are zero large scale commercial plants in operation after two decades of industry and government funding.

“It is also unclear how the CEFC could fund carbon capture and storage projects while meeting its clear mandate to provide a return on investment to taxpayers,” Campbell said.

In the recent Federal Budget the government terminated ongoing funding for the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund in 2016-17 and the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships programs in 2018-19.

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