Here is a precise of a piece of mine in today’s Australian
Angus Taylor is trying to bring an erosion of costs to combat alleged climate change through ‘masterful inactivity’ – letting the programs expire. But it will take at least a decade to eliminate the current $5 billion a year impost paid by Australians in the subsidies and regulatory induced costs that are undermining low cost energy supply. Meanwhile, additional spending is being proposed – the latest being a subsidy for poles and wires to support the already subsidised rooftop solar panels.
New fads are constantly emerging, like extracting hydrogen from fossil fuels which, in a familiar refrain, will be a future bonanza if only governments come to the party with funding!
Rudd created six separate quangos to foster CSS with the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI) at the program’s heart. Being “member owned”, GCCSI doesn’t publish financial information to inform its Australian donors.
GCCSI shares its agenda with the CO2CRC, Chaired by Martin Ferguson, who as the former minister, in 2012 told us the government would be spending $2 billion and getting another $4 billion from industry and we’d have 2-4 carbon sequestration plants built by 2017.
At present, across the world, only two (heavily subsidised) CSS projects involve coal: SaskPower’s Boundary Dam and Petra Nova in Texas. Kemper’s CSS generator in Mississippi was abandoned 2 years ago – its original cost of $2.4 billion reached $7.5 billion.
CCS plant costs three times as much as conventional coal plants. This was left unsaid in a recent article by David Byers, the head of CO2CRC, which puts the costs of a CCS coal plant at $150-250 per MWh, compared with its estimate of $65 per MWh for a conventional plant.
Buried carbon dioxide is unlikely to be permanently interred, even if CO2 were to have adverse human impacts. After all, carbon for billions of years has been alternatively sequestered in the earth by plant photosynthesis and released by naturally induced surface fissures.
Meanwhile, Government funding of R&D and regulatory ‘nudging’ of energy developments diverts entrepreneurial activities away from better meeting new consumer-focused commercial needs.