Australian scientists, academics and industry professionals will collaborate to further improve carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology after the Australian Government announced $25 million for a research project based in Victoria.

Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said this week funding has been made available for the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) which was globally recognised for its work on CCS at its Otway geological storage test facility.

“The grant ensures that this critical research continues for five more years and we expect to see important technological improvements to CCS modelling, monitoring and verification as a result,” Macfarlane said.

“The end goal is the wide scale deployment of an effective system for capturing carbon dioxide and storing it safely underground.

“Given Australia’s reliance on coal-fired electricity and our abundance of fossil fuels, funding this scientific research into CCS is a sensible investment in the nation’s future."

Macfarlane said national energy policy should facilitate the market deployment of all possible options and a commercially viable CCS solution would help secure a prosperous future for Australia.

“Australia has world leading CCS projects underway as well as developing new processes for converting coal mine methane to energy. 

"This funding for the CO2CRC Otway project underlines the Australian government’s support for CCS and low emissions technologies in Australia.”

The Government is finalising its 2015 Energy White Paper which will be the basis for economy-wide reforms.

Macfarlane said Australia has the potential to be an energy and resources superpower but it is important to assure investors that Australia is ‘open for business’ and to have clear and predictable policy settings in place.