RD&D on Coal Use in Australia and the COAL21 Action Plan
DATE: December 2005
Clean Coal Centre of coal Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) in Australia. The aim has been to assess whether these activities are consistent with the COAL21 National Action Plan for securing major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It showed that the proposed pilot and demonstration projects under active consideration are consistent with the objectives of the COAL21 National Action Plan, are supported by appropriate and adequate R&D programmes and there are currently no significant gaps or overlaps at the programme level. There are projects and proposals for work to cover all the important areas of CO2 abatement, from efficiency improvement through to CO2 capture and storage. Australia is therefore well positioned compared with most other countries with respect to its plans. Some pilot projects require defining more closely so that assessments of their value compared with alternatives can be made. There is an awareness of related activities outside Australia, and links are already established or being established with some of these.
Funding mechanisms for Research and Development (R&D) need consideration and possible revision to support the long term nature of the COAL21 programme as, if this issue is not addressed, continuity will be a problem with the conclusion of current financial and participatory technical support commitments. Availability of funding from stakeholder industries to support RD&D varies markedly between the state based regions. Regulation of CO2 storage is an issue that could stall progress towards demonstration if not addressed expeditiously. Good progress is being made in developing a framework, but the question of liabilities may need special attention.