Clean Coal, Coal

Melbourne – A new report by energy and carbon advisory firm RepuTex reveals based on findings of a study that “clean coal” technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) are still at least a decade away from commercialisation and will not mature until 2030.

The report by RepuTex also notes that renewable energy is the cheapest source of “reliable” generation in Australia and according to the firm, their findings hold the potential of re-shaping the thinking on the role of renewable energy in providing affordable, clean, and reliable energy supply in Australia as well as across the world.

The report stresses that for Australia to meet with its 2030 emissions reduction target, renewable energy is the likely way to go and the delay in “clean coal” technology maturation means that it will not able to help the country meet with the targets.

RepuTex notes that advancements in the cost of energy storage technology alongside the significant rises in the domestic gas price have now made renewable energy options such as wind and solar – with storage – competitive with gas in providing system reliability in the form of instantaneous peaking or load-following generation. This effectively means that new renewable facilities, with storage, are the least cost source of firm power, and able to provide energy supply even if the sun is not shining, or the wind not blowing.

As far as “clean coal” technologies are concerned, the report notes that “clean coal” technology is not among the cheapest. The report notes that four groups of measures have potential to deliver the vast majority of the power sector’s emissions reductions by 2030, including distributed generation, the closure of emissions intensive generators, improving the greenhouse gas intensity of existing fossil fuel plants, and investing in renewables and energy storage.

The study is expected to provide a new reference point for the cost of emissions reductions, and energy storage technologies, as policymakers seek to solve the “energy trilemma” of providing affordable and reliable energy supply, while meeting Australia’s 2030 emissions target.


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