Expanded scope to boost ARENA’s vital role

Image Credit: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
Media Release

CO2CRC welcomes the federal government’s introduction of new regulations to expand the remit of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to include a wider range of clean energy technologies, including priorities set out in the Technology Investment Roadmap.

The regulations now mean that ARENA can provide financial support to renewable and non-renewable low emission technologies.

“The new regulations follow through on an earlier commitment by the Morrison Government to position ARENA to take a key role in driving down the cost of deploying the priority low-emission technologies identified in the Annual Low Emissions Technology Statements (LETS). This includes clean hydrogen (hydrogen whether produced using renewable energy or fossil fuels combined with carbon capture and storage) and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS),” said David Byers, Chief Executive of CO2CRC.

“It is great to see the Government’s continued funding commitment through the Federal Budget and now expansion of the role of ARENA to support the widest range of low emissions technologies across all industry. This will encourage the development, application and scaling up of technologies that can strengthen industry and create jobs while reducing CO2 emissions,” he said.

In 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its Energy Technology Perspectives 2020 analysis. One of its key findings was that globally, there had been an overwhelming focus on the power sector which is responsible for just 38% of emissions. It emphasised the importance of addressing the other 62% of emissions and called for a major roll-out of clean energy technologies such as CCUS, which will have a multi-faceted role as a crucial technology.

“The value of CCUS is its versatility as a technology. Its applications extend from natural gas processing and power generation to steel and cement production where emissions are hard to abate due to inherent process emissions and high temperature heat requirements. Producing clean hydrogen from fossil fuels paired with CCS also offers the most cost-effective, reliable and flexible pathway to large-scale hydrogen production. With around two-thirds of emissions in Australia coming from outside the power generation sector, technologies like CCUS with broad application across the economy, are vital to achieving long-term emissions reduction goals while maintaining Australia’s economic resilience.

“Australia is well positioned to be at the forefront of the global scale-up of CCUS technologies. It has ready access to the latest CCUS technologies and expertise, some of the world’s best deep sedimentary basins in which to store carbon dioxide, an internationally recognised resources industry, and globally renowned researchers. CO2CRC, Australia’s leading CCUS research organisation, operates the Otway International Test Centre in south west Victoria, where it has safely and securely stored and monitored carbon dioxide in a variety of rock formations for more than a decade” he said.