Morrison to link $500 million for new technologies to easing way for carbon capture and storage

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will on Wednesday announce $500 million towards a new $1 billion fund to promote investment in Australian companies to develop low-emissions technologies.

But the government will use the legislation for the fund to try to wedge Labor.

The $500 million will be provided to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, with the legislative package including the expansion of the remit of the CEFC to enable it to invest in carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The CEFC can invest in a broad range of low-emissions technologies, with the only exceptions being nuclear and CCS. The government has previously tried to remove the barrier to the CEFC investing in CCS but has been frustrated by the Senate.

By linking the $500 million to the expansion of the CEFC’s investment remit, the government believes it will put pressure on Labor, which opposed the wider brief for the corporation.

While the government’s legislation would remove the prohibition relating to CCS, there would be no change to the nuclear prohibition.

The government regards CCS, which is controversial and as yet unproven at scale, as a priority technology under its Technology Investment Roadmap.

The proposed fund is the latest in a round of announcements this week as Morrison campaigns on his technology-based energy policy for net-zero by 2050.

Read more: Politics with Michelle Grattan: Scott Morrison has decided electric cars won’t threaten Aussie weekends

But Tuesday’s unveiling of his policy to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles – with $178 million for modest initiatives but no subsidies to assist purchasers – ran into immediate flak, with strong criticisms from experts and the opposition, who said it was totally inadequate.

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean made it clear the Morrison government should be doing a great deal more.

He said he would like to see it directly support electric vehicles so they would be cheaper for families and businesses. A number of taxes and charges could be waived.

The federal government should also invest more heavily in in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, he told the ABC on Tuesday night.

But Kean said the biggest thing the federal government could do was deal with the issue of fuel standards – Australia had some of the worst fuel standards in the world, worse than China or India.

NSW on Wednesday will announce support for the fleet industry to purchase electric vehicles.

At a news conference on Tuesday Morrison was confronted by reporters over his 2019 trenchant attacks on Labor’s electric vehicle policy, which he said would “end the weekend”. Despite the quotes, Morrison denied he had campaigned against EVs at the election.

“I didn’t. That is just a Labor lie. I was against Bill Shorten’s mandate policy, trying to tell people what to do with their lives, what cars they were supposed to drive and where they could drive.”

The proposed “low emissions technology commercialisation fund” would include $500 million from private sector investors.

Morrison says in a statement the fund would back Australian early stage companies to develop new technologies.

Emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor says it would “address a gap in the Australian market, where currently small, complex, technology-focussed start-ups can be considered to be too risky to finance”.

The investments would be in the form of equity, not grants or loans.

Read more: As the world surges ahead on electric vehicle policy, the Morrison government’s new strategy leaves Australia idling in the garage

The latest initiative brings the government’s public investment commitments to low emissions technologies by 2030 to more than $21 billion.

The government will introduce legislation to establish the fund – expected to earn a positive return for taxpayers – in this term of parliament.

The government’s list of example of potential areas for the fund’s investments include:

  • direct air capture of CO₂ and permanent storage underground
  • materials or techniques with the potential to reduce emissions in the production in steel and aluminium
  • soil carbon measurement technologies
  • livestock feed technologies to reduce methane emissions from cattle
  • improvements to solar panels
  • lighter and smaller battery cases
  • software developments to improve the operational efficiency of a variety of low-emissions technologies in all sectors of the economy.

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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November 11, 2021 2:24 pm

Feeding time at the trough!

Curious George
Reply to  markl
November 11, 2021 3:54 pm

Carbon Capture and Storage. It flies almost directly in the face of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Maybe Mr. Morrison should hire a team of lawyers to abolish the Second Law.

Reply to  Curious George
November 12, 2021 5:27 am

If Carbon Capture had ever been successful, I suppose you could invest in it. But when every available example is how the concept fails, “investment” doesn’t appear to be the correct term for any funds directed that way.

Reply to  Curious George
November 12, 2021 6:06 am

Carbon Capture and Storage implies that the stored CO2 would be released some day.
The whole idea is bananas. Volcanic vents, particularly along volcanic cracks near mid-ocean, release many times more CO2 than current production.

All these “carbon” regulations are to control CO2, which is highly likely to have no effect, or at best minor effects, on the climate.

It turns out the Sun appears to be the primary governor of climate. The evidence is the current Grand Solar minimum which is likely to last until 2050. It is a combination of two solar minimums back to back. In the past the temperatures dropped several degrees C for around 60 years. The Maunder Minimum, the first one recorded, occurred during a cold period starting in the early 1300’s. The Maunder lasted from ~1645-1720.

Cheers! I hope you like snow skiing and difficult food production!

John Bell
November 11, 2021 2:37 pm

That is a lot of climate cash for a nation of only 25 million. Crazy waste of money.

Reply to  John Bell
November 11, 2021 9:11 pm

An Australian author wrote a book titled “The Lucky Country” about Australia being a very wealthy country and no thanks to the politicians who so often mismanage the governance of the country.

Ron Long
November 11, 2021 2:54 pm

Removing important plant food (CO2) from the atmosphere while still prohibiting nuclear? Some of that plant food belongs to me and I don’t agree to its removal, or I’ll go nuclear (that’s one step above going postal).

Rud Istvan
November 11, 2021 2:54 pm

Trying to buy green cred has never worked. Solyndra, Ivanpah, and many other US Obummer examples. Won’t work in Australia now. The dollars will be spent, but green results won’t follow.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 11, 2021 3:19 pm

We already have our share of government genuflection to failed green energy projects … geothermal, wave, tide, etc.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 11, 2021 3:44 pm

Extracting 0.04% of the atmosphere is going to take one sodding huge filter, and enormous amounts of pixie dust energy to run the thing.

Reply to  HotScot
November 11, 2021 7:37 pm

If you don’t the world explodes.

November 11, 2021 2:55 pm

Why in the world do we want to capture carbon?

Isn’t that the job of plants and trees?

Reply to  Derg
November 11, 2021 4:19 pm

It is, and they do it for free.

So there’s absolutely no point in impersonating a tree.

(this advice is for anyone out there who might be contemplating a career change as a tree-impersonator)

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Derg
November 11, 2021 4:42 pm

I bet if those trees were unionized, Joe Biden would be defending their sacred right to take in as much CO2 as possible.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Derg
November 11, 2021 4:50 pm

Isn’t that the job of plants and trees?

Not only do they capture ‘carbon’, they provide us with all sorts of nutritious, tasty goodies! Those that we can’t eat are usually eaten by animals to give us even more nutritious and tasty goodies.

It’s almost as if that was their entire purpose…

Reply to  Derg
November 11, 2021 9:09 pm

Why capture “Carbon (C)” when trying to reduce “Carbon Dioxide (CO2)”?

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Derg
November 12, 2021 2:24 am

It absolutely is, but, someone/something has got to feed them if they’re gonna do any real sort of job.
Feeding Water and Carbon Oxide alone simply won’t cut it

some people‘ (they were Dutch as I recall) do know what the craic is and have put together a little shopping list – see attached. (= what I meant to add to a post from a coupla days ago but forgot)
None of that stuff is hard to come by, anywhere you find a dark or black coloured rock, you’ve found it all
Where you find red, orange, yellow or white dust or soil, you haven’t found any of those things – apart from Iron(##) maybe

## It does leave one wondering why so many folks in this world are now anaemic doncha think? And why all our immune systems are, to the greater extent, switched off.

Screenshot_2020-09-22 4 2 Function Week 4 Nutrient Limited Production Sustainable Food Security Crop Production edX(1).png
November 11, 2021 3:17 pm

One positive is that I will not have to subsidies the virtue seeking EV crowd’s purchase of electric cars. They are very expensive and in an Australian context only a suburban bling for people who can readily afford one without a subsidy.

I have a friend, an extremely wealthy retired heart surgeon, who spends considerable time on this planet tracking down opportunities to charge his EV for free, subsidised storage batteries for his home, etc. … a bit obsessive about it.

I have no interest in subsidising people who can easily afford suburban bling without my help.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Streetcred
November 11, 2021 3:24 pm

They are very expensive and in an Australian context only a suburban bling for people who can readily afford one without a subsidy.

And mostly as a second car, ie for families who can afford two cars.

Basically for rich suburbanites, the latte-drinking classes only.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Streetcred
November 11, 2021 4:10 pm

In an Australian context 86% of the population live in cities, so EVs would be suburban bling suitable for the overwhelming majority of the population.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Izaak Walton
November 11, 2021 4:42 pm

The overwhelming majority of Australians don’t have that kind of money to waste on a second car. Most Australians will travel long distances at least once a year, and often many times.

A significant fraction of Australians own 4wd vehicles, and many use them off road. An EV is a commuting car at best, not a real vehicle for Australian conditions: long distances, towing stuff, off-road, floods, and very hot weather (need a/c which drastically shortens the range of EVs).

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 11, 2021 5:03 pm

The average price of a new car in Australia is 40000. So again a considerable fraction of the population could afford a new electric car. Plus of course electric vehicles are rapidly coming down in price thanks to good old supply and demand and the total cost of ownership is less than for a petrol car.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
November 11, 2021 5:55 pm

EV sales were just over 7000 in 2020 on total car sales of 1 million … that is 0.7%. They are truely making a massive impact 🙂

By the way the top 2 largest sellers were all Diesel SUVs
Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger
Then came three petrol models
Toyota RAV4, Toyota corolla, Mazda CX5

There are currently less than 40,000 EV’s still registered in the entire country.

32% of Australians who have purchased an EV have switched back to Petrol the US average is 20% and worldwide 18%.

Wake me when any of that changes

Dave Andrews
Reply to  LdB
November 12, 2021 8:38 am

And according to the IEA there were only 10.2m EVs in the world at the end of 2020 compared to around 1.4 billion ICE cars. Whilst EV numbers will grow the IEA calculates thatthere will still only be c. 72m by 2040 ie still a drop in the ocean.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
November 11, 2021 7:23 pm

It amuses me whenever I read or hear that products Greens promote are coming down in price.

Meaning far too expensive to start with?

So don’t expect consumers to pay premium prices, we will stick to ICEV and would prefer to have coal and gas fired power station generators and the cheap and reliable electricity supply we had before the ridiculous transition to so called renewable, unreliable, intermittent supply, energy sources.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
November 12, 2021 2:42 am

When the subsidies are removed and the Chinese increase the price of batteries (which they are doing now) the cost will soon plateaux and remain above ICE vehicles.

And that’s not including all of the heavier transport such as vans, buses, trucks and anything capable of hauling a trailer or caravan.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Rusty
November 12, 2021 8:47 am

Don’t forget all the extra mining that’s required to provide the up to 6 times more minerals needed to build an EV compared to an ICEV.

According to the IEA it takes on average 16 years to develop a mine from outset to full production.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 11, 2021 7:19 pm

At this time the cheapest EV for sale in Australia is the very small China made MG ZS for A$40,990 plus on road costs and recharging equipment.

The same body model MG ZS ICEV is listed at A$24,990 plus on road costs.

The A$16,000 plus price difference would pay for a lot of petrol/gasoline and vehicle servicing before the owner reached break even point and started to save on running costs. And now being discussed tax on EV to replace fuel tax that pays for roads will add to the EV running cost.

Moving up in vehicle size and range to the Tesla Model 3 and the price here is A$59,990 (standard range battery pack). A Toyota Camry sedan ICEV price is A$30,990 plus on road costs which also apply to the Tesla of course and then plus recharging equipment.

The Australian vehicle market in major cities and provincial cities favours affordable EV models but so far EV are priced well above equivalent ICEV. For country people and city people who regularly drive on country roads and highways EV range is not adequate and recharging inconveniences would be a point of frustration for long distance driving.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Dennis
November 11, 2021 11:36 pm

$40k is only $10k less than I paid for my new diesel land cruiser, admittedly the cheapest. It can do 1600km on one tank, carry a ton, and 5 people, pull 2.5 tons, all in great comfort and a surprising lack of loss of range. It can also go great guns on dirt & gravel roads, and better off-road completely. After 9 years and well over 100k km the engine looks and runs like new, and has the same economical performance.

I doubt EVs will ever catch up.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
November 11, 2021 5:37 pm

Nobody stops you from buying EVs; the problem is you want the people who can’t afford to buy EVs to subsidise the ones who already can.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Lrp
November 11, 2021 8:33 pm

Where exactly did I say that I wanted any subsidies for EVs? All I said was that over 85% of Australia’s population live in cities and that the average price of a new car in Australia was about $40000. That price is also coming down thanks to the usual operation of the free market working to reducing prices by improving efficiencies and driving down costs.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
November 11, 2021 5:48 pm

Izaak, the urban sprawl of Aussie cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, even Adelaide & Perth means it’s nothing to take an hour or more to get from one suburb to another.

With air conditioning dialed up to 11 all the way.

I do agree though that EVs are entirely suitable for inner-city dwellers who have a <10-minute commute to work, a social circle of the same dimensions, and who rarely drive outside their bailiwick to experience the awesome but challenging and often dangerous Australian bushlands.

Reply to  Mr.
November 11, 2021 7:25 pm

High salary individuals and those with company supplied cars, not your average Australian.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Mr.
November 11, 2021 8:36 pm

The urban sprawl of most cities means the quickest and cheapest way to get around would be by an e-bike. I am willing to bet that I could get almost anywhere in Sydney quicker on an ebike during rush hour than I could in a petrol driven car. And the cost would be almost an order of magnitude cheaper, leaving me plenty of money to rent a 4×4 if I wanted to experience the outback on holiday.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
November 11, 2021 9:40 pm

LOL, do you know what’s involved in fitout / preparation of a fourby for a fair dinkum outback trek Izaak?

Tyres / spares, long-range fuel tank, winch, racks, recovery gear, extra battery, UHF / VHS, chainsaw, water, etc etc etc.

The hire fleets don’t supply these kinds of rigs.

And most importantly –

Reply to  Izaak Walton
November 12, 2021 2:01 am

Go ahead. Just don’t force your stupidity on everyone else!

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Izaak Walton
November 12, 2021 2:48 pm

G’Day Izaak,

Will give you a quick rundown on what happens to the unprepared in central Australia.

Zig Zag Wanderer
November 11, 2021 3:28 pm

It appears that Extinction Rebellion really are full of sh!t, and are dumping it on the doorsteps of government ministers who apparently aren’t doing enough of what ER want:

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 11, 2021 11:38 pm

Apparently now they are letting down the tyres off any SUVs they find in Glasgow. One doctor had his land rover disabled by these idiots, putting patients at risk. They are truly evil.

November 11, 2021 3:36 pm

ScoMo is in danger of blowing it. Every time someone caves in to this insanity, they get punished at the ballot box (and we still have those, although there is a questionmark about who wrote the software that totals the results.)
Best solution is to build what was invented here in Australia by CSIRO – USC aka HELE power generation. 15% less CO2 (if that is something to worry about), some water vapour.

Reply to  Martin Clark
November 11, 2021 7:26 pm

When you read the complete policy, Future Fuels, the big picture is far more enlightening than the cherry picking by media and opposition MPs.

Peter K
November 11, 2021 3:39 pm

“Carbon Capture” is the latest snake oil being sold by the people with their nose in the trough.

Reply to  Peter K
November 11, 2021 5:15 pm


November 11, 2021 3:39 pm

There is now a new easier way to separate CO2 (and CH4) out of our air!

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  UV Meter
November 11, 2021 4:45 pm

Ha, ha!

Or you could just plant a couple of trees. Unfortunately there’s no subsidy farming in that.

Forrest Gardener
November 11, 2021 3:44 pm

I was going to ask who wrote this carp, but then the byline tells readers everything they need to know.

Reprinted from the Conversation. Written by Michelle Grattan. That’s like tuning in to Tokyo Rose during WWII.

Just one question. Why republish it here?

Reply to  Forrest Gardener
November 11, 2021 4:25 pm

The more interesting question is how are they planning to get Michelle back into her crypt before sundown?

Patrick MJD
November 11, 2021 3:46 pm

More virtual signalling in the run up to a federal election in the first half of 2022.

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  Patrick MJD
November 11, 2021 3:55 pm

Yes and bear in mind that this article was written by an enemy of the government.

Tom Abbott
November 11, 2021 4:16 pm

All of this is going to look so dumb in coming years.

A comedy of errors, that’s not funny at all.

Moe, Larry and Curly must be running the governments of the West.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
November 11, 2021 4:36 pm

In the US that would be Joe, Kamala and Bernie, and they make Moe, Larry and Curly look competent.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  RicDre
November 11, 2021 4:47 pm

You’re right, they do.

November 11, 2021 4:33 pm

The government regards CCS, which is controversial and as yet unproven at scale …

Wind and Solar are also unproven at scale but they don’t seem to have a problem with them.

Gunga Din
November 11, 2021 5:54 pm

What’s wrong with capturing and storing “carbon” the way we’ve always done it?
Grow food. Eat food. Release what’s left of the food after our bodies are done with it so that more food grows etc.
(Cooking the food is an added bonus.)

November 11, 2021 6:20 pm

Noooooooooooo! CC&S has already shown to be a boondoggle in the same ilk as Flannery’s geothermal power that was almost guaranteed! That was >$90 Million of hard-earned taxpayers’ $$ down the gurgler – and that doesn’t include the $$s lost by gullible invetsors in the scam

November 11, 2021 6:23 pm

Can we please do a cost/benefit analysis of all previous CEFC decisions.
The CEFC is bureaucracy $$ trough out of control and so open to unhealthy influence/corruption.

Thomas Gasloli
November 11, 2021 6:47 pm

Because it is easier to waste other-people’s-money on a boondoggle than to get a spine and tell the climate hysterics to go pound sand.

Ain’t politics a wonderful thing.

November 11, 2021 7:33 pm

We had to buy them off over there so we can buy them off over here.

Because I’m too gutless to build modular nuclear power stations.” – Scomo

Reply to  WXcycles
November 11, 2021 7:46 pm

At this time and since legislation supported on both sides to ban nuclear power in Australia, one exception being the Sydney, Lucas heights, reactor producing radio isotopes since 1950s, the present Federal Government cannot proceed with modular nuclear generators and the present Opposition remain opposed to nuclear.

Second problem is that Federal Government does not have the constitutional law power to approve construction or installation, the planning approval is State Government responsibility. And then the Green groups would lodge court appeals and hold up progress for years.

However the Morrison Government has proceeded with inquiries into future nuclear based electricity generators;

Steve Case
November 11, 2021 7:53 pm
  • direct air capture of CO₂ and permanent storage underground


This idea is entirely without merit.

Reply to  Steve Case
November 12, 2021 6:21 am

Dumb indeed. As fast as CO2 could be removed from the atmosphere, nature will put it right back in.

John Shotsky
November 11, 2021 8:42 pm

They say running your fingers up your arm will keep elephants away. Try it. Do you see an elephant? AT least that works.
But spending money on CO2 that may have absolutely nothing to do with human-emitted CO2 is not even that good. CO2 might be rising, but it is not because of what people emit. It is because of what earth emits, which is over 95% of all CO2 emitted each year. If ALL human emitted CO2 were eliminated, nothing would happen. It is miniscule, in the overall CO2 budget. Overall earth CO2 emission can vary by 15% year over year, but climate doesn’t even notice. Why? Because CO2 and climate are not even remotely connected. Read that again.
I repeat, if ALL human emitted CO2 was eliminated, there would be no discernable change in climate. How many trillions of dollars are going to be spent to prove that?

November 11, 2021 9:12 pm

CO2 constitutes about 0.0412% volume of the atmosphere, (equal to 412 ppm) which corresponds to approximately 3,221 GT of CO2.

Since the late 1880s when the industrial revolution began in earnest using fossil fuels, humans have contributed a 48% increase, or an extra 137 ppm of CO2 (275 ppm – 412 ppm), to the atmosphere which corresponds to 1,071 GT of anthropogenic CO2.

One ton of CO2 occupies 556.2m³ of volume at STP.
The land surface area of the Earth is 148 trillion square meters.

Do the math.

No one is going to pump the entire earths atmosphere to filter out 1071 GT of well distributed human released CO2. No one is going to excavate ~ 556 trillion cubic meters of the earth to store the extracted CO2 in the ground.

Storage of human generated CO2 underground is not going to happen in any significant way.

November 11, 2021 9:18 pm

The kool aid flows strong with Matt Kean. Kean is one of the self appointed cardinals of the church of climatastrology. A search of his background achievements indicates he has zero knowledge of chemistry, physics and mathematics. His encyclicals are mostly made up of pixie dust and unicorn farts. The costing of his indulgences will presumably come from the magic pudding that will steer the Australian economy to third world status.

November 11, 2021 9:57 pm

For a paltry $8 or $10 million of that $500 million, I’ll work on the latest in Compressed Unicorn Fart Technology (CUFT: latest energy technology buzzword).

See, here’s the problem. If you want to eliminate fossil fuel use, you need something that’s energy dense. So howz come no one has thought to compress those unicorn farts?

CUFT; it’s safer and easier than hydrogen. It’s the Future!


a happy little debunker
November 12, 2021 1:09 am

My last car purchase was a 1993 Ford Courier and cost me $1000, ten years ago.

If somebody wants to buy me a brand new EV, then cool – I will get rid of the Ute.
Get back to me when that happens…

Peta of Newark
November 12, 2021 2:27 am

Morrison is buying votes. Period.
— there really should be a word for it and a law against it—

Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 12, 2021 10:25 pm

Doesn’t matter which side of politics holds power in government buying votes has always been part of election campaigning.

So legislating against it just won’t happen.

November 12, 2021 2:36 am

Every time politicians hose public money about the grifters smell a chance to make money. Happened with covid when governments aided business and it happens with the eco-train fuelled with plenty of gravy.

The returns will be pitiful.

MM from Canada
November 13, 2021 8:44 am

Back in 2006, a group of 4 workers were working at the site of the decommissioned Sullivan Mine in Kimberley BC.

A pile of waste rock had been stored near the old mine shaft entrance, and it had been covered with clay in September 2005. Over time, the rocks consumed oxygen and produced carbon dioxide, which traveled through a nearby pipe and collected in the shed where Teck Cominco tested water as part of its mine reclamation process.

All four of the workers died.


In the years since, I’ve read about other incidents where people have died from carbon dioxide poisoning, and as far as I remember, none of those incidents were associated with mining, but every time I hear or read about “carbon storage” I think about that disaster in Kimberley.

I often wonder what would happen if a “carbon storage” facility failed, how many people would die.

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