Carbon Capture Update

After a year of writing only one post has attracted significant attention: My piece comparing the viability of carbon capture and storage for coal-fired power stations with vanadium batteries as a storage method for renewably-produced energy.

One half of this equation has started to go mainstream since then. Here Lateline notes that clean coal is floundering, partly because industry has chosen not to invest. There are two possible explanations for this. Either they coal industry doesn’t have faith in the technology, or they figure they can push taxpayers into paying for it so they don’t have to. Presumably both are true to some extent.

However, it would be naive to think that CCS has been a failure for the coal industry. The whole point was always to divert tax payers money away from investment in renewables, and in the process delay the dread day when solar and wind could compete with coal on price. In this it has been a huge success. Whether the money the government committed to expenditure in the area ever gets spent is largely beside the point.

About Stephen Luntz

I am a science journalist, specialising in Australian and New Zealand research across all fields of science. My book, Forensics, Fossils and Fruitbats: A Field Guide to Australian Scientists is out now through CSIRO Publishing. I am also a professional returning officer for non-government organisations. I'm very politically active, but generally try to restrict this blog to scientific matters.
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