February 27, 2024

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Victoria to invest in future low-emission technologies

The Victorian Government is continuing to back research and development that harnesses its valuable resources to generate new industries and local jobs in a low emissions environment.

The Minister for Resources recently announced further funding of $600,000 for Australian Carbon Innovation to continue its work in developing high-value, low emission products using the Latrobe Valley’s significant brown-coal resource.

Australian Carbon Innovation can now maintain its operations and seek additional partnership opportunities to further research and develop new high-value products from brown coal including hydrogen, carbon fibres, graphenes and fertilisers.

The Government’s Statement on Future Uses of Brown Coal sets the parameters around the use of coal to ensure only low-emission product development can take place.

Australian Carbon Innovation has a track record of achievement in furthering low-emissions opportunities for Victoria’s brown coal resources, including its work with Federation University to deliver a feasibility study for the establishment of the Regional Carbon Innovation Centre in Gippsland.

The production of clean hydrogen from brown coal in the Latrobe Valley is a significant opportunity for creating jobs and boosting the state’s low emission fuel capability.

Victoria currently has the largest hydrogen demonstration project in the world – the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project – underway to support fuel cell vehicle development and power generation in Japan.

Underpinning commercial hydrogen production in the Latrobe Valley is the CarbonNet project, with work underway to assess how the seabed off the coast of Gippsland could store carbon dioxide (CO2).

CarbonNet’s key storage site has the potential to store the equivalent CO2 emissions from one million cars annually for 25 years.

Carbon capture and storage is a proven process with over 20 sites around the world successfully operating at a commercial scale. In Victoria, CO2 has been successfully stored for a decade at the Otway CO2CRC test facility.

Earlier in May, the Federal Parliament passed a bill supporting the development of CarbonNet by clarifying the governance of the geological resources where CO2 can be stored across the state and Commonwealth waters.

the Minister for Resources stated that it is important to back innovation in the pursuit of new jobs and industries. The Gippsland Regional Partnership has flagged that Latrobe Valley locals want to see investment in new technologies.

The work of Australian Carbon Innovation and CarbonNet is vital in placing Victoria at the forefront of global low-emission technology development.

OpenGov Asia previously reported that the Australian Government, on the whole, is investing in the future of energy innovation by backing new technology projects that harness opportunities from the deepest oceans to outer space.

The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology stated that AUS$ 344,000 would be provided to support two new industry-led collaboration projects through National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), one of the Federal Government’s six Industry Growth Centres.

The first project will help leverage Australia’s world-leading capabilities in remote operations, AI, machine learning and automation to create new markets and build scale between the energy resources sector and emerging global space industry.

The project will power the newly formed Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE) consortium to map Australia’s current technology capabilities and identify opportunities to position Australia as a future hub and exporter of remote operations technology solutions for space.

The second project will accelerate the development and delivery of a world-first augmented machine vision solution, which is capable of revolutionising the way the energy industry inspects and maintains equipment deep underwater.

These projects are examples of how Australia can lead the next decade and beyond in technology innovation by leveraging the nation’s industry knowledge and encouraging the exchange of ideas across sectors.

It proves that by getting the industry to work together, the country can see its world-leading energy resources sector expand even further and take on new frontiers.


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