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National Low Emissions Coal Initiative

Brief description:

The National Low Emissions Coal Initiative (NLECI) was set up by the Australian Government in July 2008, with funding of $385 million over 8 years, to support the development and use of "clean coal" technologies that will be needed to achieve substantial reductions in the country's GHG emissions from future coal use. The initiative is backed by stakeholders from state governments, industry, researchers and the community.

A major focus is on research, demonstration and use of low-emission coal technologies involving carbon capture and storage. The National Clean Coal Fund, which is backing the initiative until 2015, is providing financial support for R&D into low emissions coal technologies, CO2 storage sites and necessary CCS infrastructure. Industry, particularly coal and power producers, is providing an additional $1 billion in funding - including through the COAL21 fund. The fund also has A$75 million, with A$25 million set aside for national science agency CSIRO, to be invested in "clean coal" research.

The government also established the Carbon Storage Taskforce (CSTF), under the NLECI, to develop a roadmap towards developing a national geological storage capacity to support the commercial deployment of CCS technologies. The taskforce gave its final report in 2009.

In addition, the National Low Emissions Coal Council (NLEC) advises on strategies to bring forward the use of industrial-scale low emissions coal technologies, including CCS, in Australia.

NLECI has provided:

$75 million for the Australian National Low Emission Coal Research and Development agency

$50 million for the implementation of the National Carbon Mapping and Infrastructure Plan

$150 million for low emissions coal demonstration projects in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria

$50 million for the Callide oxyfuel combustion project in Queensland

$20 million for the bilateral cooperation through the Australia–China Joint Coordination Group on Clean Coal Technology