CUT­TING COST

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Clean Energy -

COAL cap­ture and stor­age re­search world­wide is aimed at halv­ing its op­er­at­ing costs. CO2CRC says that cur­rently the tech­nol­ogy would raise Aus­tralia’s power plant prices by $ 35-$ 45 per megawatt hour. The whole­sale cost of power gen­er­a­tion in the na­tional elec­tric­ity mar­ket has av­er­aged about $ 35 per megawatt hour in re­cent years, lead­ing to house­hold charges of $ 120-$ 150 per megawatt hour.

CO2CRC wants the im­pact of cap­ture and stor­age on whole­sale prices to drop to $ 15-$ 20 per MWh. ( Ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try es­ti­mates a $ 20 cost would push up the over­all cost of whole­sale elec­tric­ity in Aus­tralia by about $ 4 bil­lion a year.

CO2CRC says gov­ern­ments and cus­tomers also need to recog­nise other fac­tors that dic­tate elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion costs, in­clud­ing in­creases in equip­ment and ma­te­ri­als costs, higher labour costs in re­ac­tion to the in­ter­na­tional skills short­age, and the im­pact of wa­ter avail­abil­ity on elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion. ‘‘ Th­ese will af­fect the costs of all forms of power, con­ven­tional and low- or no- emis­sion plants,’’ it adds.

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