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.