|Growing calls for Expanded Research Funding|
|The next generation of brown coal development will rely on the application of new, lower-emissions technologies currently under development both locally and internationally.|
|BCIA CEO, Dr Phil Gurney|
|If this is to be done in a timely fashion, R&D is required to help reduce costs, accelerate development and solve issues that may arise with the deployment of these new technologies.|
The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its April 2013 update on progress in clean energy, has added its voice to a growing chorus highlighting how global funding for RD&D is failing to keep pace with the needs of a lower-emissions future.
Indeed, at a time when many are calling for expanded R&D funding, the IEA estimates that the proportion of government spending on energy R&D has fallen to three - four per cent of all R&D funding, compared with a peak of 11 per cent in 1981.
While the emissions reductions from development and deployment of cleaner coal technologies could dwarf the contribution from renewables, and at a lower cost, the majority of R&D funding in this sector is targeted to renewables.
The IEA’s conclusion is that RD&D investment in clean energy technology needs to increase by three to six times in order to meet the targets in the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP) 2°C Scenario.
There is currently a significant push to support new brown coal developments in Australia, and it has been shown that a strong R&D program supporting such activity can deliver multi-billion dollar returns on investment, as well as accelerating broad-based industry access to lower cost, environmentally sustainable, coal utilisation technologies.
Australian brown coal is cheap to mine, has very low levels of impurities, and there are many centuries of coal reserves available.
|BCIA is continuing to work with governments, industry, and the local and international research community to secure and deliver the funding needed to support R&D. |
In doing so, we are looking to help build innovation in local industry, facilitate international investment and collaboration on brown coal developments, and support the rapid adoption of best practice technology solutions.
In this issue of ‘Perspectives on Brown Coal’ we look at a number of activities that BCIA is supporting to deliver a brighter future for brown coal.
Sankar Bhattacharya gives an update on the BCIA-sponsored Australia-China workshop on novel carbon capture technologies, Louis Wibberley reports on progress on the Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) and Bayzid Kazi gives the latest on the DME liquid fuel project. We also highlight JCOAL, the Japan Coal Energy Center, a member organisation of BCIA.
In our research update David McManus makes a call for discussion around new research areas suitable for BCIA’s research portfolio. Please take advantage of this opportunity to follow up with him.
Finally in this issue we give you an update on BCIA’s recent and upcoming events, including the Coal Drying Expo scheduled for June 17, and an update on the broader range of BCIA’s activities.