The government of Australia has announced that it will shell out $5 billion to attract investments in developing clean coal projects, specifically in the underdeveloped regions of the country.
The funds of the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), which was introduced in 2016, were suggested by Resources Minister Matt Canavan to be used for such projects. With the technologies used in clean coal plants, the environmental impacts of coal-generated electricity will be mitigated. Commenting on the feasibility of the projects, Canavan stated:
“I’ve received some interest over the past week associated with our commitment to build base load power stations, including to support clean coal options.
“Some people might not realize that in North Queensland there is no base-load power station north of Rockhampton and industrial consumers in north Queensland pay often up to double the prices in southern Queensland.”
However, while federal ministers recommend that ultra super critical coal-power plants should be considered because they emit 30% less emissions than old coal plants, other people still criticize the idea of building these facilities because of commercial and environmental reasons.
According to a recent report by “The Guardian”, clean coal faces serious challenges as a commercial investment because of declining renewable energy prices.
While the environmental benefits of clean coal plants are being questioned, time will determine whether it will truly be more beneficial than regular coal plants.