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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3396


Senator Milne asked the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Water, the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and the Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, upon notice, on 9 March 2010:

(1)   For each of the financial years 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 to date, how much money has been disbursed by the department and associated agencies for: (a) solar energy research and development; and (b) research into carbon capture and sequestration.

(2)   Can a list be provided of the names of the programs and initiatives and the amount for each disbursement.


Senator Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) —The Minister for Resources and Energy has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question on behalf of all ministers asked:

DRET has provided a response for each department and associated agency, which is summarised in a short table below. The figures in the more detailed tables also attached have been provided by each department or agency to DRET. The notes included for each Department briefly outline the programs and detail any assumptions that have been made in reaching the figures provided.

Summary of Programs

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10 (to date)

Total

Solar Energy R&D

13,834,463

20,239,025

32,837,682

52,689,475

119,600,645

CCS Research

9,125,799

20,774,496

20,804,254

21,120,933

71,825,480

Total

22,960,262

41,013,521

53,641,936

73,092,908

190,708,625

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism

The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism operates a number of programs related to solar energy research and development and CCS research. These are:

  • Australian Solar Institute: The ASI is a commitment by the Australian Government to support solar thermal and solar photovoltaic research and development. The ASI aims to foster greater collaboration between solar researchers in universities, research institutions and industry and help forge strong links with peak overseas solar research organisations.
  • Solar Flagships Program: The Solar Flagships program will support the construction of large-scale, grid-connected solar power stations in Australia, using solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies. The Solar Flagships program is part of the Australian Government’s $4.5 billion Clean Energy Initiative. The Solar Flagships program is primarily a commercial-scale development and demonstration program as opposed to having clear research objectives. However, $200 million from the Education Investment Fund has been allocated to Solar Flagships, to be used for research infrastructure. This will be disbursed via the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research. To date no money has been disbursed for research and development purposes.
  • Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies: The Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies program supports the development and demonstration of electricity storage technologies for use with variable renewable generation sources such as wind and solar. Four of the five funded programs relate to solar energy storage and have been included below (the fifth is wind-related).

   Please note the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts previously had responsibility of this program, and payments by this Department in the 2006/07 - 2007/08 years is included under that Department’s summary.

  • Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate: The Partnership brings together key developing and developed countries in the region (Australia, Canada, China, Japan, India, South Korea, USA) to address the challenges of climate change, energy security and air pollution in a way that is designed to promote economic development and reduce poverty. Only projects related to Solar research and development and CCS research (as opposed to development) have been included below.
  • National Low Emissions Coal Initiative: The National Low Emissions Coal Initiative (NLECI) has been set up by the Australian Government to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies that will reduce emissions from coal use. Funding is for a mixture of research and demonstration projects. Only payments for research projects have been included below.

   The below CCS table also includes payments made by the Department to the CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC), which is administered through the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (further details below).

Please note that as the portion of the question relating to CCS is for research only, the figures in the CCS table below do not include moneys paid by the Department:

  • To the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute;
  • Through the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships Program. The CCS Flagships program will support the construction of industrial-scale integrated carbon capture and storage projects across Australia. The CCS Flagships program is part of the Australian Government’s $4.5 billion Clean Energy Initiative. The CCS Flagships program is primarily a commercial-scale development and demonstration program as opposed to having clear research objectives. However, $200 million from the Education Investment Fund has been allocated to CCS Flagships, to be used for research infrastructure. This will be disbursed via the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research. To date no money has been disbursed for research purposes; and
  • Money paid through the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund for CCS projects, as these were commercial-scale demonstration programs as opposed to having clear research objectives.

RET Solar Energy R&D

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

Australian Solar Institute

0

0

6,041,000

29,842,000

Solar Flagships - EIF component

0

0

0

0

Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies - Payments to solar storage technology projects

0

896,500

6,284,786

6,973,256

Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - High Efficiency Solar Power Stations for Affordable Energy

0

1,950,000

670,000

0

Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - Solar Enhanced Fuels for Electricity and Transport (Solargas)

0

380,000

1,500,000

555,000

Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - Solar Cooling for Urban and Remote Rural Applications

0

407,000

80,000

Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - Linear Concentrators to Capture Solar Energy

0

600,000

610,000

70,000

Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - Accelerating the Deployment of Smart Minigrids

 

675,000

522,500

Total

0

3,826,500

16,187,786

38,042,756

 

RET CCS Research

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - China Australia Geological Storage of CO2

 0

1,021,250

717,500 

Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - Assessing Post Combustion Capture Parts 1 and 2

 0

3,550,000

2,080,000

2,740,000

Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - Enhanced Coal Bed Methane

 0

500,000

0

Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate - OxyFuel Combustion Program and Working Group

270,000

National Low Emissions Coal Initiative - Australian National Low Emissions Coal Research and Development Ltd (ANLEC R&D)

0

1,227,151

1,643,400

National Low Emissions Coal Initiative - Pre-competitive Data Acquisition in Bass Strait

4,500,000

Carbon Capture and Storage - CO2CRC Otway Basin Pilot Project Monitoring

1,100,000

2,664,200

5,043,857

635,900

CCS Flagships - EIF component

0

0

0

0

Total

1,100,000

6,714,200

9,642,258

10,236,800

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science and Research

The Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) operates a number of programs, through AusIndustry, related to solar and CCS research and development. These are:

  • Climate Ready: One of the three program elements of the Clean Business Australia initiative, Climate Ready is a competitive grants process which supports small and medium sized businesses develop projects for innovations that address the effects of climate change.
  • Commercial Ready: Commercial ready was a competitive grants process for small and medium sized businesses which sought to encourage growth and successful innovation in Australian companies by increasing the level of research and development (R&D), proof of concept and early-stage commercialisation by Australian businesses. This program has now been closed.
  • Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI): REDI was a competitive grants process to support the development of renewable energy technology products, processes or services that had strong early stage commercialisation and emissions reduction potential. This program has now been closed.
  • Innovation Investment Fund (IIF): The IIF Program is a venture capital program that supports new innovation funds and fund managers with expertise in early stage venture capital investing. It co-invests with private sector investors in venture capital funds to assist early stage companies to commercialise research and development.
  • Innovation Access: Innovation Access supported technology access and diffusion and industry collaboration. The program has now been closed.

The table below lists expenditure for the financial years requested across these programs, as they apply to solar and CCS.

DIISR Solar Energy R&D

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

Climate Ready

0

0

2,515,880

1,822,271

Commercial Ready

0

370,356

464,621

54,912

REDI

5,004,805

4,079,476

1,846,146

472,617

IIF

0

20,000

1,150,633

800,412

Total

5,004,805

4,469,832

5,977,280

3,150,212

 

DIISR CCS Research

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

Climate Ready

0

0

77,545

186,592

Commercial Ready

0

209,318

694,806

107,102

Innovation Access

740,033

1,139,826

0

0

Total

740,033

1,349,144

772,351

293,694

DIISR also administers the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program. The objective of the CRC Program is to deliver significant economic, environmental and social benefits to Australia by supporting end user driven research partnerships between publicly funded researchers and end users to address clearly articulated, major challenges that require medium to long-term collaborative efforts.

The CRC Program currently provides funding for the CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) which undertakes research in carbon capture and sequestration. For the financial years 2006-07 to date, the CRC Program has provided CO2CRC with a total of $16,995,000 in funding as follows:

DIISR-CRC CCS Research

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies

3,500,000

8,300,000

3,745,000

1,450,000

Total

3,500,000

8,300,000

3,745,000

1,450,000

CSIRO

CSIRO’s primary function is to carry out research. As the question relates specifically to disbursement of funds, the below tables excludes CSIRO investment of appropriation funds in solar and CCS research allocated internally in CSIRO. The only mechanism CSIRO has to disburse funds to external services is through the Flagship Collaboration Fund (FCF). The following two tables summarise funding from the FCF for research in solar or CCS technologies since 2006.

Note that the National Hydrogen Materials Alliance (listed below) aims to develop new materials that improve the efficiency and economics of hydrogen generation, storage and end use. Most of the work in this FCF initiative is not directly relevant to solar research, except for the connection between SolarGas and hydrogen generation. It is difficult to determine the proportion of funds in this initiative that could be considered to be disbursed to solar research, but it is estimated to be of the order of 5-10%.

CSIRO Solar Energy R&D

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

National Hydrogen Materials Alliance (NHMA)

0

1,000,000

1,000,000

1,000,000

Total

0

1,000,000

1,000,000

1,000,000

 

CSIRO CCS Research

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

Investigation into the chemical processes crucial to amine based post combustion capture of CO2

0

104,000

104,000

0

Total

0

104,000

104,000

0

Australian Research Council

Funding allocated by the Australian Research Council to research projects relating to (a) solar energy research and development; and (b) research into carbon capture and sequestration is in the tables below:

ARC Solar Energy R&D

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

ARC Future Fellowships

 0

 0

 0

788,800

Centres of Excellence

5,135,192

5,430,096

5,475,000

4,975,000

Discovery Projects

2,047,313

2,051,324

2,406,148

2,562,239

Federation Fellowship

457,972

316,222

643,968

643,968

Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities

0

142,500

142,500

50,000

Linkage International

25,150

14,325

0

0

Linkage Projects

890,475

784,926

1,005,000

1,476,500

Linkage Projects (Australian Postgraduate Awards Industry Only)

23,556

0

0

0

Total

8,579,658

8,739,393

9,672,616

10,496,507

The funding figures provided above are estimates based on funded projects extracted from ARC databases using the search criteria outlined below with the subsequent listing of projects then vetted for relevance.

To identify possible projects involving solar energy research and development the following search criteria were used (in a search of ‘Project title’; ‘Abstract’; and ‘National benefit text’):

- Keywords: “Solar Power”; “Solar Cell”; “Solar Thermal”; “Voltaic”; “Solar” and “Energy”; “Solar”; “Renewable Energy”; “Greenhouse Gas”

- Field of Research (FOR) classification: 090605 - Photodetectors, Optical Sensors and Solar Cells; 090607 - Power and Energy Systems Engineering (excl. Renewable Power); 090608 - Renewable Power and Energy Systems Engineering (excl. Solar Cells); 0912 - Materials Engineering; 1007 - Nanotechnology

- Research Fields, Courses and Disciplines (RFCD) classification: 291401 - Polymers; 291499 - Materials Engineering not elsewhere classified; 291104 - Environmental Technologies; 290699 - Chemical Engineering not elsewhere classified; 290901 - Electrical Engineering; 291804 - Nanotechnology

- Socio-economic Objective (SEO) classification: 660204 - Solar-thermal; 660205 - Solar-photoelectric; 660206 - Solar-thermal electric; 760101 - Global climate change adaptation measures

To identify possible projects involving carbon capture and sequestration research the following search criteria were used (in a search of ‘Project title’; ‘Abstract’; and ‘National benefit text’):

Keywords: “Carbon Capture”; “Sequestration”; “Carbon”; “Greenhouse gas”

- FOR Codes: 050301 - Carbon Sequestration Science; 090703 - Environmental Technologies; 040311 - Stratigraphy (incl. Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy); 040312 - Structural Geology

- RFCD Codes: 300199 - Soil and Water Sciences not elsewhere classified; 291104 - Environmental Technologies; 00102 - Soil Biology; 300104 - Land Capability and Soil Degradation; 260110 - Biostratigraphy; 260111 - Other Stratigraphy (incl. Sequence Stratigraphy)

- SEO Codes: 760101 - Global climate change adaptation measures; 660199 - Energy Transformation not elsewhere classified

Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Program spending of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) is generally deployment-related as opposed to research-focussed. Those programs that had a research and development dimension (such as the Renewable Energy Commercialisation Program) had committed all funds prior to 2006/07.

As mentioned above, prior to DRET gaining responsibility for the Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies program, this was funded through DEWHA. Additional figures (obtained by DRET) for this program are:

DEWHA Solar Energy R&D

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

2009/10

Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies - Payments to solar storage technology projects

250,000

2,203,300

0

0

Total

250,000

2,203,300

0

0

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has not expensed any money for solar research and development or for research into CCS technologies over the years specified.