Coal innovation

Mining truck at coal mining site

Mining, Exploration and Geoscience’s, Coal Innovation NSW (CINSW), was set up to advance low emissions coal technologies research and development across the state, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the mining and use of coal in industries such as electricity generation, steel and cement.

Low emissions coal technologies can play a vital role in reducing the state’s future greenhouse gas emissions and can contribute to the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to mitigate the effects of climate change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement. Advancements in the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in NSW will also assist the NSW Government to meet its aspirational target of zero-net emissions by 20502.

Low emissions coal technologies can reduce the emissions from coal mining and coal-fired electricity generation. They can also contribute to ensuring the security and reliability of the state’s electricity network, and provide businesses and households in NSW with access to affordable electricity.

  • provides strategic advice and makes recommendations to the Government about funding projects that encourage the development of low emissions coal technologies
  • provides advice on policy to encourage the development and implementation of low emissions coal technologies
  • makes recommendations about opportunities for private and public sector organisations concerning interstate, national and international research projects involving low emissions coal technologies
  • provides advice on other matters concerning low emissions coal technologies
  • undertakes these activities in accordance with the CINSW Code of Conduct.

CINSW is an advisory council established by the Coal Innovation Administration Act 2008 (the Act). Council representatives come from the coal and energy industries, research institutes and the NSW Government.

One of the key roles of CINSW is the ongoing provision of strategic advice to the Minister concerning the Coal Innovation NSW Fund (the Fund). This $100 million Fund was established under the Act and is a vital tool in reducing NSW's carbon dioxide emissions, now and into the future.

The Fund’s purpose is to support research, development and the demonstration of low emissions coal technologies for future commercial application. It also aims to increase public awareness of the importance of low emissions coal technologies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Fund’s main activities include:

  • The NSW CO2 Storage Assessment Program aims to identify options for permanently storing CO2 underground in NSW. This program has received support through joint funding from the Commonwealth Government and Low Emission Technology Australia (LETA). To date over $27 million has been spent. CINSW is planning further exploration in this area and has established a $2.5 million budget to fund these activities.
  • NSW initiated the Delta Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project with Delta Electricity. This project pioneered investigation into carbon capture and storage in NSW and included several pre-feasibility studies. In total, $2.1 million was spent on the project jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government, LETA and the Coal Innovation Fund.
  • The Coal Innovation NSW Fund grants program is a direct investment from CINSW in low emission coal technology research. It assists emerging technologies that can provide future solutions to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with coal mining and coal use. To date, grants have been offered in 2009, 2015 and 2018. All projects funded in the 2009 and 2015 rounds are completed and several of the 2018 funding round projects are ongoing.
  • The Future of NSW Coal Fired Electricity Generation Industry Study looked to determine the options for coal to provide a sustainable, safe, reliable and competitive form of electricity generation for NSW, whilst reducing carbon dioxide emissions and maintaining economic growth for the state.