LETA • What are LETs

What are LETs?

Low emission technologies are advanced technologies that can create clean, reliable, affordable and flexible power and reduce carbon emissions from ‘hard-to-abate’ industries such as manufacturing, heavy transport, cement and fertiliser production.

What are LETs?

Low emission technologies (LETs) – like carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) – are playing a vital role in the energy mix as we move towards a net-zero carbon emissions future. LETs and renewables share the same objective – removing emissions to meet and beat our international climate commitments.

Low emission technology is also crucial in providing clean, affordable, reliable power as well as reducing or removing carbon emissions from vital but ‘hard-to-abate’ industries, such as steel and cement.

LETs cover a range of technologies including:

  • Carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), where carbon is captured from industry and power production to be reused or stored safely.
  • The Allam Cycle, which recycles or captures its own carbon emissions while it produces clean electricity. The captured CO2 can be stored safely underground or used by industry. It can even generate a clean fuel critical to our net-zero emission future – hydrogen.

What have LETs achieved so far?

At this moment, low emission technologies are capturing carbon emissions for permanent storage and reusing them in a range of industries that we depend on in our everyday lives. These include natural gas, cement, hydrogen production, steel, fertiliser, chemical production, as well as in power generation.

LETs are not a future theory, but being used around the world today, removing the equivalent of about 10 million cars worth of carbon emissions every year.

For decades, CCUS has been removing carbon emissions in countries like Canada, Japan, and Norway. In the US, carbon capture dates back to its use in Texas natural gas processing plants in 1972. In Australia, LETA has been investing in low emission technology projects for over 20 years.

That work has seen a world-first in proving carbon capture technology on a coal-fired power station and three regions identified for commercial scale carbon storage. The world’s largest CCUS plant in the world is also now in operation.

There are now tracking 41 projects in operation and 351 in development globally, with new projects being announced weekly. As of 31 July 2023, the total CO2 capture capacity of CCS projects (in the public domain) in development, construction and operation was 361 million tonnes  of CO2, an increase of almost 50% compared to that reported in the 2022 Global Status of CCS report.

LETs can also enable the clean production of hydrogen to drive lower emissions from heavy industries such as steel, electricity generation and to replace carbon intensive transport.