'Clean coal': billions of dollars and lots of carbon | Ben Potter

The Turnbull government wants to ease Clean Energy Finance Corporation guidelines to allow "clean coal" to qualify for "clean energy" funding but figures from a big Japanese supplier of clean coal plants suggest the guidelines would have to be gutted to get the plants over the line. Jonathan Carroll
A top executive at the largest Japanese supplier of high tech coal-fired power plants says they would likely cost more than thought in Australia and still emit relatively large quantities of carbon.

Akihiko Kazuno, head of global strategic planning for Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, said the company's ultra-supercritical power stations – the most advanced currently being built commercially – typically cost between $US1.5 billion and $US3.5 billion per 1000 megawatts of capacity.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer Scott Morrison and the Minerals Council of Australia – which is launching a "Coal: Making the future possible" advertising campaign – are pushing for "clean coal" plants to be built in Australia.

But industry says the plants are "unbankable" because of their high costs and carbon risk and resources entrepreneurs Gina Rinehart and Trevor St Baker have shunned the technology too.