Gas is the biggest provider of energy to Australia’s mining, transport, utilities and manufacturing and other industries and costs one-fifth of other sources, according to a new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report.
Australian Pipelines and Gas Association Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright said figures from the ABS publication Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management Australia 2014-15 demonstrated that gas is an essential part of Australia’s industry.
Ms Cartwright said the figures showed that gas supplies more energy to Australian industries than any other fuel source.
“The ABS found that gas, including both natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas, provided 802 petajoules (PJ) of energy to industry in 2014-15,” Ms Cartwright said.
“Over the same period, the second and third energy sources – diesel and electricity (including electricity generated from gas) – provided 666PJ and 503PJ respectively to industry.
“Importantly, those 802PJ of gas cost industry a total of $5 billion, while the cost of the diesel and electricity was much higher: 666PJ of diesel cost industry $19.8 billion and 503PJ of electricity cost industry $19.0 billion.
“That means a delivered gigajoule of gas costs industry an average of $6.17/GJ in 2014-15 while industry paid an average of $29.13/GJ for diesel and $37.78/GJ for electricity. That’s a massive difference.”
Ms Cartwright said industries that were looking to maintain local and international competitiveness should maximise their gas usage.
“As it has half the carbon emissions of coal-fired electricity, using gas rather than electricity will help the nation reduce emissions,” Ms Cartwright said.
“In particular, these figures demonstrate that gas is a critical contributor to Australian industry and the idea that the energy it supplies can be replaced easily or cheaply is unrealistic.
“With the continuing tight gas supply and higher than normal prices, it is necessary for all parts of the gas industry and government to come together to address the real challenge: increasing gas supply to apply downward pressure on prices for the benefit of all.”