New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows manufacturers have increased their consumption of gas by about five per cent since the last ABS survey, highlighting the importance of natural gas in the manufacturing sector.
The latest ABS data shows that more than $27.4 billion was spent by Australian businesses on petroleum products in 2014-15 in Australia including diesel ($19.8 billion), natural gas ($4.9 billion), petrol ($2.1 billion) and LPG ($538 million).
“Natural gas continues to be an essential energy source and feedstock for Australian businesses, especially for the manufacturing and electricity generation sectors,” Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said.
“Natural gas accounts for about 27 per cent of the energy costs of manufacturers – almost $2 billion in 2014-15. Gas is used both as an energy source and as a feedstock to produce essential items such as fertilisers, glass and bricks.
“Another $1.3 billion worth of natural gas was consumed in the electricity supply sector.”
Dr Roberts said Gas-fired ‘peaking’ plant is essential to providing both homes and businesses with reliable electricity supply.
“Only gas-fired generation can provide almost instant energy to meet spikes in demand or offset sudden drops in output from intermittent renewable sources,” Dr Roberts said.
“As the share of renewable energy in our energy mix increases, we will need more gas-fired generation to ensure reliable supply.”
“The more renewables we have, the more we will need gas.
“The ABS data confirms that Australian businesses need accessible, competitively priced gas. Policymakers must recognise this fundamental fact.”