The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) is calling for improved policies to encourage the development and supply of natural gas and said it will play an important role in the future supply of electricity and the reduction of carbon emissions.

While an increasing share of electricity generation across Australia is made up of renewables, the APGA believe it is important for policy makers to have a holistic view and focus both on meeting power needs while reducing carbon emissions.

APGA Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright said current challenges in South Australia are a reminder of why this approach to policy making is important.

“Electricity generated using natural gas has half the carbon emissions of coal-fired power,” Ms Cartwright said.

“Gas-fired electricity generators are relatively quick to bring online and to take offline which makes them eminently suitable for peak load times and for supplying electricity when there is no wind or sun.”

APGA said natural gas will continue to be a valuable part of the energy mix for many years and Australia needs policies that encourage both gas development and supply to ensure the nation has the power it needs as renewable electricity generation evolves.

“A policy that would aid efficient emissions reduction in electricity generation would be a technology-neutral emissions-reduction scheme,” Ms Cartwright said.

“Such a scheme would encourage the efficient reduction of emissions, rather than simply subsidising renewables, which usually encourages reliance on coal-fired electricity for periods when renewables are not supplying power.

“It’s well past time for governments to promote and collaborate on the development of a comprehensive national energy policy that enables all technologies to contribute to a reliable, low-carbon electricity network at the lowest possible system cost – a technology-neutral emissions-reduction scheme.” 

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