Industry is calling for a level playing field in government policy around natural gas, with key industry authorities heralding Government emissions policies to be disadvantaging natural gas in electricity generation.
Australian Gas Networks Chief Executive Officer, Ben Wilson, said a level playing field in government policy is needed so Australians can achieve benefits from using gas.
“Policies that encourage the development of renewable energy are clearly needed for a future of reduced carbon emissions, but those policies should not discourage the use of gas which can help Australia make the low carbon transition,” Mr Wilson said.
“Natural gas is a low-carbon fuel; electricity generated by gas has less than half the emissions of electricity generated by coal. Gas used directly in the home is even better; for electricity in the home to compete on emissions, half of it would need to be generated by renewables.”
The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) Chief Executive, Cheryl Cartwright supports Wilson’s comments stating that investment funds that are reducing investment in gas transmission pipelines due to concerns regarding climate change are misguided.
“Natural gas used directly has around a quarter of the carbon emissions of electricity taken from the grid today,” Ms Cartwright said.
“To cut our emissions as soon as possible, we should be encouraging people to switch to natural gas for as many uses as possible.
“For household electricity to compete on emissions with gas delivered directly to homes, it would have to be generated from at least 50 per cent renewable sources, which is clearly not the case at the moment as only around 15 per cent of electricity comes from renewables.”
Ms Cartwright said, “Natural gas is also a vital feedstock in many manufacturing industries and an essential heat and energy source in many others, including for safe waste disposal such as in hospitals.
“Before suggesting divestment from the very stable gas transmission sector, investment funds should learn a little more about the facts surrounding natural gas and its value to the economy, as well as its contribution to emissions reduction.
“Natural gas has a role to play as Australia increases its use of renewable energy, both in any transition as well as for peak power demand periods.”