As the New South Wales Government invites energy experts across the east coast of Australia to help develop an Advanced Energy Strategy for the state, APPEA has said gas generation is critical to NSW’s energy future.
New South Wales Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, said the aim of the project is to develop a roadmap for the state to transition to a clean, affordable and reliable energy future.
“Global and domestic energy markets are changing, making it more important than ever for governments to set an energy strategy for security of supply, affordability and to support the adoption of a range of new technologies so that customers can manage their usage and take up more environmentally-friendly options,” Mr Roberts said.
“A major focus of the working groups will be to see what can be done to make it easier for alternative energy sources and other technologies to get connected to the grid.
“I will be asking the experts to consider what opportunities there are for NSW consumers to transition to an advanced energy economy, identify what the barriers are and what the Government needs to do to empower consumers”.
Mr Roberts said he would also ask the workshops to look at the interaction between the economic regulation of networks and the technical and safety regulations.
“These workshops need to look at how we can support customers to access the benefits and cost savings that can be gained from emerging technologies like solar, battery storage, smart meters and energy management services,” Mr Roberts said.
“It will be important to consider how the NSW Government can continue to support competition in NSW and ensure there is robust consumer protection in the retail and third party service provider market without stifling innovation with red tape.”
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts welcomed the strategy and said the gas industry looked forward to participating in the development of the Advanced Energy Strategy.
“Cleaner-burning natural gas is critical to any low-emissions energy mix,” Dr Roberts said.
“Gas is ideal for responding rapidly to spikes in demand or falls in renewable output. It’s the natural partner to renewables.
“But experience around Australia has shown that proper planning is essential to a smooth transition to a cleaner energy future.”
Dr Roberts said New South Wales needs a diverse, responsive generation sector that can maximise the use of renewables without risking energy supply.
“Unfortunately, gas generation in the eastern Australia network is in decline, falling from a relatively consistent market share of 12 per cent in 2012 to only 10.5 per cent in June”, Dr Roberts said.
“The Advanced Energy Strategy must ensure sufficient gas-fired capacity to underpin energy security.”