South Australia’s power challenges are a stark reminder that appropriate policies are required to ensure sufficient electricity supply while reducing carbon emissions.
While electricity generation from renewables is making up an increasing share of electricity generation across the nation, it is crucial for policy makers to have a holistic view and focus both on meeting power needs while reducing carbon emissions.
“Electricity generated using natural gas has half the carbon emissions of coal-fired power,” said Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright.
“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.”
Natural gas will continue to be a valuable part of the energy mix for many years yet, 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,” said Ms Cartwright.
“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.”