The recently issued ACT Climate Change Strategy takes a problematic approach to reducing gas emissions, says APGA CEO Steve Davies.
Though a commendable goal, APGA believes it is taking the wrong approach and risks access to future zero-carbon options.
Mr Davies said it is counterintuitive to introduce measures that move people away from gas use entirely while significant work is currently being done on the introduction of zero-carbon emission cutting gas, such as hydrogen.
“These measures include removing the requirement to install reticulated gas in new suburbs and setting timelines to phase out both new and existing gas connections,” said Mr Davies.
“There are exciting new developments with ‘green’ gases that are set to be released commercially.
“Australia is at the forefront of developments in hydrogen technology, and these include the use of excess renewable energy to make hydrogen from water.
“The hydrogen can be stored in existing gas networks and has no carbon emissions when used directly.
“Green gases have the potential to enable us to make the most of existing infrastructure, an investment the people of Australia have already made, and future developments in low-carbon technology.”
However, there is potential that these exciting developments will not be applicable to the ACT’s current and future gas users if its strategy is successful.
“Rather than removing affordable, low to zero-carbon energy options from future Territorians, the ACT Government should be actively supporting them,” said Mr Davies.
“Natural gas currently provides 943 PJ of end-use energy to the Australian economy, more than the 835 PJ provided by electricity – 1 PJ is equivalent to the electricity used by 43,500 households in a year.
“The energy provided by natural gas today is much lower in emission intensity than that provided by electricity.
“The amount of energy provided by gas is huge, and underestimated by almost everybody.
“It is a cheaper and simpler exercise to decarbonise the gas already delivered to our homes and businesses than it is to expand the electricity system to meet this energy demand.
“Gas has a strong role to play over the coming decades and has its own path to decarbonisation. Removing natural gas today or tomorrow will lead to higher energy bills immediately and permanently.”
For more information visit the APGA website.
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