Industry responds to ACT gas emission reduction plan

The recently issued ACT Climate Change Strategy sets out a long-term plan for how to achieve net zero emissions over the next 25 years, with the ACT Government aiming to reach this target by 2045.

Though a commendable goal, industry experts have highlighted flaws in the plan to eliminate gas entirely.

An analysis completed by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group in collaboration with Deloitte looked at two alternative pathways to decarbonise gas consumption: replacing all natural gas consumption with electricity generated from renewable sources compared to converting existing natural gas appliances and distribution networks to transport hydrogen.

Based on hourly energy consumption data for 2017 in Victoria, the results demonstrated that the hydrogen conversion pathway is 40 per cent less expensive than full electrification highlighting significant cost benefits of hydrogen gas.

Commenting on the release of the strategy, Australian Pipeline and Gas Association CEO Steve Davies said the energy provided by natural gas today is much lower in emission intensity than that provided by electricity.

“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.”

Mr Davies said the ACT is taking the “wrong approach” as 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.

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.

“Australia is at the forefront of developments in hydrogen technology, and these include the use of excess renewable energy to make hydrogen from water,” he said.

 “Rather than removing affordable, low to zero-carbon energy options from future Territorians, the ACT Government should be actively supporting them.”

For more information visit the APGA website.

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