Focus on emissions reductions rather than ‘winners’ a welcome step

The peak body for the downstream gas industry has welcomed the release of the Turnbull Government’s Clean Energy Innovation Fund, with a focus on reducing emissions rather than developing specific technologies as “a good step in the right direction”.

“We welcome this shift toward more focus on emissions reduction and better commercial options rather than subsidising specific technologies”, Gas Energy Australia CEO John Griffiths said.

“This step toward more technology neutrality is consistent with Gas Energy Australia’s Vision for cleaner, cheaper Australian fuels including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) which can achieve up to a 25% reduction in emissions and can be more cost effective but for the impact of misaligned subsidies.”

“Our recent budget submission showed that using low emissions gas fuels like CNG, LNG and LPG for the right applications could not only achieve better emissions outcomes but also save the budget $22 million for one proposed measure alone.

“While we will need to see how the policy announced today is implemented, broadening the range of lower emitting technologies covered by the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, including those using gaseous fuels, should help ensure the best energy source and technology is used for particular jobs.”

Australia’s gas reserves are one of its great lower emissions advantages, Mr Griffiths said.

“Under the old rules, we know of cases where higher emitting, higher polluting solar diesel hybrid generators have been funded where there was a lower emitting, lower polluting natural gas alternative that was also more cost effective – but for the impact of the subsidy,” he said.

“Natural gas fuels for example emit up to 25 per cent less CO2, 99 per cent less SOx, 75 per cent less NOx and a reduction of particulate matter of 85 – 100 per cent over conventional fuels. Yet they have been precluded by ‘technology’ prescriptive rules that funded higher emitting and polluting options like diesel hybrids.”