Natural gas critical to consistent supply

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has welcomed a preliminary report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) recognising the need for diversity of energy sources following South Australia’s state wide blackout last week.

APPEA chief executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said the AEMO report said it was gas-fired generation and the Heywood interconnector that brought the state’s system back online.

“The report highlights, once again, the importance of maintaining a diverse energy mix to ensure system stability and security,” Dr Roberts said.

“We already know that gas-fired generation is critical in supporting renewable energy because it is cleaner-burning and can be easily switched on and off to complement the intermittent nature of wind and solar power.

“But the AEMO report also shows that natural gas played a critical role in restoring power to South Australia following last week’s unprecedented blackout.”

Wind farms can not be used in the initial stages of a power system restoration due to the variable nature of their output, according to the report.

“Reducing emissions is vital, but reliability and security is just as important,” Dr Roberts said.