Use Australia’s natural advantage: Gas peak body

Australia’s gas network offers a cost effective and innovative low emissions option, the country’s peak body for downstream gaseous fuels has said.

In its Federal Election policy statement, Gas Energy Australia outlined six opportunities to contribute to a low emissions future in transport and off-grid stationary energy. The document also identified how Australia’a natural advantage in gas, and gas skills and technology, could be explored.

“Health experts warn airborne toxic pollutants kill up to 3000 people a year while technological innovation in the energy sector can reduce toxic pollutants, overall emissions and costs to taxpayers,” Gas Energy Australia CEO Mr Griffiths said.

“Yet the emissions reduction and indeed clean air agenda had barely scratched the surface of a problem that renewables could not do alone or indeed always do as cost effectively as gaseous fuels for many applications.”

While other countries are forging ahead with gas fuels, Mr Griffiths said a range of barriers are preventing Australians from enjoying the benefits of gas.

“It is crazy that Australia still imports – indeed increasingly so – dirtier oil based fuels and technologies, when domestically produced gas is a cleaner, cheaper and safer option,” he said.

“A number of schemes exclusively for wind or solar don’t always lead to the best possible emission or pollution outcome. Including low emissions gas fuels like CNG, LNG and LPG for the right applications could get better emissions outcomes.

“This election we are calling on political parties to simply support including gas in some of these schemes to ensure the best energy source and technology is used for particular jobs to get better value and lower emissions overall.”

Mr Griffiths said ARENA’s support of diesel-solar off-grid generators that use higher polluting imported fuel instead of lower polluting Australian gas doesn’t make sense.

“Our election policy statement means you don’t prescribe ‘winners’ and it ensures schemes can better accommodate innovation and emerging technologies that offer the best outcome for particular jobs,” he said.