28 July 2023
Gas is critical to the clean energy transition, and renewable gas will get us there quicker
We note the announcement by the Victorian Government today regarding the phasing out of gas to new homes.
Industry and government are all working to the same goal – a cleaner future. There are multiple paths to that future, and we have consistently said Australia must not pick winners or cut off options when it comes to energy. This is particularly important given the enormity of the low carbon transition and the work still to be done.
What remains paramount is the ability to reduce emissions to meet decarbonisation targets while delivering energy reliably and affordably to consumers. Today’s announcement risks removing an important option to achieve that through renewable gases like green hydrogen and biomethane as a clean energy source, distributed through existing network infrastructure that is capable of carrying these new gases at little additional cost. It removes the ability for people in Victoria to choose the energy they use in transitioning to a low carbon future.
It makes sense to use existing infrastructure to meet decarbonisation goals - moving too quickly to discount the role of renewable gas raises significant issues about affordability, risk and equity.
The reality is that electrification has significant challenges, is not the only answer and cannot meet Victoria’s future energy needs alone. A premature shift towards electrification will, in our view, increase carbon emissions in the state, pushing consumers toward an electricity system dominated by nearly 70 per cent brown coal, which is not only emissions intensive but increasingly unreliable as coal exits the system more quickly than planned.
We are saying to the Government that there is no silver bullet when it comes to our future energy needs. Cutting off options now limits the ability for all Victorians to access a mix of future energy solutions. A secure, reliable and affordable path to the future energy mix must include renewable gas – for new and existing homes, businesses, industry and transport.
This is why we are delivering a series of world-leading renewable gas projects that are delivering carbon-free hydrogen to homes and businesses. These include:
- Hydrogen Park SA – a world leading project delivering a renewable hydrogen blend to homes in South Australia since May 2021 using Australia’s largest electrolyser;
- Our new Hydrogen Park Murray Valley project, which will deliver an up to 10% renewable hydrogen blend into the existing natural gas supply to over 40,000 customers in the Albury-Wodonga region from 2025;
- Hydrogen Park Gladstone, which is currently under construction and will deliver a 10% renewable hydrogen blend to all homes and businesses connected to our gas supply system in Gladstone; and
- HyHome - Australia’s first hydrogen home launched this month in Melbourne, which demonstrates that renewable gas can be used in Australian homes, functioning in the same way as gas does today.
We are urging the government to consult with industry and support the development of the renewable gas industry so that all Victorians can access clean energy reliably, safely and affordably. Meanwhile we will continue to deliver a safe and reliable energy supply to our existing 1.4 million customers in Victoria and continue to work to provide future choice to those customers.
For Further Information Contact
Rachel Cameron – Head of Corporate Affairs
M 0425 199 184