Greens’ plan threatens to undermine state’s hydrogen potential
Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) has responded to a proposal from the South Australian Greens to ban new gas connections, saying the concept is short-sighted and overlooks the importance of renewable gas to the nation’s energy transition.
Renewable gases such as hydrogen and biomethane are net-zero carbon and provide new and reliable sources of energy, which can be utilised in the same way as natural gas is today.
AGIG CEO Craig de Laine said these technologies are vital components of the future energy grid.
“The South Australian Labor Government has led the charge in fostering hydrogen innovation, committing funding to Australia’s first hydrogen projects such as AGIG’s Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA), which is currently supplying renewable gas to over 700 properties in Mitchell Park, with plans to increase its reach to over 4,000 customers by the end of the year. HyP SA is one of numerous renewable gas facilities that are forming part of a zero emissions future.”
AGIG welcomes the government’s ongoing commitment to the state’s renewable gas potential through its industry-leading Hydrogen Power South Australia project, which will provide stable, flexible, reliable and carbon-free electricity generation using renewable hydrogen. Projects like Hydrogen Power South Australia will demonstrate another key role that renewable hydrogen will play in the low carbon transition of the energy system.
“The renewable gas of tomorrow will utilise the world-class gas infrastructure that exists in South Australia today. We have spent over $700 million over the past 10 years upgrading the South Australian gas network, which is ready to take hydrogen. Renewable gas is not only key to decarbonising gas supply in South Australia, but will also unlock further decarbonisation of the electricity sector, supporting a low risk, low cost, and stable decarbonisation pathway for the state.
“To that end, we strongly oppose policies that threaten the security and diversity of energy supply and remove customer choice. The Greens are not best placed to make these decisions on behalf of the over 450,000 customers who want to use gas today and into the future.”
Contrary to the statement from the Greens’ energy spokesperson, the Victorian Government has not banned gas connections to new homes. The Victorian Government’s recent energy policy roadmap provides clear support for the scaling up of industries that supply renewable gas and hydrogen, describing them as ‘essential’ to meeting net zero emissions.
“AGIG has welcomed the Victorian government’s recognition of the need to accelerate decarbonising the gas sector, particularly the consideration of a renewable gas scheme and renewable gas targets as a priority. We encourage other jurisdictions, including South Australia, to also adopt a Renewable Gas Target in order to drive investment in these critical technologies. The renewable gas sector has the potential to create thousands of new jobs in the emerging low carbon industry.”
Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) is one of Australia’s largest gas infrastructure businesses with operations across every mainland state and the Northern Territory supplying approximately 2 million customers. Operations include 40,000km of distribution and transmission gas pipelines, 60 petajoules of gas storage capacity, gas processing facilities and remote power generation.
AGIG has a low carbon vision to deliver 100% carbon-free gas by no later than 2050, with at least 10% renewable gas blends to homes and businesses by 2030, in line with emissions reduction targets.
AGIG opened its $14.5 million hydrogen production facility, Hydrogen Park South Australia (HyP SA), the largest in Australia, at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide in May 2021 blending renewable hydrogen into its natural gas distribution network supplying over 700 residents. AGIG is also in the process of developing a hydrogen plant in Gladstone, Queensland.
Additionally, AGIG plans to develop Hydrogen Park Murray Valley (HyP Murray Valley) – partnering with ENGIE - in Wodonga, Victoria. HyP Murray Valley will comprise a 10MW electrolyser using renewable electricity to produce hydrogen from 2024, subject to a number of regulatory and financial approvals. The site will be blending 10% renewable hydrogen into the existing natural gas network to supply more than 40,000 existing residential, commercial and industrial customers in Wodonga, Victoria and nearby Albury, New South Wales.
AGIG’s vision is to be the leading gas infrastructure business in Australia - by delivering for customers, being a good employer, and being sustainably cost efficient.