The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) strongly disagrees with the recommendations of the Grattan Institute’s ‘Getting Off Gas’ report, which is littered with basic errors, erroneous assumptions and empirically incorrect conclusions that could have been avoided by more consultation with industry.
In an example of a simple error that could have been prevented with consultation, the report states Germany will ban gas boilers from 2024. In fact, the German ruling coalition walked back the decision within months because it recognised a full-electrification pathway is far more complex than first thought.
Instead, the revised scheme will give homeowners the choice to convert to a heat pump, run on district heating, or install a gas heater that can be converted to run on hydrogen into the future.
It is imperative for Australia to reach net zero as rapidly as possible. To do so, there must be clear-eyed analysis, which is led by evidence rather than rhetoric, that recognises the oversimplification of complex engineering problems will not help achieve the ultimate aim of decarbonising quickly and affordably.
APGA chief executive Steve Davies says gas networks support the phase out of natural gas, and are already transitioning to carbon-neutral gases with minimal cost, at a time when power prices are surging.
“The idea that electricity will be cheaper for consumers any time soon is detached from reality,” Mr Davies said.
“Just this week, energy retailers announced electricity prices for households and businesses would rise by as much as 50%. This does not yet account for the tens of billions of dollars in additional electricity transmission and network upgrade costs that will be added to consumers’ bills in the decades to come.”
“While Australia is a long behind the rest of the world in this space, it provides us the opportunity to learn from mistakes of countries, such as the UK and Germany, that ventured down an electrification only pathway but had to rethink their approach because of the economic and engineering challenges.”
The APGA and its members are proud to be delivering renewable gas projects through the networks, which are helping lower emissions for consumers and businesses, and will unlock new, low-cost emission reduction opportunities in every part of the economy, including power generation, industrial processes, and the decarbonisation of heavy transport.
The HyP SA facility has begun delivering a 5% renewable gas blend to customers in South Australia, including households, businesses, and schools with plans to transition the entire SA gas network to zero emissions green hydrogen before 2050.
In NSW, Jemena’s Malabar facility is now turning the biowaste from Sydney’s wastewater into renewable gas that will heat the showers and homes of 6,000 households from mid-2023 with the potential to expand to more than 15,000 connections.
To learn more about renewable gases and how the APGA and the broader gas infrastructure industry are helping to deliver the least-cost pathway to net zero, click here.
The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) represents the owners, operators, designers, constructors, and service providers of Australia’s pipeline infrastructure, connecting natural and renewable gas production to demand centres in cities and other locations across Australia. Our members offer a wide range of services to gas users, retailers and producers and ensure the safe and reliable delivery of 28 per cent of the end-use energy consumed in Australia.