Australia should use more of its natural gas to improve its fuel affordability, reduce its carbon footprint and create new jobs, says Gas Energy Australia (GEA)’s CEO, Mike Carmody, marking the start of a new campaign for cleaner, cheaper fuel. Australia is 90% dependent on foreign fuel imports and heading to 100% dependency. Gas Energy Australia is seeking community and industry feedback on its two draft consultation papers on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
The papers explore the current use of natural gas in Australia, the barriers to its uptake, the potential for increased use and the associated benefits. Other nations are pushing ahead with natural gas fuel, but Australians face a range of red tape and entrenched market blockers, states GEA.
One of the papers, Cleaner, Cheaper Australian fuels – a 2030 vision for domestic Liquefied Natural Gas, outlines a number of ambitious long-term goals and a ten-point plan for achieving them.
The other, Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles – driving prosperity, energy security and environmental advantage for Australia, calls for a joint effort between industry and government to increase the use of CNG as a transport fuel.
Mr Carmody said establishing a supportive policy environment will encourage Australia’s agricultural, mining and manufacturing industries to ditch dirty diesel and use cleaner, cheaper gas instead.“LNG is around 25 to 30 per cent less expensive than diesel, and trucks running on LNG and CNG produce up to 25 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel-powered trucks,” he said.
The GEA campaign aims to educate the community about the benefits of increased use of natural gas– more affordable, less polluting fuel, more jobs including employment in niche manufacturing, improved fuel security and a stronger economy, all based on Australia being the world’s third largest LNG producer with reserves estimated to be equal to 184 years supply at current production rates.
“Shipping our gas overseas and increasing our dependence on foreign fuel by importing more expensive, more polluting oil for our own use doesn’t make sense,” Carmody said, adding that goals outlined in Gas Energy Australia’s draft consultation papers provide ways to help guard against Australia becoming totally dependent on imported oil. They include:
- At least 25 per cent of on-road heavy duty trucks powered by natural gas by 2030;
- At least 50 per cent of off-road heavy duty trucks and machinery purchased from 2030 onwards be powered by natural gas; and,
- Australian trains being run on natural gas along 50 per cent of routes by 2030.
“Natural gas is a viable competitor to diesel for road transport, yet most Australians don’t realise its potential,” Mr Carmody said. “Our campaign aims to arm Australians with the facts on gas and allows them to petition for government action via the campaign website.”
“Increased use of natural gas as a transport fuel would also lead to the creation of new jobs, as supporting technology progresses and supporting infrastructure grows,” said Federal Senator Ricky Muir, speaking as the National Forum breakfast in Melbourne today.
According to the Australian Trucking Association, Australia’s fuel stocks stand at 52 days, the lowest of the IEA member countries and just over half of the minimum 90 day emergency stock required by the International Energy Agency (IEA), of which it is a member.
The draft consultation papers for LNG and CNG are available at www.cleanercheaperfuels.com.au
(Source: Clean Energy Australia)