Australia Can Resolve Domestic Emissions Challenges with Natural Gas

| Australia, Canberra
Mercedes-Benz Econic - Australia - Toll IPEC CNG

Toll IPEC operates a natural gas fleet in Australia.

Gas Energy Australia (GEA) has launched its vision for Australia’s energy — 2030 Vision for Cleaner, Cheaper, Australian Fuels (CNG and LNG. After 12 months consultation, GEA’s 2030 Vision includes a new 10 Point Action Plan for industry and government to improve the take-up rate of Australian natural gas. Substituting gas for dirtier, imported fuels like diesel can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, according to Gas Energy Australia’s CEO, Mr John Griffiths.

“In Australia we are close to being totally dependent on higher emitting and higher polluting foreign imported oil for many of our domestic energy needs. It’s crazy, when we could be using cleaner, cheaper, locally produced Australian natural gas to power our trucks, heavy vehicles, mining equipment and off-grid generation”, he said.

Mr Griffiths called on politicians and industry to look a bit closer to home than the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Paris for Australian “economy-friendly” solutions. “We have a ready-made Australian solution to a global problem. The answer is cleaner, cheaper, Australian produced natural gas fuels”, he said.

According to the Vision document, “Australia has only 0.3% of the world’s oil reserves 13 and in 2012-13 was importing 533,000 barrels of oil, even though we have almost a 200 year supply of natural gas.”

“According to the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE), Australian natural gas fuels have a low cost of production for the foreseeable future and are better for air quality, benefit the environment, improve health outcomes, and generate jobs here in Australia – much more innovative than importing higher polluting diesel!”

GEA says the Australian government needs to diversify its alt-fuel mix. The lower emissions agenda has been dominated by solar and wind power even though they are not always the most suitable option for regional communities, heavy freight and industry tasks.

“We must act now or risk losing the opportunity this natural gas fuel bounty offers and before more expensive and less effective policy settings are entrenched.”

GEA lists several argments in support of natural gas adotpion:

  • Displacing 10% of diesel used on heavy on-road transport could reduce imported diesel by 1018 million litres per annum and reduce CO2 emissions by 597,000 tonnes.
  • Every 10% substitution of imported diesel by Australian gaseous fuels saves $870 million in import costs.
  • Converting one diesel truck for a natural gas-powered truck reduced emissions, in one study, by almost 35 tonnes of CO2 per annum – equivalent to removing around 12 cars from the road.
  • We have 43 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves or 200 years supply.
  • Natural gas fuel was recognised in a recent BREE report as having one of the lowest cost of production of any fuels in Australia out to 2050.
  • Oil is the largest primary energy source in Australia, accounting for 38% of total use.
  • Natural gas has up to 25% less carbon emissions. [Renewable natural gas has almost 100% less carbon emissions.]

(Source: Gas Energy Australia)

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