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MEDIA ALERT | Feds’ future gas plan wrong direction for zero emission future

Climate Media Centre 3 mins read

The federal government has today launched its future gas strategy which outlines plans to expand gas production with reliance on methane until 2050.  

Energy analysts warn that building new gas projects takes investment, workers and supply chain capacity away from future-focused clean industries. Australia is already well progressed on its path to renewable energy and this is a juncture which is an opportunity for Australia to start a managed phase down of our gas exports and go all-in on the clean industries that will power the next era of our prosperity.

The following experts are available for comment and analysis:

Climate Energy Finance CEO, Tim Buckley, said: “It is ridiculous that the Australian Government in 2024 is releasing a long-term strategy that endorses the role methane will play in the transition to net zero by 2050. Gas as a transition fuel might have made sense a decade ago, but the climate science and technology landscape has changed fundamentally in the decade since.

“This does nothing to ensure and secure affordable methane for domestic use here in Australia first, and let industry export only the surplus. East Australia produces 5 times as much gas as we use domestically, the ‘gas shortages’ narrative is fabricated and fact-free.”

“We have to embrace the new low cost zero emissions energy solutions of the future as we move to a fully renewable grid, firmed by interstate grid transmission, rapidly evolving technologies like virtual power plants and vehicle to grid and massive deployments of ever-lower cost, improved BESS (battery energy storage systems). Far from confirming our commitment to being a reliable trading partner, it is a total sellout to future generations worldwide and shows the ongoing influence of the fossil fuel industry in Australia is still endemic in Federal Australian politics in 2024.

“We have a skilled labour shortage, finite resources, and finite capacity for new project approvals in our governments. We need all hands on deck to seize the massive $500bn of investment opportunities ahead for our country, rather than yet again caving in to the self-serving demands of the  multinational fossil fuel industry of old.”

Tim Buckley is a leading energy finance analyst with 30 years' experience, and director of independent think tank Climate Energy Finance

Location: Sydney.

To arrange interviews with Tim Buckley, please contact: Annemarie Jonson, 0428 278 880 / annenarie@climateenergyfinance.org  

 

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) Lead Analyst, Australia Gas, Joshua Runciman said: “The Australian Government’s Future Gas Strategy calls for more gas supply to address ‘shortfalls’. However, IEEFA’s research finds that cost-effective measures to lower Australian residential gas demand will eliminate the risk of annual and peak day shortfalls in the southern states, while also lowering households energy bills. Australian households are locking in $1.2 billion in unnecessary costs for each year that new gas appliances continue to be installed.

“The Future Gas Strategy also states that gas will support Australia’s industries. But, recent years have seen a number of major industrial gas users close facilities due to high prices and challenging gas market conditions, despite a focus on new gas supply by AEMO. Lowering residential household gas demand will be more effective in ensuring adequate gas supply for industries that are not yet able to use alternatives to fossil gas. 

“Gas exploration expenditure has been falling for the past decade as gas companies pivot to renewable energy investments or return cash to shareholders. IEEFA considers it unlikely that expenditure will materially increase as anticipated by the Future Gas Strategy.

“The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that global gas demand will peak by 2030 under all scenarios, with demand expected to decline rapidly if countries implement climate emissions reductions pledges that they have already announced. LNG demand is already falling in Australia’s key LNG export markets of Japan and South Korea. 

“IEEFA analysis shows that Australia’s export LNG contract volumes in 2035 will be less than half of what they are in 2024. A massive wave of new LNG supply will come online internationally from 2025 and create a glut in the second half of this decade. Much of this new LNG supply is still looking for end buyers. This new supply is more than sufficient to meet global LNG demand under all IEA scenarios.

“Gas demand in Japan, Australia’s largest LNG buyer, has been falling since 2014. Japan now has excess LNG and is increasingly competing with Australia to supply LNG to emerging markets in Asia. From 2020-22, Japanese companies sold more LNG to third countries than they imported from Australia.” 

To arrange interviews with IEEFA spokespeople, please contact: Amy Leiper, 0414 643 446 / aleiper@ieefa.org  

ENDS

 



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