The Australian Government’s Future Gas Strategy consultation paper highlights the urgent need for investment in new gas supply to avoid future shortfalls and underpins the net zero transformation in Australia.
The Future Gas Strategy will provide a medium (to 2035) and long-term (to 2050) plan for gas production and consumption in Australia.
In accordance to the level of uncertainty associated with the future of gas, the strategy will seek to be flexible to promote resilience to future events and circumstances.
Australian Energy Producers today said the release of the paper kick-started an important process in planning future gas supply to ensure energy security and affordability for households and businesses.
Highlighting the need for investment in new gas supply, the paper reveals new analysis showing future gas demand will outstrip supply in the east and west coast gas markets to 2034 and 2032, respectively.
Australian Energy Producers Chief Executive Samantha McCulloch said the paper recognised the growing role of gas as a partner to renewables in electricity, as a feedstock to Australian manufacturing and industry, the need for carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology, as well as the importance of gas exports to Australia and the region.
“Gas is the safety net for our energy system and the key to providing reliable and affordable energy to households and businesses as we transform for net zero.
“The paper underscores the urgency of supporting investment in new gas supply to avoid shortages. This must include a focus on ensuring regulatory approvals processes that are robust and efficient.”
Ms McCulloch said the strategy was an important vehicle to highlight the significant contribution the gas industry makes to the economy and its role in delivering net zero.
“The paper confirms that Australian households and industry will be relying on gas for decades. This is not just about the gas industry but the whole economy given the importance of gas to sectors such as manufacturing and mining where tens of thousands of jobs rely on stable and affordable gas supply.
“The strategy must recognise the many variables that will determine future gas demand and ensure Australia is able to capture the economic, energy security and emissions reduction opportunities of the sector and those industries that rely on gas.”
Ms McCulloch said it was important the strategy examines CCUS to decarbonise gas production and hard-to-abate sectors and the emerging opportunities for low-carbon hydrogen.
“The gas industry’s roles in CCUS and low-carbon hydrogen will be drivers towards net zero,” said McCulloch.
The Australian Government welcomes feedback from those interested in the role gas of gas relating to the future — including: gas producers, domestic consumers, international consumers, distributors and LNG import terminal project proponents, as well as the community and general public.