New gas is not a sensible solution to Australia’s future energy needs, says the Climate Council, in response to AEMO’s 2023 Gas Statement of Opportunities.
Andrew Stock, Climate Councillor and energy expert, said the next five years will be a critical window to get ahead of AEMO’s forecast future gas supply shortages, but emphasised opening new gas is not a sensible or workable solution.
Instead, he said it is time to accelerate renewables, storage, energy efficiency and to switch away from gas.
“Opening new gas is not the answer. We have to cut ties with gas by developing greater renewable capacity and more storage in the system, and electrifying our homes and businesses. That will cut greenhouse emissions and save Australians money on their bills, too.”
Mr Stock added the outlook in this year’s report has improved from winter 2022.
“Essentially, this report indicates our energy situation is in a better place than it was last year. Provided LNG exporters meet their domestic obligations, I doubt there will be gas shortages this winter.
“There is no shortage of hydro power, most gas storages are near full so it would take significant coal plant failures to create a gas shortage. Last year we had a cold, long winter in Victoria and South Australia, and floods disrupted energy supplies in NSW and Queensland. This is not on the cards for the winter ahead.”
Dr Carl Tidemann, Senior Researcher at the Climate Council added: “Australia does not have a gas shortage problem. Australia produces five times more gas each year than we use at home. In fact, 80 percent of Australia’s gas is exported or used by the gas industry itself.
“It’s preposterous to consider expanding gas when the bulk of it is being sent abroad. More gas will not only have disastrous climate consequences, but will continue to expose Australian households to the volatile energy prices we’ve experienced over the last two years.
“As one of the sunniest and windiest countries on earth, the future of our energy is from renewables backed up by various energy storage technologies, including batteries and pumped hydro.”
The Climate Council recommends that from 2025, governments should end all new gas connections to homes and require all-electric replacement appliances.
It is also calling for the immediate roll out of interest free loans to electrify households, so that Australian families can save up to $1900 a year on power bills.
For interviews please contact Jane Gardner 0438 130 905 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.
For further information, go to: climatecouncil.org.auOr follow us on social media: facebook.com/climatecouncil and twitter.com/climatecouncil