The future of gas is small and dwindling

09.06.23 By

The small and dwindling role of gas in Australia’s energy system is a hot topic at the moment. To limit further climate impacts, Australia must rapidly phase out the use of coal and gas power. Like the rest of the world, we’re moving toward a clean, renewable energy future. 

The science is clear: extracting and burning coal, oil and gas is driving climate change. New fossil fuel developments are incompatible with a safe climate

We’ve got ready-made alternatives: solar and wind power, backed by storage, as well as electric appliances. Electric stovetops, heaters and solar hot water systems are more affordable, easier to source and don’t emit any nasty toxins in your home. More and more Australians are recognising the health, environmental and financial benefits of switching off their dirty and inefficient gas appliances, and replacing them with clean, electric alternatives. 

In the 2023/2024 Federal Budget, the Albanese Labor Government announced a $1 billion low-interest loan package to retrofit residential properties with energy efficiency upgrades. It’s a good start, but more is needed to accelerate the managed phase-out of gas in Australian homes and businesses.   

The gas lobby is starting to look desperate.

In recent weeks, the gas industry has started offering to pay people to stay connected to the gas network. They’ve paid Australian newspapers to print baseless and fanciful claims about unproven gas alternatives and are launching a big new advertising campaign designed to mislead the public, so that they can keep profiteering from the use of fossil gas in Australia’s energy system. 

So, because the gas industry clearly needs a reminder, here are the facts. 

The Facts: 

FACT 1: Gas is a fossil fuel that worsens harmful climate change.

Case Study: Fracking in the Beetaloo Basin
The Northern Territory Government has recently made a pretty rotten decision to proceed with dangerous fracking projects, opening the door to the highly controversial Beetaloo shale gas field. This highly polluting development is projected to emit the equivalent of more than three times Australia’s annual domestic emissions over the next two decades. 
Fracking is one of the most environmentally damaging ways to extract fossil fuels. It uses many dangerous chemicals which can contaminate local land and water supplies. Tamboran Resources, one of the biggest fracking exploration companies in the Beetaloo Basin, was recently exposed by the ABC for being involved in ​​three significant fracking pollution incidents at a fracking exploration site in the Northern Territory.

All new and expanded coal or gas projects are entirely incompatible with a safe climate, and aren’t needed in our clean and thriving low-emissions economy.

FACT 2: Renewable energy now makes up more than 35% of our electricity in the National Electricity Market, while gas generation dropped below 5% in the first quarter of 2023

Want to find out more about getting your home off gas, for good?

FACT 3: Almost 80% of gas produced in Australia is shipped overseas, along with the profits. 

FACT 4: Gas is driving up power prices in Australia

Want to find out how much you can save by getting off gas and making your home more energy efficient? 

It’s just a fact: burning more gas will only put more Australians in harm’s way. Australia is in the grips of the climate crisis, and being crunched by rising costs of living. Both will worsen if we don’t urgently shift away from fossil fuels and switch our energy system over to clean, renewable power. 

To reach the steep emissions reductions needed this decade to protect Australians from dangerous and accelerating climate change, we need to rapidly phase out gas from our energy system.