PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) has slammed a new report by the Climate Council that claimed more gas production will result in higher electricity prices and pollution.
In its report 'Pollution and Price: the Cost of Investing in Gas', the Climate Council claimed that gas power could be as polluting as coal, and could contribute to Australia’s emissions and climate change.
“As well as emissions from gas power plants, producing gas, particularly unconventional gas like coal seam gas, releases methane, a greenhouse gas 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide,” Climate Councillor Andrew Stock said.
Stock said Australia’s liquefied natural gas exports continue to push up gas prices across the country because they link domestic gas to volatile world oil prices. Combined with a lack of competition among local gas power companies, it was a recipe for a high cost, high emission power future.
“Australians need to know that more gas doesn’t mean cheaper power. If our government places more reliance on gas power instead of renewables in the domestic market all it will do is drive up electricity bills more.”
Appea CEO Malcolm Roberts said on Thursday that the Climate Council’s research was out of step with a vast body of authoritative, independent analysis that shows that gas is critical to reducing emissions over the next 20 years.
“The International Energy Agency, the Climate Change Authority and a host of independent experts all agree that the world should be using more gas, not less, in the transition to a low-emissions economy,” said Roberts.
“Australians have seen how gas-fired generation underpins energy security. The Australian Energy Market Operator has made this point absolutely clear.
“Until we have large-scale, affordable and accessible storage, intermittent renewable energy must be supported by fast-response, reliable gas-fired generation. Australia should seek to emulate the US in slashing emissions by increasing the use of natural gas for generating electricity.”
In relation to price, Roberts said that the only way to reduce gas prices was to increase gas supply and the number of gas suppliers.
“There is no doubt we are facing a tight east coast gas market. But we must solve this by fixing the underlying causes rather than creating new problems.
“Gas has a critical role to play in a low-emissions future as both a replacement for coal and a partner for renewables.
“If the Climate Council were serious about reducing Australia’s emissions, and doing so in a sustainable and cost-effective manner, it would support the expansion of gas-fired power generation.”