AUSTRALIAN GASEOUS FUELS INCLUDING LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS (LPG), LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG) AND COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS (CNG) ARE AUSTRALIA’S NATURAL ADVANTAGE.
Australian gaseous fuels – LPG, LNG and CNG – are cleaner, Australian, better for the environment, can provide greater domestic fuel security and offer more control over Australia’s economic future. With Australia’s abundant supplies of gaseous fuels, it makes no sense for Australia to be fully dependent on imported, dirtier and more expensive oil-based fuels (i.e. petrol and diesel) particularly for transport energy and off-grid power generation. Australian produced fuels create more Australian jobs.
As the national peak body that represents the bulk of the downstream gaseous fuels industry, Gas Energy Australia (GEA) was pleased to submit our Pre-Budget Submission as part of the 2019-20 Federal Budget. It builds on our Visions for natural gas fuels and stationary energy LPG – both of which include 10-point plans for industry, government and the community. While our Submission concentrates on first steps, a consolidated 10-Point Plan is attached at the end for context.
Unfortunately, cleaner, Australian gaseous fuels – with existing technology and abundant natural supplies – are often overlooked or penalised in Australia’s policy settings despite being the only feasible alternative to diesel and other sources of energy for heavy transport and off-grid baseload generation.
WHY AUSTRALIA’S GASEOUS FUELS?
While there is a lot of politics around energy policy and the pace of change towards renewables, there is one common element everyone agrees is needed. That our current and future energy sources must also be reliable. Gaseous fuels are Australian, they are cleaner and they are reliable. On current technology, gaseous fuels are the most reliable, low-emitting technology available.
Gaseous fuels like LPG, CNG and LNG are Australia’s natural advantage and can readily and effectively provide immediate benefits. With significant existing and flexible distribution networks through virtual pipelines that can be very responsive to changing demand without needing expensive new fixed pipelines, gaseous fuels have an important role to play in:
- helping improve energy reliability and security for Australians;
- providing greater domestic liquid fuel security;
- improving environmental outcomes by reducing emissions;
- reducing energy costs for business, community and residential sectors; and
- supporting both direct and indirect jobs in the industry and manufacturing jobs more broadly.
INCREASING LIQUID FUEL SECURITY
The International Energy Agency (IEA) fuel reserves requirement is a function of 90 days of imported fuel. Therefore, using more Australian fuels would reduce the quantity of the oil stocks we need to hold and the resulting cost – as well as being better for the environment when the fuel used is gas. The cost of building a stockpile sufficient to meet our IEA requirement is unaffordable – previously estimated by the Commonwealth Government to be $6.5 billion. In addition, shifting more domestic users from higher polluting, imported oil to cleaner, Australian gaseous fuels means lower carbon emissions and virtually none of the harmful particulate pollutants of oil-based fuels. And being Australian produced and not imported, means more jobs for locals.
IMPROVED ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH OUTCOMES
There are also strong environmental and health benefits to be gained from removing barriers to the use of Australia’s cleaner, cheaper and healthier gas – instead of higher emitting, higher polluting imported oil-based fuels such as diesel. The World Health Organisation has concluded that diesel particulates are cancer causing and that there is no safe level of airborne particulates – which are estimated to be causing up to 3,000 deaths a year in Australia.
Further, not only can LPG, LNG and CNG fuels reduce carbon emissions by up to 25% and virtually eliminate particulates along with NOx and SO2 – they are also Great Barrier Reef friendly as they evaporate off water if they spill rather than sediment and slicking like oil-based fuels.
IT’S NOT ABOUT GAS OR RENEWABLES – IT’S ABOUT THE BEST LOW EMITTING FUEL FOR PURPOSE
GEA’s 2019-20 Pre-Budget Submission isn’t about choosing between gas or renewables – it’s about making sure that the right energy source and right technology can work together to provide, secure, affordable and low emission energy to all Australians. One of the measures, for example, would support either standalone off-grid gas-fuelled power generation or gas-renewable hybrids instead of higher polluting diesel fuel. That’s good for our domestic liquid fuel security, good for the environment, good for local jobs and skills – and good for Australia’s economy.
You can read GEA’s 2019-20 Pre-Budget Submission HERE