How the Future Gas Strategy will reduce global emissions

How the Future Gas Strategy will reduce global emissions

The Australian Government has announced a strategy that outlines the role of gas in achieving net zero targets by 2050.

On 9 May 2024, the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King unveiled the Future Gas Strategy to support the supply of affordable gas to all Australians while moving towards a more renewable energy future.

The strategy is centred on six key principles which will inform all government policy decisions involving gas. These are:

  • Australia’s support of global emissions reduction targets and commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
  • The need for continued supply of affordable gas for Australians during the transition to net zero.
  • The introduction of new gas supplies to meet an increasing demand during the transition.
  • The maintenance of flexibility for households to choose how their energy needs are met while a reliable gas supply moves the country towards higher-value and non-substitutable gas uses
  • Promotion of a flexible and adaptable gas and electricity market.
  • Demonstration of Australia’s continuing role as a reliable trading partner for energy, including LNG and low-emission gases.
The Strategy will continue to ensure household energy needs are met.

The Strategy in summary

As part of the Future Gas Strategy, a comprehensive analytical report has been released which outlines the required actions that the government will need to undertake in order to meet gas demand during this period of energy transition. 

Firstly, the government will need to prevent gas shortfalls by collaborating with industries to maintain gas-producing regions. They have also committed to reducing gas-related emissions by minimising the output of methane through operations, and promoting geological storage of CO2 in order to provide options for energy security and carbon management. Similarly, they will support businesses by working with states and territories to monitor price levels, and empower First Nations people by creating a collaborative and knowledge-sharing partnership with communities.

According to Minister for Resources, Madeleine King, “gas plays a crucial role in supporting our economy, with the sector employing 20,000 people across the country, including remote and regional communities.

“Ensuring Australia continues to have adequate access to reasonably priced gas will be key to delivering an 82 per cent renewable energy grid by 2030, and to achieve our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.”

Australia’s current gas outlook

Gas currently supplies 27 per cent of Australia’s total energy needs and 14 per cent of Australia’s export income. According to Geoscience Australia, the country was the seventh-largest gas producer in the world in 2021, exporting a massive 81.2 million tonnes of LNG alone. 

Since 2022, the Australian Government has implemented a mandatory Gas Code of Conduct, which limits the power of gas producers by monitoring the supply of wholesale gas to the domestic market to ensure it remains within reasonable terms.

“The Strategy makes it clear that gas will remain an important source of energy through to 2050 and beyond, and its uses will change as we improve industrial energy efficiency, firm renewables, and reduce emissions,” says Minister King.

“But it is clear we will need continued exploration, investment and development in the sector to support the path to net zero for Australia and our export partners and to avoid a shortfall in gas supplies.” 

It is evident that Australian gas has an important role to play when it comes to meeting global and domestic energy transformation needs and slowing climate change. In order to meet environmental goals, the country must limit the use of gas and reduce gas-related emissions.

According to the Future Gas Strategy brief, “gas is used to process food, to process critical minerals and in the manufacture of cement, bricks, glass, and fertiliser. Demand for gas in these industries will remain until commercially viable alternatives, such as hydrogen or biomethane, become available.”

However, there is a clean energy future that involves the production of gas.

“Gas-powered generation will continue to maintain grid reliability during periods of low generation from renewable sources, complementing battery storage and pumped hydro generation.”

To learn about how pre-winter rainfall from the East Coast is bolstering optimism, click here.

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