Aims & Objectives
Membership of Gas Energy Australia is voluntary. Our members bring unity of purpose and dedication to the shared vision of seeing gas celebrated through recognition of its modern contribution - economically, environmentally and socially - to the Australian community...
Australia's downstream gas production, distribution and delivery systems are seminal to a raft of modern industrial needs, as well as the modern living standards millions of Aussie families expect.
Gas is vital - and irreplaceable - to Australian manufacturing for heating, but also across a plethora of industries as an essential base ingredient.
Firstly, for heating. Only gas can achieve the extreme temperatures necessary for thermal energy used directly in the preparation or treatment of materials to produce manufactured goods. Electrification, regardless of its source, cannot achieve the very high temperatures, ranging over 800-1,300 degrees Celcius, demanded by modern industrial processes.
Secondly, it is little understood that gas is, in fact, a required feedstock in making many of the things we take for granted:
- Plastics for mobile phones, toys, detergent bottles, milk bottles, eyewear, solar panels, wind turbines, life jackets, bandages, tents, shrink film, etc.
- Rubber, including for car tyres.
- Medical equipment, dental hygiene products.
- Agriculture, most notably fertilisers to increase crop yields, as well as pesticides, herbicides and a wide variety of farm chemicals, including in animal feed.
- Agricultural piping for irrigation and water storage.
- Transport, especially heavy vehicles.
- Industrial piping for mining, commercial and housing - water, gas and other reticulation.
- Insect repellant.
- Artificial limbs.
- Musical equipment.
- Refrigeration for food storage.
- Anti-freeze for cars.
- White goods - appliances and electronics.
- Soft drinks.
- Building products, medium density fibre board, particle board, insulation, flooring, siding and laminates.
- Water treatment for waste waters and sewage.
- Cleaning products, solvents, detergents, fabric softener, windshield cleaner and paint remover.
- Signage, glazing, lighting fixtures and surface coatings.
- Clothing and textiles, bedding and furniture, polyester, carpets and rugs.
- Hospitality - gas cooking for restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, as well as outdoor heating.
- Entertaining - BBQs, outdoor heating, caravans and camping.
While by no means exhaustive, the list above demonstrates that gas is an essential component in providing the things that not only maker life enjoyable, but are vital for modern living.
A third reality is that while solar and wind power will be part of the energy mix into the future, and the gas sector supports this development, they have inherent limitations and will rely on back-up power to ensure supply. Australian gas is already positioned to provide clean, reliable and affordable power today, while also developing the renewable gas technologies to achieve net zero gas energy.
Domestic gas production and its networks underpin more than 241,600 Australian jobs, while driving over $70 billion in economic activity (or 3.4% of GDP).
By changing to green renewable gases through this network, we can save on additional costs while delivering reliable, affordable energy with net zero emissions.
Over the coming decades Australian gas will transform into a decarbonised energy source to be newt zero by 2050. New bio and renewable gases, in addition to hydrogen, will be vital to Australia's energy system - importantly, tapping into our existing gas infrastructure network.
Gas Energy Australia has commissioned modelling to demonstrate the feasible pathway to renewable gas options to deliver net zero energy, along with research into the economic contribution of the gas industry in Australia, all drawn from independent and authoritative sources.
This evidence-based approach is the basis upon which all Gas Energy Australia activity is premised.
The lack of knowledge about gas and its vital applications - among the political class, media and community - can contribute to poor decision-making and damaging unintended consequences. It also feeds negative and often ill-informed media commentary about gas and its ability, through renewable options, to decarbonise and be a net zero energy provider.
Striving to balance the political and public discussion in an informed way can, in turn, better guide and inform evidence-based and targeted policy responses.
A rational discussion
By switching from diesel to gas where electrification is simply not possible; providing necessary and reliable back-up to solar and wind power and adopting emerging renewable, net zero gases; Australian families and businesses can continue to use efficient and affordable locally-produced gas.
The existing delivery systems of 40,000km of pipeline, as well as around 20 million cylinders and tanks, means minimal construction or new infrastructure costs for consumers.
Recognising and supporting gas fuels today means supporting a cleaner and more reliable energy future for Australia.
The vast majority of Australians, including via business applications, use gas safely, reliably and affordably as a matter-of-course every day.
Yet, some would have policy-makers and the public believe that gas is the enemy of decarbonisation and living standards. Nothing could be further from the truth. This lack of basic knowledge and balance in the policy and public debate, can lead to knee-jerk, untargeted and ineffective responses that, ultimately, fail to address the opportunities, mitigate risks or account for the real-world application of Australian gas in our daily lives. .
The reputation of gas and, more broadly, the myriad sectors that rely on gas through the supply chain, is the responsibility of all of those who operate within it.
Gas Energy Australia recognises that the policy and public discussion has failed to recognise the contribution - today and into the future - gas must make for Australia to be a modern, viable economic and environmental leader, while still enjoying the social interaction gas provides.
As such, Gas Energy Australia seeks to inform the policy debate to encourage a more informed, evidence-based and balanced discussion.
We strongly support the inclusion of Hydrogean and Biomethane in the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). Further expanding the way displacement is credited under the ERF to include the full array of emerging renewable gases to replace fossil fuels, would enable the Australian gas industry to make a profound contribution to reducing emissions.
Crediting of renewable gases
Australia needs to establish a national scheme for certifying renewable gases and expand the Guarantee of Origin scheme and GreenPower's Renewable Gas Certification Pilot, to include all renewable gas technologies - not just Hydrogen and Biomethane. It makes sense to have more horses in the renewables race.
Improving the way emissions reductions from fuel switching are calculated and credited under the ERF will facilitate cleaner, safer gases for road and maritime use. These simple measures would not cost the government anything, but will drive...
- Uptake of emerging renewable gases, such as low carbon Biogas, to deliver lower emissions.
- Transformation of entire gas networks to deliver net zero emissions.
- Incentivising land and sea transport to gain fuel credits, leading to increased uptake of cleaner and safer gases that are environmentally sound and benefit transport, commercial and industrial users.
- Cleaner fuels with lower emissions that can be delivered today and will achieve net zero into the future.
Switching from maritime diesel to gas fuels
Phase out oil-based ships, which present a danger to Australia's pristine waters and shores, replacing them with cleaner and safer renewable gas-run vessels, including new ferries brought into service.
Create incentives for the uptake of cleaner Australian gas fuels in the marine sector (i.e. reduced port charges and levies). By removing barriers and supporting the use of cleaner marine fuels, Australia can quickly...
- Avoid disastrous oil spills, preventing ecological catastrophe should oil-based ships run aground, sink or otherwise cause marine pollution.
- Set the marine sector on a viable pathway to reach net zero emissions through the greater use of renewable gases.
- Easily facilitate a proven performer, with gas already used successfully in Australian shipping and ferry operations - delivering 25% fewer emissions immediately and, ultimately, net zero as emerging renewable gases become mainstream.
- Replace reliance on imported oil with renewable gases, which Australia has in abundance to deliver genuine fuel security.
Tax gas fuels at $50% or less compared to diesel
Reduce gas fuels excise to 50% of the rate applied to diesel/petrol on an energy equivalent basis. Gas excise has blown out to more than 80% of the diesel rate, inhibiting uptake of cleaner fuels.
Introduce incentive schemes like EU countries, including the Netherlands, Poland and Germany, to reduce excise on gas heavy vehicles, and exempt gas from truck tolls. Gas currently powers over 1.5 million vehicles in Europe.
This represents a minimal cost to government, but a major boost to decarbonisation through...
- Delivering significantly reduced carbon and particulate emissions in heavy transport, which is one of the hardest to decarbonise sectors of the Australian economy.
- Competitive pricing means lower - and, ultimately, net zero - gases will replace diesel in the
trucking sector, especially long-haul where electrification cannot replace diesel.
- Easy to implement, this delivers benefits for industry, taxpayers, government administration and the environment.
- Imported diesel would be replaced by gases, which Australia has in abundance, delivering genuine fuel security.
Tighter emissions standards
Implement results from the Non-Road Diesel Engine (NRDE) consultation, including tightening emissions standards for non-road engines using polluting diesel. These tighter emission standards should also apply to heavy vehicles that travel through Australian cities to reduce CO2, NOx, SOx and particulates.
Key international lessons include...
- Most countries have implemented emission standards for non-road engines. As a result, Australia is lagging well behind and being dumped with older, more polluting engines.
- Australia should also mandate Euro VI standards for heavy vehicles to bring Australia in line with the EU and other countries, such as the US and Japan.
- Introducing tighter emissions standards for non-road engines and heavy vehicles, and the increased use of gas to meet these standards, will deliver air quality benefits today and will be further improved through the use of emerging renewable gases.
Any serious policy to markedly reduce emissions, and do so immediately, must include these settings and, thereby, spur the development of net zero emission gases to fuel Australia's energy needs.
Australian gases are heavily regulated and, as such, Gas Energy Australia works closely with federal and state/territory agencies, as well as Standards Australia, to ensure the continued safe production, transport and use of gas fuels to Australian businesses and homes.
We advocate for sensible, targeted and uniform approaches to managing gases across the country, their distribution and the appliances through which they are delivered. This is especially the case with a swathe of emerging renewable gas technologies to meet Australia's ongoing energy needs.
Improving the awareness and understanding of the benefits and applicability of gas, in all its uses, is pivotal to Australia achieving its renewable energy and net zero targets, with the regulatory oversight to match.
Gas Energy Australia is dedicated to supporting policy measures to achieve these practical safety protocols.
In addition to providing leadership for the Australia downstream gas industry, Gas Energy Australia is a partner in a number of allied industry bodies and agencies that play a role in influencing the policy and reputation of the sector.
These bodies include:
- The Australian Gas Industry Trust
- NGV Global
- Standards Australia
- The World LPG Association
Striving to provide thought leadership to the wider gas sector, Gas Energy Australia seeks to ensure that each entity is taking a proactive role in advancing a consistent approach in developing evidence-based and targeted policy and regulation.