Don't 'shut the door' on renewable, net zero gases
3 June 2022
Re "Not cooking with gas: Councils want to ban gas connections in new developments" (The Age, 1/6).
While solar, wind and batteries will be part of our future energy mix, they cannot do everything. No matter what the future holds, the sun shines half – sometimes less – of the day and the wind blows when it will. Batteries will need to improve markedly to store the vast amount of power to meet downtime and unforeseen needs.
In 2021, renewables generated an impressive 24 per cent of Australia's electricity. That leaves a 76 per cent shortfall. With coal-fired power plants already closing, that gap is not shrinking rapidly. Meanwhile, new renewable gases will tap into Australia's existing delivery network of pipes and, especially, cylinders and tankers, resulting in net zero emissions.
Gas companies are developing dimethyl ether as a 100 per cent renewable, green-bottled gas. It is produced from food waste, agricultural residues, landfill, recovered CO2 or by using renewably produced methanol from biogas. Biopropane and biomethane have the same chemical properties of LPG, but are 100 per cent renewable.
Any government that shuts the gate on renewable, net zero gases will be condemning businesses and households to higher-priced, unreliable and, ultimately, higher-emissions electricity.
Brett Heffernan, CEO, Gas Energy Australia
Published in The Age newspaper on 3 June 2022.
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