Focus on emissions reductions rather than 'winners' a welcome step
20 April 2016
The peak body for the downstream gas industry today welcomed the release of the Turnbull Government's 'Clean Energy Innovation Fund' with a focus on reducing emissions rather than developing specific technologies as "a good step in the right direction".
"We welcome this shift toward more focus on emissions reduction and better commercial options rather than subsidising specific technologies", Gas Energy Australia CEO John Griffiths said today.
"We have consistently said that green schemes would be more emissions effective and cost effective if the focus was on the best lower emitting technology for each job rather than funding whatever the most populistic technology is."
"This step toward more technology neutrality is consistent with Gas Energy Australia's Vision for cleaner, cheaper Australian fuels including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) which can achieve up to a 25% reduction in emissions and can be more cost effective but for the impact of misaligned subsidies."
"Our recent budget submission showed that using low emissions gas fuels like CNG, LNG and LPG for the right applications could not only achieve better emissions outcomes but also save the budget $22 million for one proposed measure alone."
"While we will need to see how the policy announced today is implemented, broadening the range of lower emitting technologies covered by the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, including those using gaseous fuels, should help ensure the best energy source and technology is used for particular jobs."
"That would mean better value for taxpayers and lower emissions overall – and would enable better use of one of Australia's great lower emissions advantages - our massive gas reserves."
"Under the old rules, we know of cases where higher emitting, higher polluting solar diesel hybrid generators have been funded where there was a lower emitting, lower polluting natural gas alternative that was also more cost effective – but for the impact of the subsidy."
"Natural gas fuels for example emit up to 25% less CO2, 99% less SOx, 75% less NOx and a reduction of particulate matter of 85 – 100% over conventional fuels. Yet they have been precluded by 'technology' prescriptive rules that funded higher emitting and polluting options like diesel hybrids."
"Any step in the direction of harnessing our natural advantage and supporting the low emissions option and recognising better commercial options as well is a welcome step."
Gas Energy Australia's 2030 Vision for Cleaner, Cheaper Australian Fuels details steps Australian governments and industry can take to increase the role of gaseous fuels in Australia's energy mix. It and GEA's budget submission are available at www.cleanercheaperfuels.com.au
Media Contact: John Griffiths, 0439 344 622
View the PDF here
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