Why fracking Narrabri is no solution for cheaper energy or cutting emissions

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His own energy planners disagree. The Australian Energy Market Operator has planned a number of future scenarios in its recently released Integrated System Plan. Its central scenario with no policy change occurring has renewables capturing 76 per cent of the grid by 2042. According to AEMO, with this renewables-dominated grid, gas generation falls.

And that is good news for Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. As gas moves from the wells to customers, fugitive emissions can exceed 3 per cent. At that rate, it is as bad as coal in increasing emissions. This occurs quite regularly.

The benefits of gas over coal, once the full life cycle of emissions are accounted for, appear at best marginal.

While the use of gas for gas-fired electricity generation has faced steep declines, and its future is uncertain without government subsidies, Australia still needs affordable gas for industry while ever-cheaper renewables pick up pace. The question is, can coal seam gas from Narrabri provide this for the citizens of NSW?

The Prime Minister said we must get the gas out from under our feet to lower domestic gas prices. Once again, he is wrong. More gas will not lower prices.

The Prime Minister’s solution is to produce more gas. This solution has failed in the past. Since 2014, gas production has tripled on the east coast of Australia. Prices have also tripled. More gas production will not solve the price problem.

This content was originally published here.

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