The Victorian Government is being urged to provide support for efforts to decarbonise gas.
Energy Networks Australia Acting CEO, Tamatha Smith said the Gas Substitution Roadmap released by the state government should allow for all options to be explored to support renewable gas development or customers could end up paying more.
“Seventy per cent of Victorians rely on gas for heating and cooking. Meeting all this demand with electricity instead would be extremely difficult to achieve and more expensive for customers,” she said
“In fact, the Gas Vision 2050 – Delivering a clean energy future report demonstrates that net-zero emissions can be reached with hydrogen at half the cost of electrification.
“The best and least- cost way to achieve net-zero is to repurpose the existing gas pipelines and networks that supply these homes to provide clean renewable hydrogen and biomethane and develop our renewable electricity grid.”
Ms Smith said the size of the energy transformation demanded a mix of solutions including electrification and renewable gas.
“This gives us diversity of energy supply – so we can ride through droughts in renewable generation – and retains customer choice, she said.
“The challenge is to find the right mix of these solutions to reach net-zero emissions in a way that ensures the reliability and security of our energy system and minimises costs to customers.”
Ms Smith said Australia’s gas networks were undertaking renewable gas blending into domestic networks and had ambitious decarbonisation targets.
The Gas Vision 2050 update, published in April, identifies key actions needed in the next decade for gas to go green and transition to net zero emissions in line with global and national targets.