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02 July 2022

 

Proactive engagement still required on the benefits of renewable gas

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) today acknowledges the release of the Victorian Government’s Gas Substitution Roadmap.

AGIG welcomes the recognition of the need to accelerate decarbonising the gas sector. This approach is aligned with AGIG’s own Low Carbon Vision, which targets 100% renewable gas by no later than 2050.

In particular, AGIG supports the Victorian Government’s consideration of a renewable gas scheme and renewable gas targets to drive investment, as this is key to delivering a balanced, stable and affordable low carbon transition for Victorians.

However, clear direction and concrete support is needed as a priority so renewable gas can scale up in order to decarbonise the sector effectively.

AGIG CEO Craig de Laine stated , “AGIG is aligned with the need to decarbonise gas supply and is thankful for the Victorian Government support of our renewable gas project, Hydrogen Park Murray Valley. We believe stronger support for projects like Hydrogen Park Murray Valley through the Gas Substitution Roadmap would have further decreased carbon emissions in the state, and we look forward to further engagement with the Government on this issue”.

Timely and balanced incentives for renewable gas will bring forward many benefits for Victoria, including not only for gas supply but for the electricity and transport sectors as well. For example, by decreasing the cost of renewable electricity, providing grid stability support and deep energy storage. Hydrogen will also provide a carbon-free fuel for transport.

Any incentives to shift off gas will most likely increase emissions in the near term because heating load is generally in the morning and evenings when rooftop solar is not available and the alternative is coalgenerated mains electricity.

“Victoria should learn from its success in deploying renewable electricity and address the policy imbalance by setting clear targets for renewable gas delivery in Victoria, which will drive decarbonisation of domestic gas use, transport, and electricity”.

“Decades of policy and funding support have spurred the development of the renewable electricity sector. Similar support is needed now and beyond 2023 to drive Victoria’s renewable gas future”.

AGIG is committed to continuing to deliver energy to customers, safely, reliably and with lowest cost decarbonisation. We know that price is important. Yesterday, our Final Plan for the Access Arrangement was submitted to the Australian Energy Regulator for Multinet Gas and Australian Gas Networks for the five-year period commencing 1 July 2023. These Final Plans provide average price reductions for our part of the customer bill.

AGIG strongly opposes any policies that remove customer choice and threatens the diversity and security of Victorian energy supplies. Customers should be able to make their own decision on their energy sources.

Maintaining diversity and customer choice is key to a low risk, low cost and stable decarbonisation pathway.

The recent challenges in the electricity system have highlighted the importance of a diverse energy mix and emphasised the important role of gas. There is no need to add load to an electricity system that is already under pressure when there is an achievable pathway to decarbonise gas and deliver using our existing infrastructure.

“AGIG supplies gas to over 1.4 million customers in Victoria, who tell us they want to use gas today and into the future. Electricity cannot provide the same heating quality and supply reliability as the gas supply system. That is why AGIG is working hard to decarbonise its distribution networks and deliver 100% carbon-free gas by no later than 2050, with at least 10% renewable gas blends to homes and businesses by 2030, in line with Victoria’s emissions reduction targets.”

“AGIG seeks to engage further with the Victorian Government on the benefits of renewable gas, and the government’s opportunity to support the decarbonisation of Victoria’s extensive and world-class gas network with zero-carbon gases”.

AGIG will develop Hydrogen Park Murray Valley (HyP Murray Valley) in Wodonga, Victoria, with ENGIE, supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Victorian Government. HyP Murray Valley will use renewable electricity in a 10MW electrolyser to produce renewable hydrogen from 2024, subject to a number of regulatory and financial approvals. The site will blend 10% renewable hydrogen into the existing natural gas network and supply energy to more than 40,000 existing residential, commercial and industrial customers in Wodonga, Victoria and nearby Albury, New South Wales.

 

Background

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) is one of Australia’s largest gas infrastructure businesses with operations across every mainland state and the Northern Territory supplying approximately 2 million customers. Operations include 40,000km of distribution and transmission gas pipelines, 60 petajoules of gas storage capacity, gas processing facilities and remote power generation.

As a business, we are actively scaling-up and delivering renewable gas across the country. We are leading the industry on the pathway to cleaner energy through Australia’s largest renewable hydrogen project, producing and blending renewable hydrogen into our existing gas network in South Australia known as Hydrogen Park South Australia. We have committed to deliver a number of renewable gas projects across the country and across the value chain.

AGIG’s vision is to be the leading gas infrastructure business in Australia - by delivering for customers, being a good employer, and being sustainably cost efficient.

 

For Further Information Contact
Kristin Raman – Acting Executive General Manager, People and Strategy AGIG
+61 402 858 978

James Wong – Marketing and Stakeholder Manager AGIG
+61 409 962 827