AGIG supports Vic Government on gas substitution roadmap


Tuesday, 05 July, 2022

AGIG supports Vic Government on gas substitution roadmap

The Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) has responded to the release of the Victorian Government’s Gas Substitution Roadmap.

The roadmap has been described as a plan to help Victoria navigate the path to net zero emissions while providing greater choice and cutting energy bills, and outlines how Victoria will use energy efficiency, electrification, hydrogen and biogas to drive down bills and cut carbon emissions.

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

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 is aligned with the need to decarbonise gas supply and is thankful for the Victorian Government’s support of our renewable gas project, Hydrogen Park Murray Valley,” said AGIG CEO Craig de Laine. “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.

AGIG says that any incentives to shift off gas will most likely increase emissions in the near term because heating load is generally in the mornings and evenings when rooftop solar is not available and the alternative is coal-generated 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,” added de Laine. “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 strongly opposes any policies that remove customer choice and threaten the diversity and security of Victorian energy supplies, saying 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, according to the company.

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 10 MW 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 and nearby Albury, in New South Wales.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/tomas

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