The importance of gas in Australia’s energy market continues to be overinflated in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s annual Gas Statement of Opportunities.
The report, which is based on information from gas industry participants, repeats the pattern of previous years by warning of supply uncertainty and claiming ongoing investment in gas infrastructure is required to meet demand. It also suggests that suggests gas-fired generation plays an ‘important’ role in reducing Australia’s emissions.
“The GSOO appears to be designed to give legitimacy to an industry with decreasing relevance in Australia’s low carbon future. The report acknowledges that demand for gas is ultimately decreasing but suggests new investment is still needed,” said Polly Hemming, climate & energy program director at the Australia Institute.
“As Australian gas exports and profits surge the gas industry is again scaring us into believing there is a gas shortage. The GSOO is informed by the gas industry. Of course, the take-home message of the report is ‘we need more gas’.
“Gas is needed in the short term but the idea that it is helping reduce emissions is manifestly untrue. What Australia needs is an objective equal focus on how to tackle short to medium term supply issues while reducing gas reliance.
“Short and medium-term gas supply issues are the result of Australia being held to ransom by the gas industry. Australians will continue to be faced with skyrocketing prices across the board until this is addressed.
“The answer to any issue of supply over the coming winters is not to invest in more gas infrastructure. It is to speed up the transition to renewable energy.
“Australia doesn’t have a gas supply problem; it’s been made abundantly clear that it has a gas export problem.
“The most effective way to tackle any perceived supply-side issue is to reduce our reliance on gas in the long term and hold the gas industry to account in the short term.”
“While it should come as no surprise that the gas industry wants more investment in gas, it is surprising that in 2023 anyone would still be arguing that fossil fuels have an important role in decarbonising the economy.”
Tanya Martin Office Manager
Jake Wishart Senior Media Adviser