16.09.2021Reducing natural gas dependence, one of Victoria’s great challenges

With Victorian households, businesses and industry heavily reliant on natural gas – more so than all other Australian jurisdictions – transitioning to clean, green energy and achieving net zero emissions by 2050 is a herculean task.

Earlier this month, the Committee convened Great gas conundrum, a forum featuring some of Victoria’s pre-eminent experts, to dissect this issue and explore how such a difficult transition could be achieved.

Infrastructure Victoria’s (IVs) Elissa McNamara discussed the findings from their interim report examining Victoria’s gas transmission and distribution networks under a range of 2050 scenarios. Various pathways are explored involving electrification, hydrogen, biomethane and carbon capture and storage. The final report will be presented to the Victorian Government later this year to inform its Gas Substitution Roadmap.

Elissa joined Principal at Nous Group, Richard Bolt, and Energy and Climate Change Program Director at Grattan Institute, Tony Wood, for an informed panel discussion. Key takeaways included:

  • The scale of the challenge means there is no time to wait. Victoria must start now as the next decade will be critical to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
  • It is too early to select a long-term pathway but there are policies and initiatives that could be implemented now to reduce emissions, including various energy efficiency measures.
  • A range of options are needed to diversify risk while reducing emissions.
  • A long-term plan should allow for technological advancements and new information, so the government can respond and adapt.
  • The Victorian Government will need to invest in its partnerships with industry, other governments and the community, to deliver its strategy and achieve its emissions reduction target.

The Committee thanks Elissa, Richard and Tony for participating in this highly informative event. For a broad overview of the issues associated with decarbonising Victoria’s gas sector, check out the Committee’s policy brief.

We look forward to the release of the Victorian Government’s Gas Substitution Roadmap and continuing our work with members and stakeholders on energy policy and advocacy.

Read our Policy Brief Decarbonising Victoria’s gas sector here

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