When South Australia suffered its dramatic whole-of-State blackout last year, it was natural gas to the rescue, restoring power to millions of consumers and thousands of bewildered businesses.
Businesses will need to cut their power use this summer or face supply interruptions, despite a reinstatement of some dormant gas-fired power generation, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
On the topic of natural gas supply, Queensland continues to deliver for Australia’s populous south-eastern states. NSW and Victoria are the biggest consumers of gas by far – hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs depend on natural gas, as do tens of thousands of small businesses and millions of consumers.
While most West Australians have come to terms that their Government is running a second inquiry into hydraulic fracturing – all at the taxpayers’ expense mind you – we were surprised to see that many of the issues and concerns raised in the Government’s Issues Paper have already been detailed in several previous scientific reports and inquiries.
Anyone suggesting the path to the renewable energy future is being somehow blocked by industry or political “dinosaurs” needs to take a good look at the facts, both on cost and the rapid rise of renewable energy.
When Queensland Senator (and former Resources Minister) Matt Canavan said renewable energy was not cheaper than coal-fired power he was attacked by anti-coal activists in social media.
As a divide emerges between the major parties in Victoria, the anti-gas rhetoric is starting to sound more and more shrill.
A major energy conference this week heard from policymakers, regulators, energy users and companies right across the supply chain, and beyond the broad agreement that there is, now more than ever, an urgent need for policy stability and certainty, the role of natural gas was high on the agenda.