The independent energy market operator says the longer term forecast for natural gas consumption is strong, despite some challenges in the short term.
In the 2015 National Gas Forecasting Report, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), says:
- Start-up of the Queensland Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects will more than double total gas consumption in eastern and south eastern Australia;
- Short-term growth in some consumption will continue to be offset by restructuring of industry away from gas intensive manufacturing, ahead of a longer term improved outlook;
- For the electricity generating sector, gas powered generation is forecast to reduce in the short term, but then forecast to rise significantly in the period to 2035 as gas powered generation replaces over 2,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation
There’s a couple of key points to take out of the report – firstly, in order to meet the demand arising from the LNG projects, getting gas out of the ground is crucial. Industry recognises that, which is why significant investments are still being made in Australian developments.
But more is needed.
There are untapped reserves of unconventional gas along the eastern seaboard.
It’s time for policy makers to ignore the increasingly hysterical campaigns mounted by anti-industry activist groups, and unlock the gate to responsible, appropriately regulated development of natural gas resources.