Bioenergy Australia and the Australian Hydrogen Council have issued a joint letter calling the Federal Government to put renewable gas at the forefront of technologies identified for investment.
Signed by more than 50 supporting organisations and businesses, it advocates for renewable gas to be prioritised as part of Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap, which is currently under development.
The collective is confident that with the right policy settings, Australia can attract the necessary investment to deliver a cost-effective, zero-emissions energy system that will create new jobs and new industries. For this to be possible, governments must cooperate to:
- identify and raise awareness of the potential for hydrogen and biomethane to play a significant role in achieving emissions reduction targets
- unlock seed funding from federal, state and territory government and private investment to showcase, activate and “de-risk” renewable gas markets
- build market confidence, scale and growth through: supporting a national certification of renewable gases as a renewable net zero emissions energy source, driving penetration of renewable gas in the gas network, building local capability and expertise to drive innovation in the hydrogen and bioenergy sector and developing a hydrogen fuel cell electric light and heavy vehicle, marine and stationary fuel cell roadmap to help drive the introduction of new fuel cell technologies and drivetrains to Australia.
“Our significant renewable resources mean we have the opportunity to deploy these forms of energy at scale and low cost now,” it says. Renewable gas provides a solution to a number of current energy market decarbonisation challenges, it says, such as:
1. Variable renewable electricity
“With the continued increase in variable renewable electricity, complementary reliable and flexible resources are becoming more important. Renewable gas in the gas grid connected to gas power plants can fulfil this need and start scaling up now.”
2. Heavy industry
“This sector is harder to decarbonise due to the process inputs and high quality heat required. Renewable gas can be delivered through existing connections to existing equipment, enabling effective decarbonisation.”
3. Heavy and fleet vehicles
“Due to high utilisation and carrying capacity requirements, battery electric vehicles are not suited to heavy vehicle applications, while the refuelling efficiencies of renewable gases can favour back to base vehicle fleets. Renewable gas delivered through the gas network can start cutting emissions from these modes of transport.”
4. Domestic gas supply
“Residential heating and cooling requirements often coincide with the electricity network ‘duck curve’ peak making electrification challenging. Renewable gas uses existing networks and appliances to enable customers to decarbonise this energy.”
5. Energy storage
“Investment in large scale batteries can be costly and only provides intra-day storage, whereas hydrogen has the capacity for longer duration energy storage by utilising the existing gas network infrastructure.”
A landmark report last year, commissioned by Bioenergy Australia on the availability of biogas in Australia, identified 371 petajoules of available energy, which is enough to decarbonise industrial, commercial and residential gas users currently supplied by distributed gas networks across Australia.