Australian Gas Networks (AGN) and Multinet Gas (MGN), part of the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), has welcomed the opportunity to provide feedback to the Victorian Government Gas Substitution Roadmap Consultation Paper.
AGIG has commended the Victorian Government for its proactive approach to considering ways for the gas sector to reach net zero emissions.
Developing a framework that provides similar support for the renewable gas sector as that provided to the renewable electricity sector is key to efficiently and effectively decarbonising energy supply, retaining customer choice and improving energy security and reliability for Victorians.
CEO Ben Wilson, said AGIG, as a leader in the energy infrastructure sector, including in the renewable hydrogen sector, has a clear low carbon strategy to decarbonise gas supply in Victoria by 2040 as a stretch target, and by no later than 2050 in line with the Victorian Government’s targets.
Using our existing gas networks to deliver renewable gas, including renewable hydrogen and biomethane, provides a low cost, reliable and practical way of decarbonising natural gas use in Victoria,” Mr Wilson said.
“Victorians love natural gas today. Importantly, renewable gas will allow our customers to continue to enjoy the benefits of gas into the future while meeting their sustainability goals.
“Blending renewable hydrogen into gas networks is a crucial early step to ramp up supply growth, thereby bringing costs down. This is exactly the same pathway taken for the renewable electricity sector.
“By getting the foundations right, Victoria can build a thriving hydrogen industry that provides carbon- free gas to residential through to large industrial customers in the state, along with other complementary markets such as transport.
Building the scale and capability now by blending renewable hydrogen into gas networks to supply homes and businesses will also position Victoria to benefit from a substantial new export opportunity. We are talking exporting our sunshine from our rooftop solar systems to the world through hydrogen. This means thousands of new jobs in Victoria in this emerging carbon-free industry, including in regional areas.”
AGIG is already delivering a 5% renewable hydrogen blend to some of its South Australian customers and has big plans for Victoria. Recently, ARENA provided its support for AGN to deliver Hydrogen Park Murray Valley located in Wodonga, which will provide a 10 per cent renewable hydrogen blend to over 40,000 homes and businesses in the region.
Hydrogen Park Murray Valley is consistent with our plans to deliver a 10 per cent renewable hydrogen blend across all of Victoria by no later than 2030, reaching 100% hydrogen by 2040.
The right support for renewable hydrogen blending projects now is crucial to position the state to benefit from this new industry.
“AGN believes introducing a firm Renewable Gas Target, similar to what is in place for renewable electricity, is required to start us on this carbon-free pathway for the gas supply sector and access substantial new jobs for Victoria,” Mr Wilson said.
Victoria has demonstrated success in deploying and scaling up these types of policies before in encouraging wind and solar electricity. AGIG encourages leveraging these learnings in building a Victorian hydrogen economy – creating new jobs, reskilling existing workforce and supporting gas appliance manufacturing in Victoria.
In the meantime, gas continues to be a good low carbon option for customers today, because gas is used mainly in the mornings and evenings when rooftop solar is not generating, and so the alternative for the vast majority of customers is coal-intensive mains electricity. Gas connections also provide customers with the option for a future hydrogen connection.