Plans by the NSW Nationals to expand gas supply and open the state to CSG and gas mining will have a negligible impact on demand, but considerable environmental impacts, according to Renew Economy’s Giles Parkinson.
Echonetdaily asked Parkinson to respond to comments by local Nationals MLC Ben Franklin, who last week voted with his party to reject a moratorium on the industry.
The government won the vote by a narrow margin.
While ruling out local gas mining, Franklin said, ‘… there may well be other parts of the state where gas exploration is appropriate – as long as it is independently assessed, and given appropriate environmental approvals’.
‘We are on a transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
‘That will require high levels of storage, long distance transmission and much better efficiencies in how we use energy’.
Franklin added, ‘But as that transition occurs, we will need an energy source that can react swiftly to changes in the output of wind and solar – one that is relatively low in emissions, and only operates when needed.
‘Natural gas will play that critical role in the short term’.
Gas negligible within 15 years
Parkinson told Echonetdaily, ‘Gas may have a role in the energy transition, and be around longer than coal, but even then, we won’t be needing more gas… most likely a lot less.
‘The experts, including the grid operator and CSIRO, say that the amount of gas generation in the grid will be negligible within 15 years, because of the progress of batteries, demand management, and other smart technologies, and other forms of storage.
‘That’s not a case for locking in investments for assets with a 30-year life or more, and which have considerable environmental impacts’.