Tech vs. Emissions
Partnered with high-tech emissions reduction and removal projects nationwide, the natural gas industry is a genuine part of the conversation on climate action.
With scale, infrastructure and a collection of Australia and the world’s leading minds, the industry is leveraging capability and expertise to deliver emissions reduction solutions.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
CCS is the process of capturing and storing carbon. Simple, right?
Greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas operations are trapped and stored underground before they can reach the atmosphere.
Trapping these emissions negates their impact on the environment, while allowing industry to continue providing raw ingredients for electricity and energy.
Backed by government and industry, it’s a proven method of bringing the world to net zero faster without compromising access to energy.
For example, Chevron recently announced it had reached a new milestone in Western Australia by capturing nearly five million tonnes of greenhouse gas using CCS.
That’s the same as taking nearly 10 per cent of the vehicles currently on the road in Australia, and deleting a calendar year’s worth of their tailpipe emissions.
Santos’ Moomba CCS facility has also recently been greenlit. The South Australian project will be one of the biggest in the world, storing 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year at a cost of less than US$24/tonne.
Government research shows large-scale deployment of technologies like CCS in Australia can avoid around 250Mt of emissions by 2040.
Hydrogen has appeared as part of the Australian energy conversation intermittently over the past couple of years. Attention on hydrogen has been increasing as costs continue to fall.
The Australian government’s National Hydrogen Strategy released in 2019 highlights the role Australia can play as a world-leader in exporting the potentially important fuel. With the cost of making fuel cells and storing hydrogen decreasing with scale, Australia has a unique opportunity.
Opportunities exist for both green and blue hydrogen. The former involves using renewable energy sources to create hydrogen, which would entail dedicated solar and wind farms to reliably carry out the process. The latter creates hydrogen using natural gas in combination with CCS
While both approaches have their benefits,Australia simply doesn’t have the renewable capacity at present to rapidly scale up an export industry. Natural gas, as the cleanest traditional fuel source, ideally places blue hydrogen as the preferred method for building a national hydrogen industry in the medium term.
The report also highlights that a hydrogen export market can leverage existing Australian expertise to reach scale. One such industry is LNG. Australia has been exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) for many years and has strong existing networks and international relationships. Using these gas-specific expertise and infrastructure would provide an immense boost to building hydrogen into a meaningful component of the economy.
COP26 and the natural gas industry
Natural gas has a vital role to play in helping with climate action. For example, natural gas provides almost half of Australia’s household energy but produces just 13% of household emissions.
It’s also a perfect partner for renewables, delivering cleaner energy all over Australia.
The impact goes beyond our borders too. Natural gas is replacing coal, dung, and wood fires in Asia, meaning clearer skies for our regions and cleaner energy for our neighbours.
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