As Australia continues to battle horrific bushfires, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a renewed focus on gas-fired electricity to reduce emissions and lower energy prices. This is a dangerous and completely unnecessary route.
The Australian Energy Market Operator’s draft Integrated System Plan, used to plan future infrastructure needs in Australia’s largest grid, contains multiple scenarios for the coming decades. Several of these, including the “central” scenario – representing entirely neutral assumptions about the future – see no substantial increase in gas consumption over the coming decades.
But with Morrison now pursuing bilateral agreements with the states to open up more gas reserves, it is vitally important to interrogate the logic of gas as a transition fuel.