Australia has launched a national strategy to strengthen the role it plays in the diverse energy mix beyond 2030, designed to maximise the country’s existing gas supply and infrastructure.

Gas Vision 2050 was presented to the Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, and the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, in Canberra yesterday.

It was developed by Australia’s peak gas industry bodies and aims to demonstrate how natural gas – for example in the form of the country’s burgeoning LNG industry – can continue to provide Australians with reliable and affordable energy in a low carbon energy future.

But it also highlights the role that biogas, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS) can play in this strategy, as three key ‘transformational technologies’ of the future.

Biogas and hydrogen, it states, have the potential to become mainstream and complementary energy solutions that will use existing energy infrastructure. Biogas, for instance, can make use of landfill or agricultural and forestry waste to produce a net-zero emissions fuel. Meanwhile hydrogen can be produced from natural gas or through electrolysis using off-peak renewables.

Complementing this is CCS, a proven technology for removing greenhouse gas emissions that can be applied to power generation, industrial processes that use natural gas, hydrogen production from methane, or even biogas production – resulting in negative emissions.

This leads to emission-free energy, where hydrogen can then be stored in the gas network, providing reserve energy in the same way battery technology does, in a carbon-neutral, secure and cost- effective manner, while also providing inter-seasonal energy storage.

“BOC looks forward to working with industry and government to help increase understanding of new gas technologies that will improve energy security, reliability and reduce emissions…”

Applauding Gas Vision 2050, John Evans, Managing Director of BOC South Pacific, told gasworld, “BOC welcomes the leadership shown by the gas industry to reinforce the need for a national approach to energy policy that clearly identifies the role for abundant reserves of natural gas (LNG) and LPG in meeting Australia’s future needs.”

“BOC looks forward to working with industry and government to help increase understanding of new gas technologies that will improve energy security, reliability and reduce emissions.”

Citing the company’s growing investment in hydrogen, he added, “BOC has heavily invested in LPG and LNG over many years and more recently has invested in hydrogen. We are committed to growing our investment in these gaseous fuels and in particular further developing hydrogen in the market to supplement our current industrial business for transport and home use.”

2050 and beyond

The report states in its foreword that its vision is for Australia to turn its gas resources into products and services that will enhance national prosperity, while achieving carbon neutrality.

“This Gas 2050 Vision report is the next step in our gas journey,” it says. “It reflects the ambitions of key organisations which represent Australia’s gas sector. It shows that gaseous fuels have a pivotal role to play in Australia’s low carbon future to 2050 and beyond. Our plan is for this Vision to be refined and further developed as the role of gas in Australia’s energy mix continues to evolve.”