ERIC Director Steve Wright comments on the responses of the NSW and Victorian Governments to calls for the removal of State bans on gas exploration and development.
Amidst the headlines this week about forecast shortfalls in domestic gas supplies, there are some pointers from regulators and policymakers to the impacts that state-based moratoria on onshore gas exploration and development are having on supply availability.
If the chairman of the ACCC, Mr Rod Sims is right, then Australia is about to take the almost unprecedented step of interfering with export contracts to redirect gas to the domestic market.
In contrast to the claims of protesters, not everyone is opposed to fossil fuels. The majority of Australians rely on coal and gas-fired electricity to run their businesses, heat their homes and keep the lights on.
US Business Council for Sustainable Energy, 2013
“Gas generators, which are inherently flexible technologies that can be easily ramped up and down to meet demand, are natural counterparts for variable resources such as wind and solar.”
Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten has increased pressure on Victorian Labor with a strong endorsement for natural gas as a key element in solving eastern Australia’s power problems.
Victoria’s irrational anti-gas stance may be starting to crack. This week the Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, urged Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to “turn on the gas taps”, as The Australian put it.
An attempt to place a permanent moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing in Tasmania was voted down by the state government on Wednesday.
Organisations like the Australia Institute and the Climate Council never miss a chance to attack fossil fuel energy and promote the cost and reliability merits of renewable energy.
The merging of the East Coast gas supply crunch with the electricity price and reliability issue is now well established in the public discussion. Political argument has linked the two and public commentary has comprehensively done so as well.