- Natural gas is a cleaner energy source than black or brown coal, and is a more reliable energy source than renewable energy.
- Renewable energy is intermittent and needs to be backed up by power stations
- Australia’s natural gas industry creates and supports thousands of jobs.
A cleaner fuel
Natural gas is a cleaner energy source than black or brown coal, and is a more reliable energy source than renewable energy.
Renewable energy is intermittent – solar and wind plants cannot provide continuous power generation.
Renewable energy must be backed up by baseload power stations and peaking power plants that can be brought online quickly in times of high demand.
Natural gas is suitable for both baseload and peaking power, and it produces much lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has found that:
Overall US emissions declined by about 3% from 2010 to 2011 and that this was largely driven by power plants shifting from coal to natural gas.
Gradually replacing coal-fired power with gas-fired power would greatly reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Economy and employment
Australia’s natural gas industry creates and supports thousands of jobs. For example, over 27,000 people are employed in the Queensland natural gas industry in jobs ranging from exploration and production through to construction of the liquefied natural gas projects on Curtis Island.
In New South Wales, there are around 300 people working on coal seam gas projects. It’s estimated that up to 20,000 jobs could be created and supported by the CSG industry across regional New South Wales over the next two decades.