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Gas industry pushes hydrogen as the best and cheapest option


Hydrogen could be used to as a fuel supply for everything other than power generation and achieve net zero emissions at half the cost of full electrification, according to a report from Frontier Economics.

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The report, commissioned by the Australian gas industry, found the cost of switching gas with green hydrogen (using renewable energy to provide the electricity to create hydrogen) would cost $15 billion whereas replacing gas networks with full electrification would cost about $30 billion.

Queensland is currently pursuing green hydrogen while other states are putting resources into blue hydrogen, which uses fossil fuels to create electricity and sequesters the CO2 through carbon capture and storage.

The report outlines a roadmap to decarbonising the natural gas sector to help meet Australia’s emissions reduction commitments over the coming decades and documents innovative research and strong progress being made in advancing transformational technologies.

APPEA chief executive Andrew McConville said the report highlighted the vital role of natural gas in emissions reduction through fuel switching from more emissions-intensive fuels to gas.

APPEA has also released its Queensland election statement in which it called for the speeding up of approvals for fracking.

It also called for confirmation that the key gasfield of the Cooper Basin would not be impacted by an expansion of the Wild Rivers legislation.

The industry also said that allowing steel casing in horizontal wells would have a potential value of $63 billion and increase commercial reserves by 9000 petajoules. The practice has been banned since 2004 to ensure the safety of coal mining. It is not used in any other state.

“There are areas where petroleum proponents should be unfettered in their ability to use horizontal steel casing, for example where there is no overlying coal tenure, but proponents are nevertheless required to obtain an exemption,” the election report said.

“There are also areas where the presumption should be that horizontal steel casing is available, for example where there is a mining exploration tenure which has seen little activity over a number of years.”

Mines and Resuorces Minister Anthony Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government and industry had worked constructively over the past five years to deliver key reforms, which have led to Queensland’s reputation as a national leader in both supply and policy.

“Since 2015 the Palaszczuk Government has released more than 80,000 sq km of land for gas exploration, over a quarter of it guaranteeing the gas will be for Australian consumers.   Just this week, four companies won tenders to explore more than 3000 square kilometres of central and south-west Queensland.

“Particularly during the current pandemic, Government and industry have worked well together to maintain operations while protecting the health of the workforce and the communities in which they live and work.

“The industry’s proposals are many, detailed and cross many portfolio areas.

T”he regular Ministerial roundtables and officer consultations, we have put in place – for instance in implementing significant financial assurance reforms – provide a model for us to work together through these proposals in the next term of government.”


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