Australian Tax Payers Miss Important Opportunity
While an increased use of renewable energy may be considered a good thing, care must be taken what energy carrier is chosen for back-up power. Mr Michael Carmody, CEO of Gas Energy Australia said taxpayers and the environment would benefit if natural gas was used with solar instead of diesel. “Therefore the use of gas in this project would best complement the carbon emission abatement achieved by solar power.” Mr Carmody added.
Earlier this year, Gas Energy Australia had supported the closure of ARENA in a submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014.
Consumers and taxpayers are missing a great opportunity to introduce new technologies at larger scale and benefit from renewable energies by using clean back-up fuels or converting to gaseous fuels. The exclusion of gas (both natural gas and LPG) from government incentive schemes will infact mean a disadvantage for taxpayers, as low emission gas technologies can deliver comparable greenhouse gas emission reductions as renewable technologies, for a similar or lower cost. Mr Carmody goes on to add that the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) will support solar and electric heat pump water heaters while at the same time ignoring gas fired appliances such as condensing boilers or gas heat pumps. GEA has difficulties finding reasons to further support ARENA.
It is in the nature of renewable energy sources that energy production is intermittent or variable at best and usually does not coincide with current consumption patterns. The storage of energy ranges from difficult and costly to next to impossible, feasibility always being the main barrier. For this reason the introduction of renewable energy will be based on the availability of adequate back-up power which does not backfire by negating the positive effects renewable energy sources are expected to bring. Gaseous fuels are the cleanest fossil fuels available today and have proven to complement many renewable energy projects very well. LPG is ideal for intermittent use as it can be stored for indefinite time without suffering from quality deterioration and is available instantly at the opening of a valve.