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Natural gas is an important part of our energy mix. We use it in homes and businesses to heat our buildings, heat water and to cook. It is also used by many large industries and to generate electricity. Because gas is so reliable, we often don’t realise the important role it plays in our energy mix.
Australia has committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions to between 26% and 28% below 2005 levels by 2030. To meet these carbon reduction targets, we must decarbonise the gas, electricity and transport sectors - a massive challenge which requires more options than just electrification.
Without the gas network, massive investment in the electricity network would be required to replace the energy currently delivered by the gas network to heat homes and water etc.
Natural gas is already an important transitional energy as we move from coal based energy to a low emissions energy future.
The Federal government’s National Hydrogen Strategy outlines the potential future uses of hydrogen, for domestic and commercial heating using the existing natural gas network, as a transportation fuel and as a stored energy fuel for generating electricity when solar or wind is not available.
Blending or even substituting natural gas with renewable gases such as hydrogen or biomethane can decarbonise the gas sector and will also help achieve carbon reductions for the lowest cost, using the same reliable infrastructure we use today – the gas networks. It also means customers retain the choice of energy supply, and those industries relying on gas as an input can continue to access it.