Prioritise renewable gas in Australia, organisations urge in open letter

An open letter signed by more than 50 organisations is advocating for renewable gas to be prioritised as part of Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap.

The letter, co-authored by Bioenergy Australia and the Australian Hydrogen Council, outlines the common ground for renewable gas market development with a diverse cross-sector backing the call on government to recognise the potential of biomethane and hydrogen.

The organisations believe the gases can play a significant role in solving energy market decarbonisation challenges while providing the lowest cost transition to a decarbonised energy system.

Shahana McKenzie, CEO of Bioenergy Australia, said the letter represents thousands of organisations and millions of employees across business, industry and utilities sectors who are willing to collaborate on innovative cross-sector market solutions.

“This support, combined with the right government vision and investment, means Australia could unlock the significant economic and varied social benefits of bioenergy – particularly in regional areas,” said McKenzie.

The proposals include wastewater treatment plants, agricultural and food processing facilities, meat and livestock processing facilities where the methane is captured and use rather than emitted into the atmosphere.

“Australia can continue to thrive as a major global energy producer in the new economy with our vast renewable energy capacity and renewable gas technology,” said Australian Hydrogen Council CEO, Dr Fiona Simon.

“Developing hydrogen as part of the long-term energy mix can have enormous payback for Australians. Clean hydrogen allows Australia to reduce its carbon emissions. Large-scale hydrogen production will mean new jobs and a major new export market.

“Australia has some of the world’s best hydrogen research projects. It is essential we turbo-charge these with additional investment and supportive policy.

“To reap these benefits, Australians require the government to clearly signal a national direction for renewable gas. Hydrogen can add huge value to the manufacturing sector, which can be in regional or remote areas. We urge the Commonwealth Government to support renewable gas a significant part of our national energy portfolio.”

According to Simon and McKenzie, the government must “move quickly” to get a certification scheme in place to facilitate domestic and export hydrogen and renewable gas purchase agreements and establish a market mechanism to drive the blending of renewable gas in the gas network to scale the market.

“We are confident with the right policy settings, Australia can attract the necessary investment to deliver a cost-effective, zero-emissions energy system that will create new jobs and new industries,” they said.

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