Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) has responded to the South Australian Greens (SA Greens) Party’s proposed banning of new gas connections, highlighting that this policy overlooks the importance of renewable gas to the nation’s energy transition. 

The proposed ban is designed to assist the state in its push towards cleaner energy, but AGIG has outlined that renewable gases such as hydrogen and biomethane are net-zero carbon and provide new and reliable sources of energy, which can be utilised in the same way as natural gas. 

AGIG CEO, Craig de Laine, said these technologies are vital components of the future energy grid.

“The South Australian Labor Government has led the charge in fostering hydrogen innovation, committing funding to Australia’s first hydrogen projects such as AGIG’s Hydrogen Power South Australia (HyP SA), which is currently supplying renewable gas to over 700 properties in Mitchell Park, with plans to increase its reach to over 4,000 customers by the end of the year. HyP SA is one of numerous renewable gas facilities that are forming part of a zero emissions future,” Mr de Laine said. 

“The renewable gas of tomorrow will utilise the world-class gas infrastructure that exists in South Australia today. We have spent over $700 million over the past 10 years upgrading the South Australian gas network, which is ready to take hydrogen. Renewable gas is not only key to decarbonising gas supply in South Australia, but will also unlock further decarbonisation of the electricity sector, supporting a low risk, low cost, and stable decarbonisation pathway for the state. 

“To that end, we strongly oppose policies that threaten the security and diversity of energy supply and remove customer choice. The Greens are not best placed to make these decisions on behalf of the over 450,000 customers who want to use gas today and into the future.”

The SA Greens’ energy spokesperson previously stated that the Victorian Government had banned gas connections to new homes. However, AGIG said this statement was inaccurate and the Victorian Government’s recent energy policy roadmap provides clear support for the scaling up of industries that supply renewable gas and hydrogen, describing them as ‘essential’ to meeting net zero emissions.

“AGIG has welcomed the Victorian government’s recognition of the need to accelerate decarbonising the gas sector, particularly the consideration of a renewable gas scheme and renewable gas targets as a priority. We encourage other jurisdictions, including South Australia, to also adopt a Renewable Gas Target in order to drive investment in these critical technologies. The renewable gas sector has the potential to create thousands of new jobs in the emerging low carbon industry,” Mr de Laine said.

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