Gas infrastructure under review in Victoria’s journey to zero emissions

Infrastructure Victoria is inviting feedback on an interim report on the future of gas infrastructure in the transformation to a zero emissions economy by 2050.

The interim report, Towards 2050: Gas infrastructure in a zero emissions economy, presents evidence and analysis that will underpin Infrastructure Victoria’s final advice and outlines the key early findings.

Feedback on the evidence and analysis presented in this report is invited before Infrastructure Victoria provides its final advice to government on the best pathways for gas infrastructure to 2050.

Infrastructure Victoria has been asked to provide the Victorian Government with advice relating to Victoria’s gas transmission and distribution networks under a range of 2050 energy sector scenarios.

Under the Victorian Climate Change Act 2017, the Victorian Government has committed to a whole-of-economy, net zero emissions target by 2050.

The advice will assess the relative economic, social, and environmental impacts of each scenario and identify infrastructure decisions that need to be made, and when, to ensure opportunities for existing gas infrastructure can be optimised.

This will include exploring the extent to which gas infrastructure can be used for hydrogen, carbon capture and storage and/or biomethane.

Early findings from the interim report include:

  • Starting immediately, a mix of approaches will be needed to transform how Victorians use gas, to reduce emissions, manage risks, minimise costs and create new opportunities for jobs and industry.

  • The Victorian Government can support greater use of proven, low carbon solutions including energy efficiency, electrification and biogas to achieve emissions reduction. There may also be a role for gas-fired electricity generation to support our increasing use of renewable energy during the transition to net zero.

  • The government can continue to support further development and demonstration of emerging technologies including low emissions hydrogen, biomethane and carbon capture and storage until their viability at scale is known.

  • Reducing Victoria’s overall gas demand, especially in the household and commercial sectors where it is mostly used for heating, can reserve supplies for critical industrial purposes such as chemicals manufacturing.

  • Future infrastructure and network investment decisions can be tested for compatibility with pathways to net zero. For example, expanding existing gas networks to new residential and commercial developments may embed future emissions and could mean a larger potentially underused or stranded asset.

  • Meeting the state’s emissions targets will be challenging. The Victorian Government has a crucial role to play in enabling the transformation by providing clear market signals, creating incentives to reduce, replace or decarbonise gas, and aligning its own policies and regulations with interim and 30-year emissions reduction targets.

To make a submission or respond to the feedback prompts in the submission template, visit the Engage Victoria website.

Opportunities to provide a submission close 5pm, Monday 16 August 2021.

Infrastructure Victoria will provide its final advice to government on the best pathways for gas infrastructure by 2050 by December 31, 2021.

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