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Renewable energy the answer to gas “shortage” panic

December 10, 2020
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Claims of a looming gas shortage in Western Australia should not save projects that fail both the economic and environmental bottom lines, the Conservation Council of WA said today.

CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said Woodside’s Browse and Scarborough gas projects are not needed to meet WA’s energy needs and would directly undermine Australian efforts to reduce carbon pollution as required under the Paris Agreement.

“It would be a very bad mistake for Governments, investors and shareholders to place their support behind uneconomic and highly polluting gas expansion projects in WA. This will only lock our economy into an uncompetitive future, risk massive stranded assets, and ensure that our state remains a laggard on climate change.  

“Independent analysis has shown Western Australia has the technology, ability and capacity to deliver 90% of the South West Interconnect System’s power through renewable energy by 2030, creating almost 9,000 new jobs in the process. This is what we must focus on to drive employment and prosperity in WA, not more polluting gas projects that will become expensive stranded assets holding our state back,” he said.

The Clean State-SEN energy plan would deliver new renewable energy generation capacity totalling 11.7 GW delivered by 2030. This would lead to significant reductions in demand for gas for electricity generation, replaced by 5000 MW wind, 4500 MW rooftop solar, and 2200 MW utility solar.

“Renewable energy solutions are now becoming available for all industrial applications and there is no need for more gas to power growth in WA industry. We must be able to grow industry and jobs that will be competitive in a zero carbon global economy and that means using renewable energy not more polluting gas.

“Projections of a gas shortage are based on a scenario that gas demand in WA will grow from current levels of consumption. The reality is that gas use has been flat over recent years and is likely to go down as cheap renewable energy becomes more competitive for industrial heating and other applications. Even if government policy does not drive this transition, pure economics will,” said Mr Verstegen.

Media contact:  Giovanni Torre – 0437 167 087

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