Nation’s energy needs must be considered holistically: APGA

APGA CEO Steve Davies.

APGA CEO Steve Davies.

The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) has called on energy policy-makers and stakeholders to breakdown the silos when considering our energy needs.

APGA Chief Executive Officer Steve Davies said Australia’s future energy requirements could not be met by one form of energy alone, no matter how it was generated.

“In the future, as it is now, we will require a mix of energy to meet all our needs,” said Mr Davies.

“We need to start thinking about energy as a single cohesive issue.”

Energy policy-makers and industry stakeholders are attending a conference in Sydney this week, and Mr Davies is urging attendees to stop thinking about gas and electricity separately.

“Energy conferences usually have a gas stream and an electricity stream, and these are often attended by different people,” said Mr Davies.

“Energy policy papers always have an electricity section and a gas section, and so do most government energy departments and most energy businesses.

“Energy policy is almost always managed and progressed in silos. Electricity, gas and petrol are considered separately as commodities rather than sources of energy. Households and businesses, those that produce energy, those that transport energy and those that use energy are all examined in silos.

“Emissions policy usually breaks down into these silos too. It’s usual that we think about them separately, but we have to stop doing that.

“Australia has future energy needs, not gas needs or electricity needs. Different energy sources have different strengths and we need all of those.

“For example, gas provides as much energy to Australian homes and businesses as electricity does.

“It cannot be easily replaced. And the main task it does – heating – it does much better than electricity. Gas provides intense, consistent and responsive heat to industrial tasks that cannot be provided by electricity.

“The challenges to gas supply are challenges to energy supply and the challenges of electricity reliability are challenges of energy reliability.

“We need to start thinking of them that way so that we can develop a cohesive national energy policy to reliably and affordably meet our needs into the future.”

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