New report – Narrabri Gas not needed

EXACTLY ONE YEAR since Santos’ polluting and expensive Narrabri Gas Project was approved, a new report has found the gas this project would produce isn’t needed.

The report by energy analysts Northmore Gordon, which was commissioned by the Climate Council, reveals that New South Wales could reduce its annual gas demand by the same amount that the Narrabri Gas Project is forecast to produce, as soon as 2030.

“This report effectively renders the Narrabri Gas Project redundant. We already know that this project will drive up greenhouse gas emissions, worsen climate change and do nothing to reduce power prices. Now we also know the project is completely unnecessary when it comes to meeting the state’s energy needs,” said Climate Council Senior Researcher, Tim Baxter. 

“To ensure the New South Wales Government is capable of reaching its newly announced target to halve emissions by 2030 – it needs a plan to reduce gas use across the state. This new report shows them how to do it,” said Baxter.

“This is the first-ever plan that spells out how we can wean Australia’s most populous state off polluting and expensive gas using common-sense measures. This is a pathway to healthier, more affordable, and more efficient gas-free homes and businesses,” he said. 

Report Key Findings: 

  • Gas demand within New South Wales could be 70 percent lower as soon as 2030, and ​​eliminated altogether as soon as 2050, using readily available, commercially viable technologies.
  • With the right policies in place to support technologies like electric resistance heating and renewable hydrogen, gas use can be reduced in emissions-intensive industries like iron and steel manufacturing. 
  • Homes and commercial buildings are responsible for almost half of New South Wales’ gas use and meeting their needs with electricity is readily achievable with existing, commercially available technologies. 
  • Putting common-sense measures in place to reduce gas demand in New South Wales, such as electrifying homes and upgrading commercial buildings, would make the expensive and polluting Narrabri Gas Project redundant.
  • There is no shortage of gas anywhere in Australia with the growing demands of a swollen gas export industry driving supply issues, higher energy bills, and worsening climate change.
  • It is critically important for our economy, health, and climate that every state and territory transitions away from fossil fuels like gas as quickly as possible.

Dr Madeline Taylor, Climate Council spokesperson and energy expert said: “The ball is in the New South Wales Government’s court. Allowing the Narrabri gas project to go ahead is fundamentally at odds with protecting Australians from climate change and a just energy transition. It is also a huge blow for the local communities and farmers who have fought against this project for years.” 

“Australia does not need any new gas. The International Energy Agency has already said that there can be no new gas, coal or oil projects if we are to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change—as has the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its latest report,” said Dr Taylor. 

“New South Wales is a national leader when it comes to renewable energy and other clean industries, but it has a long way to go in transitioning away from gas,” added Dr Taylor. 

Gas is the world’s fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. 

The Climate Council recommends that Australia should reduce its emissions by 75 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2035.

Media release by Climate Council