News

Gas only slightly greener than coal, new research shows

GAS-fired power generation will not be cheaper than coal and will only result in marginal emission reductions, new research has found.

The research by the Global Change Institute at The University of Queensland has found a shift from coal-fired to gas-fired power generation will not significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions.

Energy economics researcher Professor John Foster said modelling indicated that a transition to gas-fired generation reduced emissions only marginally, and that wholesale prices would be higher than with a renewable energy option.

"The findings contradict a widely-held view that renewable energy is too expensive compared to fossil fuels, and too unreliable to be a major component of Australia's future energy generation by 2035," he said.

"There is no justification for the claim that a high proportion of energy sourced from renewables will drive up wholesale costs, in comparison to a power system heavily dependent on coal seam gas," Professor Foster said.

The finding comes as the Australian government deepens its commitment to developing coal seam gas resources in order to supply lucrative export markets and transition domestic power generation.

Professor Foster said a shift away from coal to lower-emissions gas was required in order to create greater resilience in Australia's power market, but he warned that coal seam gas was not a silver bullet.

"A mix of large-scale renewable energy generation, including solar and wind, together with consumer action to use power more efficiently, will deliver the most resilient Australian power market by 2035," he said.

"While our findings might indicate that pursuing a gas-centric scenario will lead to increased prices and reduced carbon emissions, they may not be sufficient to change the dominant industry view which is intent on replacing coal with gas," Professor Foster said.

The news comes as Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett calls for a national energy policy that curtails the export of natural gas, in a bid to ensure cheap and reliable supplies for the domestic market.

Mr Barnett said he found it extraordinary that while Western Australia had long had a policy of reserving 15% of output from the giant North West Shelf liquefied natural gas project in the Pilbara, other states did not have any such requirement.

"I think that is a serious flaw in our energy policy," he told Radio National.

"Any other developed country in the world will be ensuring that that clean, relatively clean energy, is preserved - or some part of it preserved - for the national economy."

Topics:  csg, environment, gas, lng, resources, university of queensland



Boyne Island club decides to fund 10 projects in the region

GOOD CAUSE: The project chosen for the $1,000 Lions Club grant went to wards purchasing a service dog for seven-year-old Chilli Morgan, born with a rare disorder.

IT WAS a day of giving for the Boyne Island Lions Club on Friday,

The families funding Hummock Hill

UPMARKET: The families built a shopping complex in Sydney's upmarket Double Bay.

Two wealthy Sydney families behind $950 million resort

Nine males, one female; divers watch turtles get frisky

Mating season ends this month.

One female, nine males, this is all part of nature for turtles

Local Partners

'Highly unlikely' Brad Pitt will face prosecution

It is highly unlikely that Brad Pitt will be prosecuted

WATCH: Justin Bieber grabbed in Germany

A video has emerged of singer Justin Bieber being attacked

Why The Wrong Girl is right for Jessica Marais

Jessica Marais and Ian Meadows in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

ACTOR makes the sometimes awkward character her own in new comedy.

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual