There has been plenty of talk surrounding the future of gas energy in New Zealand with the release of the Climate Change Commission draft report to Government. Some of you may have asked “is this the end for gas?”
Given the vital role gas and its infrastructure play in the New Zealand economy, it is crucial to understand the options for gas in the changing policy environment.
That’s the message from a report by London-based consultants Vivid Economics which was officially released in Wellington on Monday 10 December 2018.
Taranaki-based energy companies First Gas and Powerco commissioned Vivid Economics to explore potential scenarios for future use of the gas infrastructure as New Zealand moves to a low-carbon economy.
Gas and its infrastructure provide around 20% of New Zealand’s primary energy supply. Vivid Economics’ report finds that there are many uncertainties in New Zealand’s changing policy environment around gas and it is too early to pick one preferred energy source for a low-carbon economy. It may be that some sectors’ energy needs are met with one solution, and other sectors met by another.
“Greater certainty over the relative potential for hydrogen and electrification to address GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in hard-to-treat sectors is needed before a good decision on the role of gas transmission and distribution infrastructure in meeting the net zero target can be made,” the report says.
Hard-to-treat sectors include winter peaking in electricity generation, intermediate and high-temperature industrial heat, heavy vehicles, and agriculture, waste and industrial process emissions.
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