Edge attended the Gas Energy Australia 2018 National Forum held at the Gold Coast on 17 and 18 May 2018.
There were a number of prominent speakers at the forum including Senator Canavan, the Commonwealth Minister for Resources and Northern Australia; Tony Wood, Energy Policy Director at the Grattan Institute as well as Ian Macfarlane from the Queensland Resources Council.
Senator Canavan highlighted the improvement in the gas prices during the first four months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. He attributed part of the 24% reduction in prices at the Wallumbilla gas hub to the conversations the Federal Government had with key gas producers last year and the potential for a domestic reserve policy being enacted. The Senator also highlighted some of the challenges in communicating the value of having gas being produced right across Australia. He noted that it costs around $2.00/GJ to transport gas from Queensland to Victoria and only between $2.50/GJ and $3.00/GJ to transport gas from Queensland to Japan. The Senator had praise for the Northern Territory Government for allowing more exploration. The is a potential for 1 billion barrels of oil to be extracted in the Northern Territory which would alleviate some of the energy security issues that Australia is facing.
The Senator also spoke about some of the issues in the electricity market. He confirmed that the current renewable energy target would be closed off to new participants starting after 1 January 2021. He described the renewable energy target as one of the worse policies ever.
Tony Wood of the Grattan Institute agreed that the cost of the renewable energy target did not justify the carbon reduction. He also reflected that energy policy would continue to be political and it was up to industry to drive it forward.
Ian Macfarlane agreed with previous speakers on the renewable energy target. He described having to implement the original scheme as a “hospital pass” handed down from previous ministers. He also went on to talk about the importance of the gas industry and how the industry needs to be better at engaging the wider population. He mentioned the importance of countering the rhetoric from activists trying to stop the industry growing particularly on social media where the gas industry historically was underperforming.
If you would like to know more about the outcomes of the forum, please contact Edge on 07 3905 9220 or 1800 334 336.