Electricity emergency

Gas emergency

A net zero emissions gas network

As global desire to reduce carbon emissions increases, we need to innovate and modernise the energy network. The ACT Government has legislated to achieve zero net emissions by 2045 and our energy networks will play a big role in achieving that. Evoenergy unequivocally supports this target and to prepare, we’re looking at the options we have available for the gas network as we work towards the net zero emissions target. Two of these options—the use of renewable gas and network electrification, are included below.

  • Renewable gas

    Renewable gas is combustible fuel that is obtained from renewable resources and is carbon-neutral. Some examples of renewable gas include:

    hydrogen, where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen by electricity obtained from renewable wind, solar or other renewable electricity sources
    bio-methane, extracted from waste streams that would otherwise emit methane when decomposing for example in landfill, and
    renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide which are combined to make renewable methane.

    Evoenergy is working in partnership with CIT, ANU and Deakin University to research and test the use of hydrogen on the existing gas network. Other network distributors like Evoenergy around Australia are investing in large-scale hydrogen and bio-methane projects and sharing their research findings—all aimed at transforming Australia’s energy economy in the shortest possible timeframe.

    With renewable gas, we can create a system where all energy is sourced from renewable sources, at any time of day, throughout the year, creating a reliable, quality, affordable network.

  • Network electrification

    Transitioning our current gas customers to renewable electricity for all their energy requirements is another option we can consider to achieve the net zero greenhouse gas emissions target while maintaining use of the gas network. Some considerations of gas network electrification include the:

    additional peak demand for energy on the electricity network
    investment required to upgrade the electricity network peak capacity
    need to upgrade capacity of electricity transmission infrastructure to bring more electricity to the ACT, and
    retiring the gas network and upgrading and disposal of existing gas appliances.

    The key consideration of network electrification is the additional demand on the electricity network. Around 75 per cent of all Canberra households use gas, and over winter, gas provides 55 to 60 per cent of Canberra’s total energy needs. Residential consumers mainly use their gas for space heating and water heating, which creates defined daily demand peaks on the gas network that are hard to satisfy using the equivalent electricity.

    To cope with the addition demand, we would need to install around 3,000 MW of new generation capacity in large-scale and small-scale renewables and batteries, which represents double the current theoretical electrical capacity and triple what is generally achievable. Given the majority of this investment would be passed directly onto customers through network charges, we need to consider the cost impact network electrification would have on Canberrans.

Collaborating on sustainable energy solutions

In November 2019, Evoenergy submitted a response to the ACT Government’s proposed Sustainable Energy Policy for 2020–25, including our recommendation on how we can continue to support the Canberra community as we transition the gas network. The ACT Government’s Sustainable Energy Policy explores options achieve a net zero emissions gas network and proposes interim measures and priorities required to achieve the 2045 zero net emissions target. See our full response to the proposed policy below.

Evoenergy’s response to the ACT Government’s Sustainable Energy Policy 2020-25 discussion paper.

Get involved

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the how we might transition to a zero net gas emission future, and what the future of gas looks like.

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