Climate change impacts
Natural gas is the only conventional energy source that can underpin Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy during the next 20 years.
Natural gas produces less than half the greenhouse emissions compared to coal and uses proven, readily available technology. Combined cycle gas-fired plants and gas-fired cogeneration plants constitute by far the most greenhouse-efficient forms of non-renewable power generation.
Over its life, a new 350 megawatt natural gas combined cycle plant will produce 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, compared to 70 million tonnes for an equivalent coal fired plant. In terms of annual greenhouse gas emissions avoided, the difference is equivalent to Using natural gas to fuel local industry and households is by far the most greenhouse- and energy-efficient use of Australia’s natural gas resources.
WA is shifting from gas to coal
At current gas prices however, natural gas is no longer competitive with coal for major resource processing and power generation in Western Australia.
The gas shortage and high gas prices is forcing the State to shift from gas to coal at a time when the rest of the world is moving to cleaner energy sources. Recent coal-fired developments include:
- Bluewater 3 and 4 new coal-fired power stations
- Coolimba new coal-fired power station
- Muja A & B coal-fired power station refurbishment
- the Independent Operator receives 377 megawatts in proposals for new electricity generation - not one megawatt of this is gas
The carbon tax will have little impact in shifting energy use from coal to gas. It will only drive up gas and electricity prices