AGL admits importing gas costs more than just money

21 Nov 18

AGL has admitted importing gas to cover shortfalls could lead to 20% higher emissions (compared to extracting and using the same amount of gas onshore). In an email to Environment Victoria (sighted by Guardian Australia), the gentailer has advised that some of these extra emissions would count towards Australia’s target, and some to the country the gas was imported from, increasing overall carbon emissions.

This admission has come from discussions regarding new LNG import terminals proposed for the East Coast. AGL has proposed a floating gas plant in Victoria’s Western Port Bay that will connect to the gas network using a high pressure pipeline. They are arguing that the new gas import project, which would be effectively replacing two-thirds of the gas sold overseas, is crucial to long-term emission reduction plans as the gas would be used to firm up renewables.

“A marginal increase in the carbon intensity of the gas used to firm up new renewable energy projects does not materially impact the significant carbon savings achieved by replacing retiring coal plants in this way,” AGL senior manager for project engagement, Kelly Parkinson, said.

Environment Victoria chief executive, Mark Wakeham, described this thought process as “ridiculous and outdated”. “There’s no doubt companies like AGL might be able to make some money importing gas, but there’s no scenario where that’s in the public interest or a good outcome for the environment,” Wakeham said.

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