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Renewable LPG Achieves Emissions Budgets With No Need To Ban New LPG Connections

Renewable LPG can supply New Zealand’s LPG needs and achieve the emissions reductions proposed by the Climate Commission without the need to ban new connections, a new study shows.

The investigation, by leading consultancy Worley, was prepared for the LPG Association’s submission on the Climate Change Commission’s Draft Advice. It is released publicly today for the first time.

The LPG industry believes the Climate Commission got its recommendation for emissions reductions right.

However, while the Commission proposed a ban on new connections to LPG, the industry says replacement with renewable LPG is a better strategy that achieves the same emissions reductions.

The Worley study looked at renewable LPG technologies and feedstocks. It demonstrates that the emissions budget can be achieved by replacing 70% of all LPG with renewable LPG. 100% renewable LPG is feasible, but with greater uncertainty.

“LPG is primarily used where the high burn temperature or mobility value is prized and providing this service with electricity is very expensive. Substitution with biomass pellets and biofuels is possible, but the cost of fuel and transition are likely to be substantially greater than retaining existing infrastructure and fuelling with renewable LPG,” the Worley report says.

LPG Association executive director Peter Gilbert says the New Zealand LPG industry is not working alone on the transition. Europe and the United Kingdom are investing significantly in transitioning to renewable LPG.

“Up to today, the major obstacle to adopting existing renewable LPG technology into New Zealand has been that, like other alternative fuels, there is a cost to adoption. Accelerated development and use of renewable LPG to meet emissions budgets is likely to cost more than conventional LPG, but it is preferable to exiting the gas altogether — economically, for energy security, and for practical convenience.

“Strong collaboration with government and across industries, including LPG and other fuels, will help to achieve our common net carbon zero goals.”

LPG is essential to more than 180,000 New Zealand businesses and homes. It is versatile and portable and it is able to be transported safely across the country, which makes it a cost-effective energy source, available in even the remotest areas.

LPG is high efficiency, so it is ideal for cooking and for space and water heating. Even where alternatives are possible, customers choose LPG for uses such as fuelling energy intensive or remote businesses, in space constrained buildings, and in households for uses such as continuous hot water and instant heat.

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