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Decision: electricity and gas is NZ’s energy future

Decision: electricity and gas is NZ’s energy future

First Gas has welcomed a report released today that concludes that any practical electricity-based energy future for New Zealand requires a gas network.

The Interim Climate Change Commission report “Accelerated Electrification” says that even the most ambitious national energy systems based on renewable electricity will still require supplementation with natural gas.

The rationale for a renewable electricity / gas mix is that the cost of supplying enough renewable electricity to cover seasonal and incident shortfalls in supply would be prohibitively expensive, that some applications must use gas rather than electricity, and that gas availability would keep downward pressure on electricity prices.

First Gas chief executive Paul Goodeve said today the report opened the way to industry and government work on a steady transition which retained availability and flexibility of gas.

“The ICCC Report concludes the theoretical discussion – now we get down to business.

“New Zealand will increase its supply of renewable energy, but it also chooses to retain gas. At the least, gas will be a supplement for shortfalls, price economics, and for a selection of high heat applications.

“The final electricity / gas mix does not need to be decided for some time and shouldn’t be. There’s technology in development, like hydrogen and gas blends. We must keep our options open for whatever alternatives turn out best for purpose while reducing emissions.”

Mr Goodeve noted that the electricity and gas decision meant New Zealanders retained the incidental uses of gas, particularly by consumers for heating, BBQs and remote off-grid applications.

Based in New Plymouth, First Gas is New Zealand’s largest owner and operator of gas networks, with more than 2500km of high-pressure gas transmission pipes and about 4800km of gas distribution pipes in the North Island. The First Gas Group includes New Zealand’s largest LPG retailer Rockgas, and the Ahuroa gas storage facility near Stratford. First Gas’ focus is a safe, reliable supply of natural gas and LPG to more than 165,000 customers throughout New Zealand.


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