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Australia to Boost Natural Gas Production Despite 2050 Net-Zero Goal

Australia will continue to back exploration and increased production of natural gas as the fuel will play a key role in the country’s transition to a net-zero economy by 2050 and help provide a reliable source of energy to Australia’s allies, the Australian government said in its Future Gas Strategy unveiled on Thursday.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King released the Future Gas Strategy “which will support a Future Made in Australia and ensures decisions on gas supply and production will be based on the best possible information,” the government said.

While Australia remains committed to supporting reductions of global greenhouse gas emissions, natural gas must remain affordable for Australian users throughout the transition to net zero, it added.

The Labor government of Australia has also found that new sources of gas supply are needed to meet demand during the economy-wide transition.

The gas strategy identified that Australia needs to prevent gas shortfalls by working with industry and state and territory governments to encourage more timely development of existing gas discoveries in gas-producing regions.

“The Strategy makes it clear that gas will remain an important source of energy through to 2050 and beyond, and its uses will change as we improve industrial energy efficiency, firm renewables, and reduce emissions,” King said.

“But it is clear we will need continued exploration, investment and development in the sector to support the path to net zero for Australia and for our export partners, and to avoid a shortfall in gas supplies,” the minister added.

Currently, natural gas supplies 27% of Australia’s energy needs and accounts for 14% of Australia’s export income, the government said.

Gas will also have an important role to play in firming renewable power generation and is needed in hard-to-abate sectors such as manufacturing and minerals processing until viable efficient and cost-effective alternatives are available, it noted.

By Tsvetana Paraskova

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