Gas-fired stations could have enough fuel to power the east coast for two and a half years, after the government secured a commitment as the nation moves away from coal.
Energy Minister Chris Bowen and Resources Minister Madeleine King on Monday announced the government has entered two enforceable supply commitments with gas giants Esso and Woodside through the Gas Code of Conduct exemptions framework.
As a result, more than 260 petajoules of gas will become available between now and 2033.
On top of previous commitments, this brings the total volume of gas secured through to code to 564 PJs.
Mr Bowen said the additional gas would help address demand in areas at particular risk of seasonal shortfalls and ensures there is enough domestic supply to keep gas prices down.
“We know that gas is critical to supporting a lower-cost, more renewable grid as aging coal exits, and to support Australian manufacturing,” he said.
Ms King said gas is the nation’s “insurance policy” and she would support the transition to renewables.
“Gas is essential to supporting the nation’s energy grid and the reliable supply of gas is crucial to keeping energy prices down for households and businesses,” she said.
“Gas is also indispensable in the processing of critical minerals and technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels.”
Environmentalists generally disagree with attempts to burn gas for energy as it produces carbon dioxide.
Extracting, processing and exporting the resource also fuels Australia’s high emissions levels, according to the Climate Council.
(Australian Associated Press)