19 Apr 2023

Media Release: Major report finds gas and carbon capture and storage critical to net zero

Natural gas and a large carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) industry have been identified in a major new independent report as playing a key role in how Australia will achieve net zero.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) today said the importance of gas and CCUS in the final Net Zero Australia report echoed the findings from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The analysis undertaken by the University of Queensland, University of Melbourne and Princeton University clearly states: “Natural gas and oil products play a significant role in all the scenarios”.

APPEA Chief Executive Samantha McCulloch said: “The analysis finds that even with unprecedented roll-out of renewable energy, gas power generation capacity will need to double by 2050 to keep the lights on and businesses operating.

“Natural gas will also be needed to power industry and manufacturing and to generate low-carbon hydrogen in conjunction with CCUS.”

The report highlights the need for Australia to establish a large CCUS industry to address emissions from hard-to-abate industry and for carbon dioxide removal – generating negative emissions.

“The report is clear – to meet net zero, Australia needs CCUS, and a lot of it. None of the scenarios considered can achieve net zero without CCUS,” Ms McCulloch said.

“The oil and gas industry has called for a national CCUS roadmap to provide clear policy direction, progress carbon management hubs and promote Australia as a regional CO2 storage leader. The report shows that government leadership on CCUS is needed as a matter of urgency.”

To get to net zero, the analysis requires the massive deployment of renewable energy – in the order of 40 times today’s total National Electricity Market capacity deployed by 2050.

Ms McCulloch said: “If renewables deployment cannot reach the levels outlined, the role for gas with CCUS in power generation is even greater. CCUS deployment would increase from 150 MtCO2 per year to 1,000 MtCO2 per year in 2050, and LNG exports would increase to multiple times of current levels.”

“All technologies will be needed if we are to reach our climate change targets while minimising the cost-of-living impact for Australian households and businesses and keeping our manufacturing sectors competitive. The analysis finds that reaching net zero will require $7 to $9 trillion of capital investment to 2060 with capital costs highest in scenarios where the use of gas and CCUS is restricted.”

Media contact: 0435 113 224.