NSW expected to see fall in gas demand

Gas demand is expected to fall 171 6002834 0 14100790 300

The next ten years could prove a real turning point for the New South Wales gas market, with demand expected to half within this period. A report commissioned by The Australia Institute found that as people remove their homes and businesses from the grid, remaining customers could be in line for a price shock.

Report co-author Tim Forcey said this needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid problems for gas suppliers and their customers.

"Electrical appliances for space heating, cooking and hot water can provide the same services as gas, and are more efficient, cleaner, and more economic," noted Mr Forcey.

"So whether we can afford having two grids - a gas grid and an electricity grid - needs to be looked at."

There are already widespread expectations that gas could follow the same path that electricity suppliers have over recent years. People are constantly on the lookout for alternative means of generating power, presenting problems for the grid on a national scale.

Matt Grudnoff, senior economist at The Australia Institute, explained that the issue is not that the country is facing a supply shortage, but rather the threat of rising gas prices. It's therefore essential that the NSW government steps in to help consumers find ways to lower their exposure to gas, as well as finding new alternatives to traditional electricity supplies.

APPEA statistics show that in 2013-14, 26 per cent of Australia's energy consumption was from natural gas. It forecasts this will rise over the coming years, reaching 34 per cent by 2049-50. Production of natural gas has more than doubled since 1998 as Australia strives to meet domestic and international demand for energy.

Nevertheless, there has been a decline in production of liquefied petroleum gas since it reached its most recent peak in 2000.

Posted by Nikki Wilson-Everett