27/10/2021 - 01:30

Solar in LNG industry key to carbon: Report

27/10/2021 - 01:30

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Increased use of solar energy to power the gas industry could help curb Australia’s carbon footprint, according to a new report.

Solar in LNG industry key to carbon: Report

Increased use of solar energy to power the gas industry could help curb Australia’s carbon footprint, according to a new report.

The report, released by industry body National Energy Resources Australia and Charles Darwin University today, found a considerable amount of solar power could be integrated into LNG plants through retrofitting.

The findings were based on a study at the Darwin-based facility of oil and gas giant Santos to review the decarbonisation of LNG facilities through large-scale renewable projects.

Australia is currently the largest exporter of LNG in the world, with nine land-based LNG projects nation-wide; but those assets are major carbon emitters.

If implemented across all of the nation’s LNG plants, Charles Darwin University Energy and Resource Institute director Professor Suresh Thennadil said the practice could reduce national carbon emissions by five million tonnes annually or 1 per cent.

If the changes were enacted in Western Australia, which is home to four of the country's nine onshore LNG projects, emissions arising from energy demand could be reduced by as much as 21 per cent, according to the report.

The construction of the infrastructure required to build the proposed solar power systems would also bring about economic benefits, supporting 1,890 full-time jobs over a decade-long construction period and a further 868 ongoing positions for operation, the report stated.

Northern Territory Minister for Renewables and Energy Eva Lawler said the report’s findings demonstrated the potential for Australia to be a leader in the journey to net zero.

NERA chief executive Miranda Taylor said renewable energy had the potential to dramatically reduce emissions, but conceded more investment would be required to investigate the technology and establish Australian LNG carbon products in the emerging climate-differentiated market.

The study also found the integration of solar could increase the nation’s energy security by saving more than 97 million  gigajoules of gas annually, which is equal to more than 10 per cent of domestic demand.

The release of the report comes less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison affirmed Australia’s commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

He intends to take the plan to the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow this weekend.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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