Significant problems often require a fresh perspective. Such is the case for the dilemma around the declining gas supply in the state of Victoria, an issue toward which Northmore Gordon has provided significant research to help strengthen the state’s energy security and advance its net-zero targets.
Rising energy demand and diminishing gas supply have led to growing concern about a near-future shortfall of gas in Victoria. Over the past several years, many headlines have stressed the need to develop more gas fields. But that approach caters to an old way of thinking that simply prolongs the inevitable — gas will need to be phased out to meet the state’s net zero commitments.
Instead, it is time to embrace the future and steer Victoria — and the nation — toward energy security and sustainable alternatives. This can be achieved through proven and reliable strategies that leverage energy efficiency techniques and accelerate renewable energy adoption. Implementation of the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) has promoted strong growth in renewable energy sources throughout the state. To support this initiative, the state should also pursue measures that decarbonise gas usage.
A couple of significant reports have been published recently that examine the role of gas infrastructure in reaching the state’s net-zero goals. One of the reports came from Infrastructure Victoria, an independent advisory body that provides research and advice on net-zero strategy for the Victorian government. To support the scope of research needed for its report, Infrastructure Victoria asked Northmore Gordon to conduct modeling and analysis on the contribution of energy efficiency measures toward impacting gas demand. Headed by principal consultant Trent Hawkins, Northmore Gordon (in partnership with Energeia) produced a Cost Benefit Analysis of Energy Efficiency Activities in the Gas Sector.
This analysis report by Northmore Gordon represents the culmination of a multi-year examination on the potential impact of improving gas demand-side measures. For the work- supporting Infrastructure Victoria and other recent studies into demand side measures, Northmore Gordon and project partners Energeia has assessed two key elements. First, Northmore Gordon took a data-driven approach to assess how much gas could feasibly be removed from the market, including residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. This involved energy efficiency measures such as improved insulation as well as electrification of processes like space heating and hot water generation. Second, Northmore Gordon identified programs and policy levers that could be utilized to support and incentivize the undertaking of those activities. This effort identified shortcomings within the Victorian energy upgrades program that, if amended, could strengthen the state’s decarbonisation efforts.
Northmore Gordon’s research and policy advocacy work revealed that reducing gas demand is a cost-effective way to progress toward Victoria’s net-zero targets and address the state’s pending gas shortfall crisis. While there will undoubtedly be a need for ongoing research, assessment, and modification, the availability of proven technologies and strategies transforms Victoria’s energy dilemma from an engineering challenge to a matter of political and public will. Northmore Gordon will continue to support the households, businesses, and industries of Victoria through technical analysis and policy advisory initiatives and efforts to advance corporations’ net-zero strategies.
By making itself available to public and private sector needs, Northmore Gordon applies its engineering knowledge and strategic expertise to help advance Victoria, and Australia at large, toward a healthier and more secure future.