The Master Plumbers Association (MPA) of NSW is deeply concerned about the lack of research and due diligence of several Sydney Councils into biomethane — a 100 per cent renewable gas — being produced at Jemena’s Malabar facility.
Owner of the NSW gas network, Jemena, seeks to understand and develop technologies that allow for a transition to a lower carbon gas network — believing that existing technologies can be deployed in Australia to increase the domestic supply of biomethane and other forms of renewable gas, such as renewable hydrogen and synthetic methane.
Sydney City, Randwick, and Waverley Councils are currently pursuing a coal-powered electrification path for all new builds instead of relying on this green energy source.
MPA CEO Nathaniel Smith said: “The decision to prioritise electrification over renewable gas utilisation carries significant consequences for the residents of NSW. These councils risk overburdening the already strained NSW electrical grid by focusing solely on electrification. This threatens to increase electricity prices and forces the grid to rely more on coal for power generation rather than harnessing biomethane’s cleaner, renewable potential.”
He also said that MPA NSW commends Premier Chris Minns MP and the NSW government for taking a stand against these councils that seem to be driven by a “misguided policy direction” — stating that it is essential to prioritise the wellbeing of the community and the environment over ideologically driven decisions that could ultimately impact people’s lives.
“The evidence is clear. Renewable gas, such as biomethane, is a viable and sustainable energy source that should be harnessed for the benefit of all NSW residents. By promoting the use of renewable gas, we can reduce the strain on the electrical grid, mitigate rising electricity costs, and significantly decrease our reliance on coal power,” said Smith.
The Master Plumbers Association NSW currently urges the Sydney City, Randwick, and Waverley Councils to reconsider their approach and collaborate with the NSW government, as well as industry experts, to explore the potential of biomethane and other renewable energy sources.
Biomethane is biogas that has undergone a purification process, which makes its composition very similar to that of natural fossil gas, and it can used as a raw material for the production of renewable hydrogen.