Energy: Our Future
Santos CEO keynote address to Australian Institute of Energy
Santos CEO David Knox delivered the keynote address to the 2012 Australian Institute of Energy Conference in Sydney in November 2012. The conference brought together leaders and experts from across the spectrum of energy sectors to discuss the future of energy in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr Knox focused on three important subjects that are essential in understanding how Santos is working to define Australia's energy future as well as its own.
First, the US, where massive change is happening to that country's energy economy. Second, the energy challenge facing the Asia-Pacific and the pivotal role that natural gas is playing in addressing that. Third, what Australia can and must do to ensure it continues to attract the investment required to develop its our gas resources and take advantage of Asia’s transformation.
Natural gas is key to Australia's energy future
Providing reliable and diverse supplies of energy will be fundamentally important in underpinning the unprecedented growth and development that will drive prosperity in Australia and Asia over the next 50 years and beyond.
Australia’s energy needs are growing and our primary energy consumption is projected to climb by nearly 35 per cent by 2030. There are two reasons why our energy needs are increasing. Firstly, our population is expected to reach almost 36 million by 2050 and, secondly, we’re simply using more energy than ever before.
Globally, energy demand is expected to grow by one third between 2010 and 2035, with 60% of that growth coming from Asia. Rapid urbanisation and industrialisation in Asia has seen massive increases in demand for new roads, houses and buildings. We have seen consistent demand from Japan and Korea for liquefied natural gas.
Energy is the lifeblood of economic growth and natural gas is a vital part of enabling growth. Australia’s abundant energy resources will help deliver a large economic boost to our country over the next 20-30 years. At current projections, Australia has enough known gas reserves to satisfy all our domestic demand and export needs for the next 50 years, even taking into account increases in demand.
Australia, therefore, is in an enviable position to take advantage of the growing energy need here and in the region. Our proximity to Asia and known natural resources presents us with an opportunity to create benefits for Australians and our regional neighbours.
The demand for energy in Asia is driving the significant investment in infrastructure that is required economically to produce the resources we need for both our own domestic use and for export well into the future. This investment, in which Santos plays a significant role, must continue if we are to remain competitive and help meet future energy demand.
Demand for cleaner fuels will increase over the next 20 years. This is due to changes in government policy, community expectations, and natural gas and renewable energy becoming more attractive economically. However, most estimates suggest renewable energy will only provide up to 8 per cent of Australia’s energy needs over the next 30 years. Natural gas has an important role to play in helping us.
Santos is a major contributor to the $180 billion that is being invested in Australian natural gas projects today. Santos’ investment of $18.5 billion in the GLNG project in Queensland is just one example of our commitment to unlocking Australia’s gas resources with the best skills, in a safe and sustainable manner, while remaining competitive.