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Summary

Santos today welcomed the announcement by South Australian Premier Mike Rann that the State will set a carbon emissions limit for new power generation to drive the conversion of electricity production from high-carbon coal to lower carbon natural gas, and enable the further development of renewable energy.

Santos today welcomed the announcement by South Australian Premier Mike Rann that the State will set a carbon emissions limit for new power generation to drive the conversion of electricity production from high-carbon coal to lower carbon natural gas, and enable the further development of renewable energy.

Santos Chief Executive David Knox said the company looked forward to participating in consultations on the proposed policy.

The SA Government has proposed a limit of 0.7 tonnes of CO2 for each megawatt hour of electricity sent out from new generating plant.

New natural gas power plants emit less than 0.4 tonnes of CO2 per megawatt hour, which is half to two-thirds lower than existing black and brown coal-fired power plants.

Natural gas has the additional advantage of enabling rapid changes in generating capacity to match available supplies of intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power.

Mr Knox said Australia’s abundant and affordable natural gas resources meant gas was the only fuel that could provide lower emission baseload power now, while serving as a perfect partner to support increased use renewable power generation.

“If we are serious about action on climate change we must address greenhouse emissions from power generation. This sector is the largest single contributor to Australia’s carbon footprint, accounting for 35% of all the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“With over 80% of Australia’s power coming from high-carbon coal – and over 70% of Australia’s coal plants being over 20 years old – we are rapidly approaching the point where critical decisions must be made on the future direction of Australian power generation.”

Half of South Australia’s electricity comes from gas. The leading role of gas in South Australia has enabled the development of the largest volume of wind-generated electricity in Australia, which together is delivering the lowest emission intensity of any Australian mainland state.

A copy of the Government’s statement is attached to the below pdf.