Renewable Gas: Enabling our Renewable Energy Future

We know our customers love the instant warmth, convenience and control of natural gas. We also know that we can’t rely on natural gas forever as we all work towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

That’s why Jemena is proud to play a role in pioneering the future of Renewable Gas in Australia through a number of projects and initiatives, including the production of Green Hydrogen and Biomethane in NSW.

These two renewable gases are net-zero carbon emission energy sources, meaning they don’t add any new emissions to the atmosphere, and they can help us reach net zero targets quickly and efficiently.

Complementing wind and solar power, renewable gas can help accelerate and lower the cost of emissions reduction in NSW, ensuring our state is powered with clean energy, even when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing.

Jemena wants all its 1.4 million customers to have access to reliable and affordable renewable gas before 2050, so they can continue to enjoy the gas supply they love for cooking, heating, and hot water.

"Hydrogen will not only help NSW halve our emissions by 2030 and get to net zero by 2050, it will create new opportunities for our heavy industry, and an economic bonanza of investment and jobs,"

– NSW State Treasurer Matt Kean, October 2021

Advantages of a Renewable Gas industry…

Australians love the warmth, convenience, and control of natural gas. Gas appliances are the preferred choice in many homes for heating, cooking and hot water.

By investing in renewable gas to support other renewable energy solutions, NSW can meet carbon emission targets faster and more efficiently. The technology can help to build a circular economy, creating jobs and other opportunities along the way. As renewable gas can be blended and stored in existing network pipelines, it will also help to reduce the need for investment in new energy infrastructure.

Reduce emissions to help meet NSW targets
Replacing natural gas with hydrogen and biomethane could displace 464 million kg of carbon from the atmosphere each year.

Increase the speed of renewable energy introduction
Transitioning to renewable gas using existing infrastructure means that NSW can quickly deliver renewable energy options to more homes and businesses.

Support and complement wind and solar energy
Green hydrogen and biomethane can both be stored in the existing gas network, much like energy storage in an underground battery. It can then be used for heat and power generation when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

Accelerate options for cleaner transport
Green hydrogen can be used by hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles as a zero-emission alternative to petrol and diesel. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles can travel further, with more power, than most battery electric vehicles.

Save money using existing infrastructure
NSW can decarbonise while utilising existing infrastructure rather than building new energy distribution systems. This will help governments save money or divert investment to other much needed projects.

Create jobs and training for NSW
A renewable gas industry will create employment and training opportunities in the energy sector and a range of other occupations, as well as helping to boost regional economies, industries and employment.

How Renewable Gas is Created and Stored

There are two main types of renewable gas: Green Hydrogen, and Biomethane. Both are created through environmentally friendly processes that reduce carbon emissions and waste.

Green Hydrogen: 100% Renewable

Green hydrogen is made when excess renewable electricity (from wind and solar) is used to split recycled water into hydrogen and oxygen through a process called 'electrolysis'. This process doesn’t involve any carbon emissions. The green hydrogen is blended and stored within the existing natural gas network, ready for households and businesses to use.

Not only can green hydrogen be used in households and businesses, but it can also power fuel-cell cars, buses and heavy goods vehicles, with increased range, power and zero emissions.

Biomethane: Boosting the Circular Economy

Biomethane is an example of waste recovery and reuse in the circular economy. It is created by capturing biogas from decomposing agricultural, organic, and domestic waste, and removing the carbon dioxide. This displaces natural gas sourced from fossil fuels and prevents 'waste methane' from reaching the atmosphere. The waste methane that would have been released into the atmosphere can then be used for energy instead.

Both green hydrogen and biomethane can be stored in existing underground gas pipes by blending renewable gas with existing natural gas.

Global advances in Renewable Gas

While renewable gas development is in its infancy in Australia, it has already been used around the world with remarkable success.

In Europe, renewable gas has been declared essential in order to decarbonise heavy industry and transport. Germany, France, Italy and the UK have all used green hydrogen or biomethane for a number of years now as part of their clean energy mix.

Renewable gas has helped these countries transition away from fossil fuels while allowing millions of households and businesses to continue using their gas supply for cooking, hot water and heating.

Through investment in renewable gas, households can contribute to carbon reduction without changing their lifestyles.

Renewable gas investment will also kick-start a new resource economy and generate thousands of high-skilled jobs right across the country.

UK gas companies are blending up to 20% green hydrogen into natural gas pipe networks to some residential and industrial customers, and trialling 100% green hydrogen in selected areas, like the H100 Fife project*

*Source: SGN UK

Germany has over 9500 biogas plants employing 45,000 people and producing the equivalent of 25GW of electricity. That’s enough to power over 7 million homes*

*Source: German Biogas Association