Gas Power Station

Natural Gas

Natural gas is a fossil fuel which has several pros and cons. Natural gas is typically more expensive than coal as a fuel. One of the biggest advantages of gas fired generation is the speed at which generators can ramp up to increasing demand. Much like the accelerator on your car, gas fired power stations are excellent load followers and will no doubt play an important role in the introduction of large scale renewables.

On the other hand, the emissions associated with the life cycle of a gas fired power station are not far off coal and it seems that gas is being used in policy as a clean alternative which is surely is not. Furthermore it competes against renewables in the market which is halting wide spread introduction of sustainable energy in Australia.

Gas fired power plants are also considerably cleaner than coal fired power plants, and have significantly less emissions. Combined cycle gas turbines also use recently commercialised technology to recycle heat, making the combined cycle gas power plants more efficient.

Although gas is a non renewable resource, it is also an important player when we consider introducing intermittent renewables onto the grid. When wind stops blowing or the sun has gone to sleep, gas can be fired up to meet demand. Wind typically demonstrates sporadic behaviour too, which makes gas fired plant ideal load followers complementing wind turbine behaviour.

How Clean is Gas?

There is no doubt that gas has some advantages over coal/oil/nuclear energy however there are still a variety of environmental issues which need to be looked at. In the US there were many cases of ground water contamination caused by fracturing in the rock.

Clean water is becoming increasingly precious in Australia, and therefore gas projects must have environmental transparency and careful low risk development plans. Despite fears, many projects go ahead against sensible environmental legislation. This leads to degradation of agricultural land and fresh water supplies. Whatever the small margin in cost reduction gas brings over clean renewable energy is surely negated by these other social costs.

Gasland - Australia

This film is a desperate plea for scrutiny of a powerful industry that has now turned its eyes on a new, massive and (for now) largely unexplored territory: Australia

Fracking in Australia

A year after Gas Land warned us about the issues with coal seam gas, wells have popped up in several places in Australia. With water a growingly precious resource it is rediculous to destroy underground aquifers through gas exploitation. Even more rediculous when Australia has abundant solar and wind resources.