While the state recorded net greenhouse gas emissions of 136.6Mt of CO2-e in 2018/19, 17% lower than 2005, it is far from complacent. The New South Wales Government is targeting a 50% cut in emissions by 2030.
When it comes to methane leaks and detection, the authority – aiming itself for carbon neutrality by 2030 – is stepping up its surveillance measures.
Onshore gas environment protection licensees that have gas reticulation systems, including wellheads and gas gathering lines, must undertake effective leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs, using best available leak detection technology.
But it will now review licensees’ LDAR programs to see how they can be improved, extending the programme to cover other components of the gas retriculation system, halving the inspection frequency to three months and investigating using additional monitoring methods, such as satellite imagery and drones.
In 2019, around 141MT of CO2 was emitted in New South Wales with industrial processes and products accounting for 13MT (9%). It goes as far to classify CO2 as a ‘pollutant’, the first state to do so.
It is keen to support the use of hydrogen as a transport fuel and opportunities to sequester carbon from primary industries and land management.
Haskel Hydrogen Systems’ hydrogen station and dispenser technology is being deployed at Australia’s first commercial, hydrogen-powered heavy vehicle refuelling station at Port Kembla.
The Hunter Hydrogen Network (H2N) project, launched last year, will include large-scale hydrogen production, transportation and export projects as part of efforts to establish a hydrogen economy.
Green hydrogen is set to play a major role in Australia’s energy sector following the passing of its Climate Change Bill which sets a 43% emissions reduction target by 2030.
Alongside the 2030 target, set against 2005 levels, Australia aims to be net zero by 2050.
The bill will see annual statements in relation to targets, embed the targets in the objectives and functions of relevant Commonwealth agencies, and empower the Climate Change Authority to provide advice to the Minister in relation to future targets. Legislation would be reviewed every five years.
A note in the amended bill clarifies that the 43% target “acts as a floor, rather than a ceiling”.