The ACT Government today announced that it will phase out fossil fuel gas by 2045 by electrifying Canberra over the next two decades.
Fossil-fuel gas currently accounts for 20% of the ACT’s emissions, so reducing Canberra’s gas reliance over the next two decades is a critical part of achieving the ACT’s commitment of net zero emissions by 2045.
Once again, we are being clear about the long term objective to prioritise the use of 100% renewable electricity and remove fossil-fuel gas from our city.
In reaching this policy decision, the Government has considered all options, including the possible use of hydrogen and biogas. Following that consideration, it is clear that electrification is the best path for our city to phase out fossil fuel gas.
As part of the initial phase of the transition, new “greenfields” suburbs will no longer be connected to gas mains, and from 2023 new gas connections will cease for future infill developments. These changes provide a clear signal to the community and industry of our future direction.
To support Canberrans to understand the transition plan and explore transition options for their home or business, we have today launched an interactive online hub.
The hub provides detail on why the transition is important, what consumers of gas can do to commence their transition and what support is available for them from the ACT Government to do so.
We have also released Powering Canberra: Our Pathway to Electrification, a position paper, which outlines the decision to transition away from fossil-fuel gas, modelling of future energy use in the ACT and how we will take a phased approach to the transition over the coming two decades.
The ACT Government is developing an Integrated Energy Plan for release by 2024 to set the foundations for a gentle and manageable transition over the next two decades and also consider the use of renewable gas in niche applications.
The plan will ensure that the ACT maintains a secure, reliable, and increasingly sustainable energy system into the future and help the community to plan their switch at a time over the next two decades that is right for them.
As part of the long-term transition, the ACT Government will continue to directly engage with key stakeholders to ensure targeted and relevant supports are in place.