TANGNEY MHR Dennis Jensen wants Australia to lead the world in renewable energy storage.
Dr Jensen recently returned from a two-week fact-finding mission to North America with Queensland MP Scott Buchholz, where he familiarised himself with various energy forms including coal, liquid natural gas (LNG) and solar.
He said it was important to keep up-to-date with energy forms globally and compare Australia’s systems to other market leaders.
Citing the US gas and oil market as particularly interesting, he said the Shale Gas Revolution – where the US boosted LNG exports to other markets while reducing coal fired energy and lowering emissions – was a major point of interest.
“In the US, 10 years ago they were large importers of gas and oil but are now significant exporters,” Dr Jensen said.
He said coal remained an important part of global energy but he wanted to see a shift to cheaper options.
“Coal will always have a place; the view is that coal will continue to significantly expand,” he said. “China and India are looking at expansion but it’s a matter of economics (and) gas is now twice as efficient as coal and (provides) a significant reduction in carbon dioxide.”
Dr Jensen said renewable alternatives were the way of the future and findings set to be put forward in a Parliamentary Report would urge the government to focus on research and development.
“There is a need for technological improvement to find other forms of alternatives (of renewable energy),”he said.
“The issue is storage. I would like to see the government direct reasonable funds to make economical and beneficial storage for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing,”
“If (Australia) can get a breakthrough with that, it would be huge.”