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Electricity VS Gas – When do we transition?

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Australia ratified the Paris Agreement in November 2016, committing to set five-yearly targets in order to limit global warming below 2°C. The implications of this and other state and local government commitments (such as the Victorian Governments TAKE2 pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050) render the decarbonisation of the electricity grid critical. The Victorian government has set ambitious renewable energy targets of 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2025.

The CIBSE Victorian committee held an event last week discussing future energy market trends and it’s meaning for the built environment. Four industry representatives from the energy market, the government and from Monash University shared their thoughts on developments in gas and electricity markets, emissions, energy prices and renewable energy.

Clear was the trajectory toward higher energy prices, the need for investment in renewable energy sources and reduction in overall energy use. Particularly, from a building design point of view, the transition away from natural gas as a source of energy for heating  is an interesting one; which given the current climate is necessary to achieve carbon neutral targets.

Monash University were clear on their transition away from this source, hoping their Clayton campus (as a minimum) will be natural gas free by 2030. The newest buildings to be developed on site will be designed to the Passive House standard and use electric heat pump technology for heating and cooling.

A big thank you to our venue hosts, Aurecon, and our panellists:

  • Kendra Wasiluk, Sustainable Development Planner, Buildings and Property Division, Monash University

  • Ben Skinner, Specialist, Market Development, Regulatory and Governance Department, AEMO

  • Tristan Edis,  Director,  Analysis and Advisory , Green Energy Markets

  • Jamie Wallis, Manager, Sustainable Buildings, Sustainability Victoria