The gas that gets pumped into homes across Victoria is mostly made up of methane — it’s expensive, it’s a powerful greenhouse gas (with over 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide), and it’s harmful to our health when burnt indoors.
In Victoria it’s an especially large problem. Because we burn far more methane gas than any other state it is responsible for 17% of our climate pollution, and it’s only getting more expensive as supplies in the Bass Strait run out.
As awareness of these issues grows, households and small business (which represent a whopping 50% of our gas consumption) are starting to switch to new and efficient electric appliances.
But with their profits on the line, the gas industry is trying to convince Victorians to stick with their old gas appliances with misleading advertising about ‘green’ or ‘renewable’ alternatives like biomethane or hydrogen.
Often these misleading ads promote experiments where they have blended tiny amounts of these alternatives into the gas network, creating a false impression that they can scale it up and make the gas network less polluting. Sadly, this lacks any real credibility.
The gas industry has been repeatedly caught spreading misleading sustainability claims.
So let’s look at the details these gas corporations don’t want you to know …
WHY HYDROGEN WONT WORK
Hydrogen is a gas that can be produced by splitting water molecules. This process is called electrolysis and can be powered by renewable energy. In many applications, such as fuel cells, using hydrogen only produces water and oxygen as byproducts.
Great! But unfortunately, the idea of using hydrogen to replace methane in the gas network is not just unlikely, it’s a complete fantasy.
Here’s why …