The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released its inaugural National Gas Forecasting Report (NGFR), which forecasts domestic gas consumption and LNG exports in Australia’s eastern and south-eastern gas markets.
The NGFR states that LNG projects in Queensland will drive forecasted growth as exports rise in the short-term. This will result in an average annual increase of 23.0% to 2019.
However, AEMO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Matt Zema, said: "Over the long-term to 2034, total gas usage is forecast to plateau once LNG exports reach full production by the end of this decade."
Excluding the substantial increase in LNG exports, the NGFR foresees a 5.2% decline in domestic gas consumption to 2019.
Declining annual consumption in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia is driven by reduced operation from industrial and gas-powered generation plants. Tasmania also shows an overall decline, despite a stronger growth in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Reduced operation and industrial closures drive a 3.4% average annual decline in domestic industrial gas consumption.
The report also states that gas consumption by gas-powered generation will decline at an average annual rate of 16.8%, linked with minimal growth in electricity consumption and rising gas prices, before a return to positive growth after 2019.
Despite reductions in average consumption per connection, residential and commercial consumption is projected to increase by an average of 1.1% to 2019, predominantly due to population growth.
Mr Zeema added: "The NGFR represents the next step in the development of our forecasting reports and allows AEMO to deliver granular and insightful data, responding more rapidly to evolving and highly uncertain energy markets."
Annual gas forecast over the short-term outlook period (2014–2019)
The NGFR is available on AEMO's website.
Adapted from press release by Callum O'Reilly
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