Fossil gas power generation has played an important role in the National Electricity Market, averaging a little over 10% in the period 2010–2019 inclusive.
Conceptually, fossil gas provides two roles in the NEM: • peaking — bridging the gap between the supply from inflexible generators and the demand from consumers • bulk energy — providing "baseload" supply of energy into the market
For peaking, fossil gas competes with hydro and increasingly with storage (pumped hydro, batteries and emerging technologies).
For bulk energy, fossil gas increasingly competes with wind and solar.
As a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, fossil gas can expect to encounter greater social and regulatory obstacles. Coupled with increasing competition, fossil gas usage in the NEM over the 2020s will average to a single digit percentage contribution.
(For the purposes of this prediction, energy in the NEM includes energy generated "behind-the-meter" from solar panels, as predicted by AEMO, the energy market operator. Gas generation proportion to be calculated from January 2020 to December 2029 inclusive. Energy provided by storage to be excluded to avoid double-counting.)
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