part of the solution
 
energy security integral to climate change challenge, alcoa MD says
Managing Director Alan Cransberg, used his recent addresses at Australia’s South West Global Focus conference in Perth and at the American Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne, to drive home the need for a national security strategy which would guarantee Australia’s future energy requirements.
 
Addressing a range of business leaders, Mr Cransberg underlined the urgent need to facilitate domestic gas growth to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining the sustainability of Australian industry and its competitiveness.
 
“I believe that energy security is possibly the most vital issue that confronts our nation,” he said.   
 
“Considering all the issues that now face us, that might sound like a big call.  But energy is the lifeblood of Australia’s mining and manufacturing economy which together accounts for 80 per cent of our exports.  At the same time, energy security is pivotal to the big issues of climate change, our capacity to meet the greenhouse challenge and the economic turmoil.” 
 
Mr Cransberg said recent local contracts for gas in WA were three times higher than historical prices and wholesale gas prices were three times those of eastern states prices, on a delivered basis.
 
At the same time, he highlighted that it was widely accepted that gas produces up to 70 per cent less greenhouse emissions compared to coal in electricity generation. 
 
“Despite the clear benefits of gas, supply shortages and escalating prices are forcing resource companies and power generators to switch to coal.  Whilst this is cheaper, this direction brings major implications for Australia’s carbon footprint,” he told conference delegates.
 
“The facts are that gas well and truly bridges the time required to develop significant alternative, renewable energy sources as part of the greenhouse solution.
 
“It is for this reason and others that I believe we must develop a national security strategy to guarantee Australia’s energy requirements for the next 50 to 100 years.  For too long we have been focused on expanding and maximising energy exports without proper protection for our own future generations.” 
 
Mr Cransberg highlighted research undertaken by the Business Council of Australia which revealed that many low-emission technologies, with the exception of natural gas, will not be substantial contributors until after 2020.
 
“Essentially gas, as the cleanest transitional fuel, is an essential part of the jigsaw which is Australia’s evolving solution to climate change.
 
“Considering the immense gas reserves off our coast, it would be inexcusable for West Australian industry and energy generators in particular to be denied acceptable supplies.”
 
Mr Cransberg also took the opportunity to outline Alcoa’s stance on climate change – an issue which he articulated as “being the catalyst that is re-shaping our world” and which he said was the other major issue confronting industry as well as the global community.
 
He said any future emissions trading scheme must not only support global carbon reductions, but also secure Australian investment and jobs.  And he was clear that disregarding this fine balance and penalising Australian companies by regulation would result in the compounding of the economic downturn, in addition to being counter-productive to the objective of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
 
“It is essential to construct the appropriate balance between the interests of climate and industry,” he said.

“We have to facilitate reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining the sustainability of Australian industry and its competitiveness.”


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Portland Aluminium



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Cogeneration at the Wagerup Refinery



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Alan Cransberg talks energy security