Carbon output declines

GREENHOUSE gas emissions from electricity generation for Australia’s national grid have fallen to their lowest level in a decade, according to a report.
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Andy Graham

Pitt & Sherry’s latest Carbon Emissions Index shows year-to-date emissions by generators contributing to the National Electricity Market were 21 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, 11.5% less than the ten-year high.

Pitt & Sherry principal consultant Hugh Saddler said electricity demand had been falling at an average rate of approximately 2% per year for more than two years, and that trend continued in October.

The report noted black coal generation was at its lowest level since mid-2000, with coal-fired power stations at Eraring (New South Wales) and Callide and Tarong (Queensland) either partly or fully out of service during October.

In Victoria, brown coal generation in October was the lowest since November 2002.

“The fall in annualised demand from the peak of late 2010 is evident in all five state regions, the reduction has been greatest in NSW (7%) and least in Victoria (3%),” Dr Saddler said.

“Consumer actions of both businesses and households driving the demand reduction include energy efficiency improvements, energy conservation and the installation of ‘non NEM’ energy sources such as photovoltaic, solar hot water and co-generation.”

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