Dirtier energy mix pushes up Australia’s GHG emissions

Published 03:47 on December 23, 2015  /  Last updated at 03:48 on December 23, 2015  /  Asia Pacific, Australia  /  No Comments

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.3% in 2014-15 to 549.3 million tonnes of CO2e, according to government data, as coal use increased after the carbon tax repeal.

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.3% in 2014-15 to 549.3 million tonnes of CO2e, according to government data, as coal use increased after the carbon tax repeal.

Electricity generation emissions increased 3% to 186.1 million tonnes of CO2e in the twelve months to June 2015, according to data from the Department of the Environment.

“This increase corresponds to a flatlining in demand in the National Electricity Market (NEM) between the year to June 2014 and the year to June 2015 … combined with an increase in the emissions intensity of delivered electricity,” the report said.

Electricity emissions from black coal rose 1.4% and brown coal 9.7%, the report said. Wind and other renewables increased 12.2%, but gas (6.2%) and hydro (30.3%0 saw drops.

The comeback of coal in the generation mix has been well documented by NEM analysts, and coincided with the July 1, 2014 removal of the carbon tax.

Most other sectors of the economy also saw higher GHG emissions in 2014-15, but this was partly offset by a 3.4% drop from agiculture, largely due to declining beef cattle population, a reduction in sheep numbers and reduced production of several key crops.

Compared to 2005, Australia’s emissions have dropped 10.2%. Its target according to its DNC is to reduce emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Australia now emits 23.2 tonnes of CO2e per capita, a 28.4% drop from 1990 but still among the highest in the developed world.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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