Australian Electricity Generation Emissions Drop By 14 Million Tonnes

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National Greenhouse Accounts released on Monday show Australia’s carbon pollution from electricity generation fell by 14 million tonnes during 2012.

The Accounts state Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions declined by 0.2 per cent for the year to December 2012. Annual emissions for the year to December 2012 were estimated to be 551.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The decrease in overall annual emissions for the year was largely due to a decline in emissions from electricity reflecting lower electricity demand and changes
in the energy generation mix.

Over the first six months of 2012-13, electricity emissions were at their lowest level since 2001-02 states the Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (PDF).

Over the full year, generation in the National Electricity Market from black coal reduced by 5.3% and brown coal generation emissions dropped 7.0%; with both fossil fuels seeing their lowest generation levels in more than a decade.

Natural gas generation increased 6.3% to its record annual level and hydroelectric generation grew 20.3%.

Generation from other renewables, including solar power systems, continues to grow; jumping by 10.1% from a proportionately small base

“The combination of the carbon price, Renewable Energy Target and energy efficiency policies have made an important contribution to turning around the growth of electricity sector emissions since Labor was elected in November 2007,” reads part of a statement from Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation Greg Combet’s office.

However, there was some growth in emissions in other sectors due to Australia’s continued economic growth.

“This shows the importance of continued action on climate change across a number of fronts, including the carbon price and investing in cleaner energy sources to cut carbon pollution,” says Minister Combet’s Office.

The Accounts have been submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and demonstrate Australia’s carbon pollution levels are currently tracking at 105 per cent of their 1990 levels.