Analysis of electricity in Australia

The Australian Climate Change Authority commissioned Vivid Economics to analyse electricity consumption, electricity generation emissions intensity, and economy-wide emissions in Australia.

The report finds that trends in electricity consumption, emissions intensity of electricity supply and economy-wide emissions have changed significantly in recent years. Since 2008, electricity consumption in the National Electricity Market has slowed; electricity generation emissions intensity has declined after having been fairly stable; and economy-wide emissions have fallen rapidly (including land use and land-use change).

The recent change in electricity consumption in the National Electricity Market was driven by falling activity in the manufacturing sector, offset by consumption increases in the residential and commercial and services sectors.

The emissions intensity of electricity supply fell from 2008 to 2013. Gas-fired and renewable electricity generation were the major drivers of the reduction in emissions intensity between 2008 and 2011 and contributed 80 per cent of the decline. Improvements in the carbon intensity within fuel types contributed the remaining share of the reduction, whereas changes in fuel efficiency have had no statistically observed impact.

Economy-wide emissions including land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) were virtually unchanged between 1990 and 2011 at around 560 MtCO2e. Changes in emissions from LULUCF, in particular forestry, offset emissions from economic growth in other parts of the economy between 2008 and 2011. LULUCF emissions fell while economy-wide emissions excluding LULUCF increased.

Climate Change Authority Australia
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