LNG and Transport Lead Growth in Australian Emissions: National Energy Emissions Audit

The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program has released the latest National Energy Emissions Audit for the electricity sector (The Audit*) covering September 2018.

The Audit shows that Australia’s emissions continue to increase, being driven by growing LNG exports, greater diesel use in transport and increases in agriculture and waste emissions

Key findings:

  • LNG exports have become one of the largest drivers of Australia’s emissions. The biggest single source of emissions from LNG is at the Gorgon project in Western Australia, equivalent to half of Australia’s national increase in emissions last year.
  • The next two years will see continuing rapid growth in both wind and solar equal to more than double the current output from Liddell power station.
  • Wholesale electricity prices appear to have peaked in most states as a surge of new renewables come on-line.

“This audit makes clear exactly which sectors of the Australian economy are the lifters and which are the leaners when it comes to climate pollution and emissions,” says Richie Merzian, Director of the Australia Institute’s Climate and Energy Program.

“Emissions in electricity are dropping, but in nearly every other sector emissions are on the rise.

“Increased LNG exports have been one of the largest drivers of Australia’s increased emissions over the past two years. It’s a growing and highly emissions intensive industry that uses unreliable emissions reduction technology like carbon capture and storage.

“There has also been a relatively large increase in diesel used for rail transport. It is important to remember that much of Australia’s rail activity is devoted to transporting huge volumes of coal from mine to port.

“Thanks to strong growth in renewables, wholesale electricity prices have peaked and are expected to maintain their downward trajectory into the future. If the Government is serious about lowering emissions and power prices then it needs to recognise and support the role of renewables and storage in our energy market.” 

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