National Energy Emissions Audit Report: October 2021

Providing a comprehensive, up-to-date indication of trends in Australia’s energy combustion emissions
by Hugh Saddler
  • All the net reduction in national emissions between 2005 and 2020 were contributed by the land sector. Emissions from energy combustion, which in 2020 accounted for 72% of total emissions, were 2.0% higher than in 2005.
  • Total energy emissions to the end of August 2021, as estimated by NEEA, again increased, as growing consumption of petroleum fuels more than offset continued steady reduction in electricity generation emissions.
  • The lockdowns in New South Wales and Victoria are the likely cause of small temporary reductions in total emissions, because of reduced urban road transport activity. This is certain to again reverse by the end of the year as the lockdowns are lifted. There remains no indication that a prolonged reduction in petroleum emissions will emerge, in the absence of significant transport policy changes.
  • Moving annual generation in the NEM to the end of September 2021 recorded further falls in both coal and gas generation, in both absolute terms and as a share of total generation; gas generation fell to its lowest levels since mid-2006.
  •  Total annual renewable generation, including rooftop solar, passed the 30% share mark in July and is continuing to grow strongly. The coal share fell to below 63%.
  • In South Australia, the share of wind and solar in total generation has also passed 63%, with gas down to 37%.

Full report