Emissions reduce as Australia power plant production declines

emissions

A decline in electricity demand has helped Australia make a "dramatic fall" in its greenhouse gas emissions from the country's coal-fired power plants, according to a recent report.

Consulting firm Pitt & Sherry used data from the Australian Market Operator in its report. The analysis determined that some of the country's largest and oldest power plants were operating under capacity, as little as 56 percent, last month, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The decrease meant total emissions from energy use in Australia slid 600,000 tonnes in November alone.

If this continues, the article stated, Australia's government could meet its goal by cutting emissions by 5 percent by 2020. Higher electricity prices have encouraged residents to use less energy. For instance, in Victoria, annual electricity demand decreased 11 percent in 2012.

"The price is a signal to consumers to use less electricity," said Hugh Saddler, a consultant with Pitt & Sherry, according to the article. "There's also been a dramatic increase in residential use of small-scale reverse cycle air-conditioners, which have become very much more efficient in recent years."

Another report from energy research group Cedex stated Queensland saw a 2-percent decline in energy demand, and South Australia and Tasmania each fell by 4 percent this year. The levels are "unprecedented" for the 120-year history of the country's electricity supply industry, Renew Economy reported.

Australia's power market is explored at PennEnergy's research area.

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