Carbon emissions from electricity sector consumption on the North Coast are down for the second year in a row, according to new data from the North Coast Energy Forum.As forum convenor Mark Byrne explains, “Our emissions have now reduced by about eight per cent over the two years from 2010-11 to 2012-13, from about 2.6 to 2.4 million tonnes of CO2 in the region from Port Macquarie to Tweed Heads.”“The electricity sector accounts for over one-third of Australia’s greenhouse emissions, so the decline in both peak demand and total consumption is good news. It’s in line with the seven per cent reduction in national electricity sector emissions after the introduction of the carbon price in 2012.”“This is likely due to the high uptake of rooftop solar systems on the North Coast, plus households and businesses being more energy efficient in response to skyrocketing prices.”
But the trend is unlikely to continue, warns Mark. “Mild summers and winters over the last few years have also played a part, and this summer’s heat waves are creating a surge in consumption as people switch on their air conditioners.”
“With the federal government planning to scrap the carbon price this year and a cloud now hanging over the Renewable Energy Target, it’s also possible that the trend to more renewable energy in the national grid will stall, and even go backwards.”
“It is therefore critical that we do whatever we can as individuals, communities and businesses to reduce our emissions to help reduce the severity of climate change. Most of our electricity still comes form outside the region, but there’s still a lot more scope for us to meet our own energy needs with solar energy, along with the emerging bioenergy industry.”
“This year, keep an eye out for small, affordable battery systems to store solar energy for evening and overnight usage, as well as innovative ways to buy local energy without being completely tied to a major retailer, such as community solar farms.”
The graph shows the decline in peak demand. Consumption figures were supplied by Essential Energy. The reduction in emissions was calculated by multiplying the total consumption figures for all major substations for each financial year by the average NSW emissions intensity for the period, which for NSW was 0.976
Find out more:
Mark Byrne on 0403070442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.