“The sector quickly decarbonizes,” said Matt Drum, managing director of Ndevr, and noted that the brown coal generation in Victoria was the lowest since at least 2005.
Although national emissions appear to have reached their peak and may begin to decrease, the rate of reduction is too slow to fulfill the promise of the country of Paris to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the 2005 level of 26 at 28 percent by 2030.
“If emissions continue to decline at an annual rate of 0.2 percent, the Paris target for 2030 would be met in 2098,” said the Ndevr report.
For the September quarter, renewable energy sources provided a record 24 percent of the electricity in the National Electricity Market, Drum said.
Among the NEM states, solar and wind energy constituted the largest shares in Tasmania (99 percent) and South Australia (51 percent). Renewable energies provided record levels in Victoria, with 24 percent, NSW with 16 percent and Queensland with 13 percent.
However, the further reduction in pollution “could be affected by other sources of emission,” especially as LNG production increases for export, Drum said.
The electricity sector may also cease to be the engine of lower emissions because large-scale renewable energy investment began to stagnate last year.
Kane Thornton, executive director of the Clean Energy Council, said industry estimates pointed to approximately half of the new commitments for solar and wind farms in 2019.
“Renewable energies have provided heavy work” in reducing emissions in recent years, Thornton said.
“The challenges are network connections, transmission capacity and the lack of a long-term energy policy,” he said. “At this stage, we see that the downward trend continues [in 2020]”.
According to the most recent official figures of the greenhouse gas inventory published at the end of November, emissions for the year to June 2019 were estimated at 532 Mt CO2-e, or 0.1 percent or 0.4 Mt CO2-e lower than past year.
“The most recent inventory update showed that emissions have declined in the last year and are lower than when the Coalition entered the government in 2013 or in any year the Labor Party was the last in the government,” Angus said. Taylor, Minister of Energy and Emission Reduction. .
Peter Hannam writes about environmental issues for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.