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Tracking 2018 Q3 Report | or January, February, March 2018

  • Australia’s national emissions for the 12-month period ending March, excluding land use change, were the highest since records began in 2002.
  • Electricity sector emissions for Q3/FY2018 increased by 1.7 Mt CO2-e on the previous quarter’s result driven by an increase in fossil fuel electricity generation across the NEM including a 9% increase in brown coal generation in VIC, a 10% increase in black coal generation in NSW and a 38% increase in gas generation in QLD.
  • Fugitive sector emissions for Q3/FY2018 are projected to be the highest on record driven largely by increased natural gas production and processing.
  • Stationary energy, transport and industrial sector emissions are projected to decrease slightly for Q3/FY2018 after consistently increasing every quarter since Q3/FY2017.

Australia’s Quarterly Emissions Projections to a 2 Degree Target

Detailed Findings

  • Australia’s national emissions for the 12-month period ending March, excluding land use change, is projected to be the highest on record since records began in 2002. Despite a fall in electricity emissions since the closure of the Hazelwood brown coal power plant, emissions for the stationary energy, transport, fugitives and industrial sectors continue to increase rapidly. Australia’s annual emissions, excluding land use change, have been increasing every year since 2014.
  • Electricity emissions for Q3/FY2018 are projected to increase by 1.7 Mt CO2-e on the previous quarter’s result. Electricity sector emissions have remained relatively lower since the closure of the Hazelwood brown coal power plant in Q3/FY20171. However, electricity emissions increased in the current quarter due to an increase in fossil-fuel based electricity generation throughout the NEM states.Compared to the previous quarter’s results:
    • Brown coal generation in VIC increased 8.9% from 7.7 TWh to 8.4 TWh. Total sent out electricity generation in VIC for Q3/FY2018 was 10.0 TWh.
    • Black coal generation in NSW increased 9.8% from 13.1 TWh to 14.4 TWh. Total sent out electricity generation in NSW for Q3/FY2018 was 15.8 TWh.
    • Gas generation in QLD increased 38% from 1.4 TWh to 1.9 TWh. Total sent out electricity generation in QLD for Q3/FY2018 was 14.5 TWh.
  • Fugitive emissions occur during the production, processing, transport, storage and transmission and distribution of fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil and natural gas. The primary driver for the increase in fugitive emissions is expansion in LNG production for the international export market. LNG expansion increased 41.4% in 2017 and forecasted to increase again throughout 2018.
  • Emissions from the stationary energy, transport and industrial sectors are projected to decrease for Q3/FY2018 after consistently increasing every quarter since Q3/FY2017. Since the previous quarter, projections show a decrease of: 5.4% in stationary sector emissions, 4.3% in industrial sector emissions and 2.5% in transport sector emissions.

[1] – EPA. 2017, Available at:

Australia’s Annual Emissions, Year to March*

* This graph includes both published Government NGGI data and Ndevr Environmental projections for Q3/FY2018.

Australia’s Quarterly Emissions by Sector*

* Negative land use emissions are represented as 0 in the above chart

2 Degree Budget Expenditure to Date

NEM emissions reductions proposed under the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) vs. BAU

The NEG is a proposed mechanism and legislative framework that will set out changes for the NEM. The Energy Security Board’s (ESB) draft consultation paper (February 2018) states that “The Commonwealth Government’s target for the electricity sector for 2030 under the Guarantee is a 26 per cent emissions reduction on 2005 levels, consistent with the national target.”2

The scope 1 emissions associated with the NEM in 2005 are estimated as 175.5 Mt CO2-e.3 Therefore, under the NEG, electricity emissions would be expected to reduce to 129.9 MtCO2-e by 2030.

[2] COAG Energy Council. 2018, Energy Security Board National Energy Guarantee, Draft Design Consultation Paper, 15 February 2018, page 26.

[3] ACIL Allen Consulting. 2016, Emission Factors – Assumptions Update Final Report, 10 May 2016. Page 15.

Taking a trend line of all NEM emissions reported in the latest NGGI report between FY2009 and FY2017 show that NEM emissions are on track to reduce even further than the proposed NEG target by the year 2030 under a business as usual (BAU) scenario. The NEM emissions trend line shows that the proposed NEG target of 129.9 Mt CO2-e is on track to be met by FY2025 and exceeded by 16 Mt CO2-e by FY2030.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

This report has been compiled by Ndevr Environmental, using the latest information available from: AEMO, Office of the Chief Economist, Australian Petroleum Statistics and the Department of the Environment and Energy’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI) reports. Detailed electricity generation data for the National Energy Market (NEM) are sourced from Global-Roam’s NEM-Review™ tool.

GDP trends are sourced from Trading Economics, information about Australian car use is sourced from the National Transport Commission, 2016 and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Emission factors are sourced from National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008.

Government and CCA target information is available at the following sources:

[1] – Australian Government (2015), Australia’s 2030 Climate change target, Commonwealth of Australia

[2] – CCA (2013), Historical emissions from the Treasury and DIICCSRTE

This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process, nor may any other exclusive right be exercised, without the permission of Ndevr Environmental, L2 27-31 King Street, Melbourne VIC 3000; 2017

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