Trending down - electricity demand
A new report released on April's electricity use has revealed that despite controversy over electricity prices and demand, the demand for electricity has actually been falling.
A development-focused professional services company, pitt&sherry, has released their Carbon Emissions Index (CEDEX®) for the month of April, which shows that demand for electricity and its associated emissions generated from the electricity generation sector have continued to decrease over the past year.
Electricity peaks fell over the summer in a number of states reflecting a number of changes which the electricity production industry is facing as the approach to energy overall evolves.
In April, the electricity from the National Electricity Market (NEM) was 5.2 per cent below the peak in mid-2010. The only state experiencing an increase in demand was Tasmania.
"There is no evidence in the demand numbers of any effect on demand of the additional electricity price increases caused by the carbon price," said Dr Hugh Saddler, principal consultant of energy strategies at pitt&sherry.
However Mr Saddler asserted that it was a different story in terms of carbon emissions.
"The decrease has accelerated since last June and the total fall in annualised emissions over the 10 months is more than 10 million tonnes."
June 2010 was when Australia's carbon pricing mechanism took effect, charging the country's biggest polluters in industries such as manufacturing, for their amounts of carbon emitted.
"This is equivalent to more than 6 per cent of NEM emissions for the year to June 2012 and nearly 2 per cent of Australia’s recent total annual emissions. There can be little doubt that the carbon price is strongly affecting the supply side of the electricity market," said Dr Saddler.
As well as this, the amount of electricity produced from coal fired generators is at its lowest since 1998, when coal supplied over 90 per cent of NEM electricity. This figure is not at less than 75 per cent.
This reduction in demand for coal power is forcing operators of coal-fired power stations to change their operation strategies.
Wind energy and hydro power grew in their market share, with hydro generation having increased for 11 consecutive months.
In February, renewable energy accounted for 12.5 per cent of NEM generation, showing the increasing influence clean technologies are having on the electricity sector and levels of carbon emissions.
Posted by Charlie Moore