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This is the May 2020 issue of the NEEA Report, with most data updated to the end of April 2020, and some data for May. Data presented includes greenhouse gas emissions arising from: the generation of electricity in the National Electricity Market (NEM), the consumption of natural gas in eastern Australia (the area covered by the NEM), and the consumption of petroleum fuels throughout Australia.

This issue focusses on examining whether changes in either electricity or fuel consumption resulting from the pandemic response and economic slow-down are as yet apparent.

Key points:

  • Apart from the achievement of reaching the symbolic 25% share mark, April 2020 was the twenty eighth successive month in which the renewable generation share of annual generation was larger than in the previous month.
  • Over the whole two months or more since lockdown, however, there seems to be very little difference in electricity consumption this year, compared with 2019 and 2018.
  • Gas consumption over the past six months appears to have followed the same trend as in previous years, in the context a very gradual decline, extending back several years. There is no unambiguous evidence that the economic lockdown has affected gas consumption, except for in Victoria.
  • Diesel consumption appears to have increased sharply during March. Supply chain security uncertainty is likely to have caused many bulk diesel consumers to fill their tanks as insurance against the risk of future supply disruptions.
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