National energy emissions audit report: August/September 2020

Electricity grid Renewable energy Carbon emissions Electricity Energy industries Power resources Australia

This double NEEA report issue covers changes in energy emissions during the months of August and September 2020. Monthly data on electricity is up to the end of September, data on gas is updated to the end of August, and data related to petroleum fuels to the end of June.

After presenting an overview of energy consumption and fossil fuel emissions as at the end of the 2019-20 financial year, this issue looks at two separate, though closely related topics. The first is AEMO’s 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP), full results from which were published at the end of July. After a very summary overview, the discussion then focuses in more detail at what the ISP says about the future of gas generation in the NEM. The second topic is how the growth in generation from small (“rooftop”) solar installations is transforming the balance of supply and demand in the NEM, and the challenges this presents for maintaining secure system operation.

Key points:

  • The impact of renewables displacing fossil fuels in the NEM had a greater impact on national energy emissions than the pandemic.
  • A record high share of renewables means a record low share for fossil fuel generation, which was 73.5%.
  • Project Energy Connect, the proposed inter-connector between SA and NSW, is crucially important.
  • Gas makes electricity more expensive.
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