This January 2021 issue of the NEEA Report contains data relating to electricity in the National Electricity Market updated to the end of November 2020. This includes a short summary of the very important investment initiatives in New South Wales, announced by Minister Matt Kean at the end of November.

This issue also includes commentary on the June 2020 Quarterly Update of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which was released at the end of November 2020, and includes preliminary estimates for the whole inventory year 2019-20.

Key points:

  • Grid generation in the National Electricity Market (NEM) continues to fall, reaching in the year to November 2020 a level 9.6% below the historic maximum in 2008
  • Annual emissions from electricity generated in the NEM was 26.5% below the maximum level reached in the year to September 2008.
  • In the fourteen months from September 2019 to November 2020, annual NSW coal generation fell by 4.3 TWh, representing a drop of just under 8%; equivalent figures for Queensland coal generation are 3.6 TWh, also equal to just under 8%.
  • Annual total renewable generation, including small (“rooftop”) solar, is now above 27% of total electricity supplied in the NEM.
  • New South Wales Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act is a very important development to manage the variability of wind and solar generation
  • National emissions in the calendar year 2020 are estimated to have been 4.5% lower than in 2018.
  • In 2018, 78% of all agricultural emissions arose from livestock (mainly cattle and sheep) and cropping activities.
  • Australian national herd and flock in 2020 is forecast to have reached its lowest levels since the early 1990s. However, it is expected to rebound to pre-2018 levels as drought conditions improve. The related emissions will rebound too.
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