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Australia installs more renewables than anywhere else but national emissions stay the same

Australians are installing renewable energy, per capita, faster than any place on Earth, or at least we were until 2020 when the subsidies and schemes ran out.

Per capita, Australia (all shades of red) is installing renewables


The Quarterly update for the Greenhouse Gas inventory is out and we can see just how much difference all those renewables make, which is almost nothing. Emissions have flatlined.

Australians are paying record prices, risking blackouts, buying batteries and synchronous condensors, building new billion dollar interconnectors, losing companies overseas, and suffering voltage spikes. We’re playing chicken with our smelters, and party games with PeakSmart timers and extra domestic circuits so that electricity companies can manage our pool pumps and our air conditioners.

And this is all we get?

Per capita, Australia (all shades of red) is installing renewables

After adding so many wind farms and solar panels the electricity sector decreased emissions by only 1.2% on the year before.

Electricity sector emissions decreased 1.8 per cent in the June quarter of 2019 on a ‘seasonally adjusted and weather normalised’P 8 P basis (Figure 6). This reflected strong increases in hydro and wind generation (42.0 and 14.8 per cent) and decreases in coal and natural gas generation (5.7 and 21.3 per cent) in the National Electricity Market (NEM). Over the year to June 2019, emissions from electricity decreased by 1.2 per cent compared with the year to June 2018.

The electricity sector is Australia’s largest single source of emissions, and some of the gains in the last decade have come from efficiency, not from renewables, and from making electricity so unaffordable that it scares people into not using their air conditioners.

Per capita, Australia (all shades of red) is installing renewables

Given all this, you might think the team at Reneweconomy might worry that renewables won’t save the planet and were a dismal and useless way to spend environmental money, but not so.  They were pretty happy with a 2 percent fall in electricity emissions from Sept 2018 to Sept 2019.

They were not impressed that as our electricity  emissions had fallen, our diesel emissions have gone up the other way. Mostly for truckers, they say.

How much of this is due to electrical generators?

Graph Australian Diesel emissions, decade, 2009 to 2019.


Per capita Australians are using 40% less CO2 than they were 30 years ago, and this is what the Opposition calls, “a policy vacuum”. Perhaps it is a vacuum — of achievement.

Australia has almost the fastest growing population in the West. Fifty percent population growth in 30 years, and we are aiming to cut emissions 27% on top of that?

Over the period from 1989-90 to June 2019, Australia’s population grew strongly from 17.0 million to around 25.4 million.P 16,17 P This reflects growth of 48.8 per cent.

Per capita, Australia (all shades of red) is installing renewables

The best way to keep Australian emissions down (apart from nukes) is to cut immigration, but left leaning politicians don’t want to discuss that, and nor apparently do left wing activist websites. Importing new left-leaning voters seems to be more important.

By picking the most expensive and ineffective methods it’s almost like none of the people driving renewables even care about the CO2 emissions.

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