Gas emissions to decline in Australia

Professor Andrew Blakers and Dr Matthew Stocks from the Australian National University (ANU) say the country’s greenhouse gas emissions are peaking at approximately 540 Megatonnes (MT) of CO2-equivalent per year and are expected to decline by 3-4% over 2020-2022.

“The reason is that Australia’s world-leading per-capita rate of deployment of solar and wind energy is displacing fossil fuel combustion,” state the pair.

A report released this week shows Australia’s carbon emissions will decrease over the next few years thanks to wind and solar energy. Beyond that is another matter.

Reductions in electricity sector emissions will soon be more substantial than increases in emissions from all other sectors combined they say. Australia is installing 16-17 gigawatts of new solar PV and wind capacity over the 2018-2020 period, which is nearly 3 times faster per capita than the next best country, Germany, and 10 times faster per capita than the global average.

If the current renewables deployment rate was to continue, Australia will reach 50% renewable electricity in 2024. The researchers state deployment of wind and solar energy is the cheapest way to make deep cuts in emissions due to their low and ongoing falling cost.