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ACT Emissions Rise Temporary: Corbell

A slight rise in greenhouse gas emissions in the ACT during 2014/15 was caused by the removal of a price on carbon says Minister for the Environment Simon Corbell.

The ACT’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory was tabled in the Legislative Assembly late last week and shows per capita emissions of 9.97 tonnes per person. This remained well under a peak in 2010 of 12.12 tonnes.

2014/15 saw an increase in roof top solar electricity production in the ACT and also the first power from the Territory’s large-scale solar farm at Royalla. The 24MW solar facility is made up of 83,000 solar panels and generates enough electricity to supply the power requirements of around 4,500 Canberra homes.

However, federal policies outside the control of the ACT had an impact. As the carbon price was removed, more emissions intensive electricity generation regained steam; some of which was imported into the ACT.

“Unfortunately, the ACT was not able to counteract the drop in renewable energy in the national grid,” said Minister Corbell. “This will change in the next few years as the ACT’s use of renewable energy significantly increases.”

Other factors coming into play include colder than average winter this year compared to a warmer than average winter in 2014.

However, the future is bright and breezy.

A number of large-scale wind and solar projects will be operational in the next 18 months and by 2018, The Territory’s electricity supply will be 80% renewables.

Minister Corbell says the ACT is still on track to meet a legislated 90% renewable energy target by 2020. Beyond that, ACT Labor aspires to put in place a renewables target of 100% by 2025.

The ACT has become a hotbed of renewables activity. Its recent and second wind energy auction attracted fifteen proposals with a collective total of 1,100 MW wind power capacity. Projects resulting from that auction alone will cut more than half of the emissions associated with electricity usage in every Canberra household.

Energy efficiency is also a focus in the Territory and the growth rate of all of the ACT’s electricity consumption has slowed in recent years; taking into account seasonal variations.

Source: Energy Matters

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