Australia sees Record Low Emissions and Energy Demand in Q4 2022

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Australia sees Record Low Emissions and Energy Demand in Q4 2022

According to an Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) report, the country broke records for renewable energy activity and low energy demand. This created record-low greenhouse gas emissions during the last three months of 2022. 

Image of a solar farm in a desert. Australia sees Record Low Emissions and Energy Demand in Q4 2022
Australia sees Record Low Emissions and Energy Demand in Q4 2022. Image: Unsplash

In a press release, AEMO Executive Violette Mouchaileh said that due to the growth of renewables and the lowest coal-fired generation output since the National Energy Market (NEM) started, emissions dropped to the lowest quarter on record.

Six months after a new government led by Anthony Albanese of the Labor Party was voted in, Australia is upping its climate ambitions. The nation is aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2050. To meet this commitment, enough renewable energy must be developed to meet the nation’s needs. 

In the last quarter of 2022, renewables such as wind, solar, and hydropower provided more than 40%t of the NEM’s power – the highest level since its founding.

Thanks to the Hornsdale big battery and gas generation, maintaining system reliability even with a high renewable energy percentage was a success. This event provided a peek into what Australia could achieve when batteries and gas generation combine in power generation and storage.

Additionally, demand reached record lows during the same period. Operational demand decreased to a record low for the fourth quarter. Residential rooftop solar panels helped generated more energy, and mild temperatures reduced the need for daytime air conditioning.

If a country like Australia, with its huge reserves of coal and high summertime temperatures, can make this type of impact on its grid, so can most other developed countries. We can remove coal from the energy mix; it just takes planning and investment.  

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