New research from the Australia Institute Climate and Energy Program shows that despite no adequate national climate and energy policy, ongoing investment in renewable energy generation continues to reduce Australia’s electricity sector emissions.

The National Energy Emissions Audit for the electricity sector, analyses the electricity sector over the previous month.

Key findings:

  • Australia’s electricity sector emissions are down 21 per cent since 2008 due to growth of renewables and declining demand
  • Victoria is on track to meet its interim renewables target of 25 per cent by 2020 — currently at 21 per cent, up nearly four per cent in 12 months
  • Wind generation has overtaken hydro generation for the first time
  • South Australia leads the country, with 50 per cent renewables and also leads with 8.7 per cent from rooftop solar

Director of The Australia Institute Climate and Energy Program, Richie Merzian, said that the latest National Energy Emissions Audit shows that investors and households are pushing Australia’s energy market in the right direction, despite years of climate and energy policy paralysis.

“Renewable energy growth in Australia over the past 12 months has reduced electricity sector emissions, which are now 21 per cent below 2008 levels, even lower than during the carbon price period,” Mr Merzian said.

“Earlier this year, Victoria hit a milestone of over 20 per cent renewable energy, which is a big achievement for a state that accounts for about one quarter of the economy, workforce and population of Australia.

“Following the closure of the Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria, the state is on track to meet its interim 2020 target of 25 per cent renewables.

“Climate change is not going away and, while it is positive to see that the energy sector is witnessing a move in the right direction, Australia needs strong climate and energy policies if it is to meet its Paris obligations and stop pouring fuel on to the fire,” Mr Merzian said.

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