Renewables set to reduce ACT’s emissions despite carbon price repeal

Released 29/10/2015

The ACT’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory, tabled in the Legislative Assembly today, highlights the effect of the repeal of the federal carbon tax on our local emissions.

Minister for the Environment Simon Corbell said the slight rise in emissions caused by the removal of a price on carbon would soon be eclipsed by large reductions in emissions over the next 18 months as large-scale wind and solar projects secured by the ACT Government begin operation.

“Despite our overall emissions rising slightly it is pleasing to see that per capita emissions in 2014-15, at 9.97 tonnes per person, remain well below their 2010 peak of 12.12 tonnes,” Mr Corbell said. 

“The very slight rise in per capita emissions on 2013-14 figures is largely a result of the removal of a price on carbon and the ACT Government remains committed to reducing emissions. We are on track to meet our legislated 90% renewable energy target by 2020 and, with large-scale wind and solar projects set to become operation in the next 18 months, 80% of the ACT’s electricity supply will be sourced through renewable energy by 2018.”

The independent body responsible for producing the report stated that the reduction in the uptake of renewable energy due to the changing policies at the federal level was “very clear and completely outside the control of the ACT.”

As a consequence, the emissions associated with electricity use increased. As electricity consumption makes up more than 50% of the ACT’s emissions profile this had a significant effect between years.

“The ACT achieved an increase in roof top solar production and for the first time saw renewable energy being produced from the ACT’s large-scale solar farm at Royalla,” Mr Corbell said.

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

Other factors that contributed to the increase included electricity and gas consumption linked to a colder than average winter this year compared to a warmer than average winter the previous year. In comparison to 2012-13 data however electricity and gas consumption has decreased.

- Statement ends -

Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases

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