Mar 03 2016

National greenhouse and energy data highlights

The Clean Energy Regulator has released its annual National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting data. The annual data includes financial year statistics of emissions by facilities and emissions by corporations.

The 2014-15 year saw an increase in emissions across Australia. The increase followed the repeal of the carbon tax and increased demand for electricity. Large jumps in emissions by individual corporations can be attributed to brown coal gaining market share as Tasmanian dams have reduced their output as well as changes in the ownership of some power stations. Since the last NGERS, the most notable ownership changes have been the transfer of Macquarie Generation assets to AGL and the sale of Eraring power station to Origin Energy.

Scope 1 and scope 2 emissions are analysed in the data series. Scope 1 emissions are emissions resulting from the direct activity of a facility. These include, but are not limited to, the production of electricity by burning coal, emissions produced from manufacturing processes, such as from the manufacture of cement, emissions from the burning of diesel fuel in trucks and fugitive emissions, such as methane emissions from coal mines. Scope 2 emissions are the emissions caused from the indirect consumption of an energy commodity. These emissions can be from the electricity produced from the burning of coal in another facility. That facility will report those emissions as Scope 1, while another will report that as Scope 2. If a facility or corporate is over a certain threshold, then they are obligated to report to NGERS. The thresholds for facilities and corporations can be found here.

The CER lists the top 10 emitters for scope 1 emissions in their media release. However, the top 10 includes some double counting of emissions and the splitting of emission from power stations which have been sold in the financial year. The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), released a report following the release of the NGERS data, labelled, “Australia’s 10 biggest climate polluters”. Tables 1 and 2 show the top 10 emitters and their market share across the NEM for both, Scope 1 + Scope 2 emissions and Scope 1 emissions alone. It is worth noting that the top 10 companies also produced the bulk of the electricity in the NEM – generating a total of 80 per cent of electricity in 2014-15[i] to meet the demand of business and residential users.

Table 1: Top 10 emitters (Scope 1 + Scope 2) and the proportion on energy generator across the NEM (ACF approach)*

Controlling Company

Scope 1 + Scope 2 emissions       (t CO2-e)

NEM generation (MWh)

NEM market share

AGL ENERGY

42,567,272

47,020,616

25%

GDF SUEZ AUSTRALIAN ENERGY

26,201,579

20,745,710

11%

ENERGYAUSTRALIA

20,957,838

20,353,810

11%

RIO TINTO

18,351,174

1,218,218

1%

ORIGIN ENERGY

17,142,797

20,961,512

11%

STANWELL CORPORATION

14,786,967

17,877,415

9%

ALCOA AUSTRALIA

13,706,890

1,270,122

1%

CS ENERGY

13,284,258

21,269,169

11%

GLENCORE HOLDINGS

11,115,287

N/A

N/A

WOODSIDE PETROLEUM

10,087,746

N/A

N/A

Source: esaa analysis of CER and NEM-Review data

 

Table 2: Top 10 emitters (Scope 1) and the proportion on energy generator across the NEM*

Controlling Company

Scope 1 emissions

NEM generation

NEM market share

AGL ENERGY

42,058,787

47,020,616

25%

GDF SUEZ AUSTRALIAN ENERGY

25,998,603

20,745,710

11%

ENERGYAUSTRALIA HOLDINGS

20,595,391

20,353,810

11%

ORIGIN ENERGY

16,743,130

20,961,512

11%

STANWELL CORPORATION

14,737,132

17,877,415

9%

CS ENERGY

13,131,828

21,269,169

11%

WOODSIDE PETROLEUM

10,080,219

N/A

N/A

GLENCORE HOLDINGS

9,017,938

N/A

N/A

RIO TINTO

8,992,286

1,218,218

1%

SYNERGY

7,721,908

N/A

N/A

Source: esaa analysis of CER and NEM-Review data

Due to the removal of Alcoa Australia, the total percentage of the NEM generation from the top 10 decreases 1 per cent to 79 per cent. However, there is now the inclusion of Synergy, which is the largest supplier in Western Australia. In 2014-15, they accounted for 43.2 per cent of electricity generation in the Western Australia Wholesale Electricity Market.

Australia’s energy mix is changing. The companies which are labelled Australia’ top emitters are also leading the way in changing Australia’s energy mix. In 2013-14 the companies listed in table 2 owned 39 per cent of installed wind generation across the NEM, with a further 19 per cent of the total installed wind generation in Western Australia[ii].

Along with the high percentage share of wind generation, the companies listed in tables 1 and 2 also have stakes in hydro, solar PV and storage. AGL Energy has recently commissioned two large scale solar plants in Nyngan and Broken Hill, Nyngan being the largest in Australia.

*Changes to NGERS raw data are as follows: Ozgen Holdings has also been removed as the emissions for Callide C are counted under CS Energy’s figures. GDF SUEZ represents both Loy Yang Power Holdings and IPM Limited. Due to AGL Energy acquiring Macquarie Generation and all their generation assets in September 2014, the emissions from the generation assets prior to the transfer are reported under Macquarie Generation in the raw NGERS data, in tables 1 and 2, AGL Energy and Macquarie Generation emissions have been aggregated.


[i] EGA 2015

[ii] Ibid

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