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Nov 30 2023

Electricity Sector Leads Decarbonisation Efforts

The electricity sector continues to do the heavy lifting in efforts to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions and meet its climate targets, according to the peak body for electricity generators, the Australian Energy Council.

The AEC’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said: “In its annual Climate Change Statement today the Federal Government has acknowledged the oversized role the electricity sector is playing to drive down national emissions.

“Even without the impact of the expanded Capacity Investment Scheme, the latest emissions projections show those from electricity are forecast to nearly halve in the next seven years as coal-fired power stations retire and are replaced by cleaner generation.

“While the introduction of renewables remains a key driver of our economy-wide decarbonisation, this alone will not be enough for Australia to reach net-zero.  Australia needs to reduce its emissions on average by 17 Mt CO2-e per year to reach its 2030 emissions target. Emissions increased by 4 Mt CO2-e in 2022-23, with a 4 per cent improvement in the electricity sector outweighed by increases in other sectors. This is a reminder that while electricity is vitally important to emissions reduction, a whole-of-economy focus is required.

“Measures like the Safeguard Mechanism and the Fuel Efficiency Standard are necessary to incentivise greater electrification of other sectors - such as transport which is otherwise forecast to increase its emissions to 2030.  These are important ingredients in ensuring our shift to a lower emissions economy occurs at least cost.”

About the Australian Energy Council

The Australian Energy Council is the peak industry body for electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in the competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. AEC members generate and sell energy to 10 million homes and businesses and are major investors in renewable energy generation. The AEC supports reaching net-zero by 2050 as well as a 55 per cent emissions reduction target by 2035 and is committed to delivering the energy transition for the benefit of consumers.

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