In 2019, Australia experienced one of the longest and most intensive bushfire seasons on record as well as the driest year in 119 years—concerns now compounded by the disruption and volatility introduced by COVID-19.
In this year’s World Energy Markets Observatory, we explore how the region is adopting new policies to address the impact of climate change and create a stronger, more resilient energy system. Here we review Australia’s attempt to create a “better normal.”
- 2019 was the warmest and driest year on record with temperatures climbing 1.52°C above the long-term average in Australia.
- In 2019, emissions per capita, as well as emissions intensity, reached their lowest levels in 30 years.
- Emissions from the electricity sector fell 2.9%, as driven by a 4.3% reduction in coal generation and a 10% increase in renewable generation capacity.
- Green energy sources are now responsible for 21% of Australia’s total electricity generation.
- Coal-fired electricity generation fell to around 60% of the total generation in 2018, down from 71% in 2010.
- In 2019, Australia met its 2020 renewable energy target of 23.5% and 33 terawatt-hours (TWh), and will achieve its 2020 emission reduction target. Achievement of the 2030 emissions reduction target remains unclear.
- Annual residential bills are expected to decrease by 7.1% between 2019 and 2022 as new capacity enters the system.