Why is electricity consumption decreasing?

Date & time

1–2pm 28 November 2013


Forestry Lecture Theatre, Building 48, Linnaeus Way, ANU


Dr. Hugh Saddler, pitt&sherry


 David Salt
 6125 9286

Since 2010, the quantity of electricity supplied to consumers by major power stations in the National Electricity Market has fallen year on year by a total of 4.5%. Even in WA, generation in the South West Interconnected System has fallen by a total of 2.3% over the last two years.

This fall in generation has been a major contributor to a dramatic fall in Australia’s electricity emissions, thereby keeping Australia’s total emissions roughly constant for several years. A fall in output of this size is also entirely without precedent in the 120 year history of the Australian electricity supply industry, which had come to expect annual growth of at least 2%, and is having major disruptive impacts on the business models of both the generation and the distribution network parts of the industry. A number of different causes have been advanced to explain the fall in electricity demand, including growth in output from rooftop PV, milder summer and winter weather in recent years, a “collapse” in manufacturing output, the impact of energy efficiency policies and programs, and consumer response to higher electricity prices.

The seminar will present the results of analysis which quantifies each of these factors and will discuss what these findings imply for the possible future of Australian electricity demand,
and thus of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

About the speaker:

Dr Hugh Saddler is Principal Consultant – Energy Strategies with pitt&sherry, a Research associate of the Centre for Climate and a participant in the Energy Change Institute. He also sits on the Board of the Climate Institute.

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