Diesel emission growth easing: Pitt&Sherry

Trendlines show petroleum fuels almost flatlining as electricity continues to plunge

Diesel emission growth easing: Pitt&Sherry
The Pitt&Sherry graph


The in exorable rise in Australian petroleum fuel greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore consumption, is being offset by a precipitous fall in other types, the latest Pitt&Sherry Carbon Emissions Index (Cedex) reports shows.

But even so, the growth in diesel emissions has faltered this year.

Total emissions for the year ended March 2014 were 5.4 million tonnes (mt) of CO2-equivalent (CO 2‐e) lower than they were in the year ended March 2013.

This figure was made up of a 6.2 mt of CO 2-e decrease in electricity emissions, an increase of 1.6 mt from petroleum fuel consumption and a decrease of 0.8 mt from direct natural gas.

Since the peak of annual emissions in December 2008, electricity has fallen 31.5 mt while petroleum had risen 12.2 mt.

The Cedex report authors put much of the fall down to energy-saving behaviour amongst businesses and householders and the shift to renewables.

"Sales of bulk diesel have not been reducing, but demand growth has slowed dramatically," they say, attributing it mainly the near‐cessation of previously very rapid growth in Queensland.

"At 30 per cent, the mining sector in that state accounts for a much higher proportion of total sales of diesel than in any other state, suggesting that slower growth of mining output and/or new mine construction, may be important contributory factors."

They also highlighted the continued "complete absence of significant growth in bulk diesel consumption in all other states except WA".

"It is hard to explain except in terms of a steady increase in energy efficiency, i.e. the economic productivity of energy (in this case, diesel) use, in agriculture, mining, construction, heavy road transport (freight and passengers) and rail transport."

The full report can be found here.


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