A recent review by consultants Pitt & Sherry has found a dramatic fall in greenhouse gas emissions from Australia’s power stations across Eastern mainland states.

Hazelwood Power station, one of the oldest and highest polluting stations in Australia was operating at only 67% in November, down from mid 80% range in May and June. Hazelwood has been notorious for its high production of greenhouse gas emissions which have been estimated at 2.8% of total Australian emissions, and 0.057% of total world emissions. There have been calls from environmental groups to retire the power station and focus on cleaner alternatives to coal.

Similarly, Yallourn power station was operating at only 56% in November. And NSW power stations were operating in the 60-70 percent capacity range.

Demand for electricity fell 2.5 percent in the year to November, compared to the previous period. NSW demand declined 5 percent, and SA and Tasmania both registered 3 percent decreases in demand.

Higher prices and increased uptake of rooftop solar pv could be possible reasons for this decrease in demand. With both homes and businesses installation rates of solar panels increased over the last 2 years. With the rapid decreases in greenhouse gas emissions via some of the largest coal power stations, Australia should be able to meet its commitment to decrease its emissions by 5 percent compared with 2000 levels by 2020. For further details on the emissions targets see this Department of Climate change fact sheet.