Forecast: Australian Energy demand 2012 – 2021

A great new chart below from Origin Energy, currently hosted here on, demonstrating increasing demand “showing forecasts for the years ahead being revised up each year until 2009, but being revised down each year since then.”

Forecast of Australian energy demand 2012 to 2021

The question, as Rob Burgess from Business Spectator discusses, is just how is Australia going to support and pay for all the energy Australian’s are projected to require?

From the article, Abbott’s cutting carbon already:

Origin Energy’s Chief Executive Grant King’s “point in the presentation is that if we’re using less energy, then the government’s renewable energy target (RET) needs to be reduced. Currently the RET target is fixed at 20 per cent of our electricity to be supplied by renewable energy sources by 2020 – but when that target was set, it was calculated on AEMO’s forecasts at the time, not the now-reduced forecasts for energy use.

Compounding the problem, as Origin sees it, is that wildly successful state and federal subsidies have seen solar panels popping up on rooftops across the country. Their contribution is not counted under the RET program, so when we hit ’20 per cent’ renewables in 2020 (which we are on-track to do), the small-scale renewables will bump that figure up to ’26 per cent by 2020′.

King yesterday called on the government to call a spade a spade – to recognise that 20 per cent of our overall power from renewables is enough at 2020, and the 26 per cent imposes unnecessary costs on power consumers who are already struggling to pay their bills. 

To get back to the political implications, King’s endorsement of the Gillard carbon pricing model was clear: “Rationalisation of carbon reduction policy in Australia would help mitigate cost pressures for households and businesses … Unaligned and multifaceted carbon reduction policy results in sub-optimal long-term investment decisions [and] increased costs for consumers … Policy consolidation is now possible with the introduction of the carbon price on 1 July, 2012.”

King called for policy makers to: “Rationalise state-based energy efficiency schemes; rationalise/abolish state-based carbon reduction policies; confirm or bring forward current planned reductions in the small-scale renewable energy scheme (SRES) multiplier.”

The SRES scheme, King pointed out, was planned to generate 8 million carbon abatement certificates a year, but is in fact generating 45 million a year – in crude terms we’ve stuck about five times as many solar panels on our roofs (give or take a small-scale wind generator or two) as was planned. 

The Clean Energy Futures package – known fondly by the national media as the ‘carbon tax’ – is a relatively simple and least-cost way to sweep aside all the itty-bitty carbon reduction schemes. One problem, one national solution that responds to market conditions – after 2015, that is, when the fixed-price ‘tax’ of $23 a tonne switches to a floating price that, as the European trading scheme has shown recently, makes permits very cheap indeed during times of economic hardship.”


About Ed.

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