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GREENHOUSE GAS AND ENERGY USAGE
Based on past trends, the sustained pressure on greenhouse gas emissions will come mainly from the Stationary energy sector (largely electricity generation), and to a lesser but significant extent from Transport energy. Between 1990 and 2004, Stationary energy emissions increased by a quarter (16Mt of CO2e), to account for 48% of net total emissions. Transport energy emissions increased by 4Mt of CO2e, to account for 14% of net total emissions.
Land use change and forestry have offset these increases in emissions through an increase in the carbon biomass of vegetation and soil, contributing to a 14Mt of CO2e (60%) decrease in emissions from this sector. However, in recent years there has been a diminishing contribution from land use changes.
Between 1999–2000 and 2004–05, total energy usage in NSW and ACT increased by 8.2%. Fuels contributing the most to energy usage in 2004–05 were black coal (52%) and petroleum (37%). The largest increase in fuel usage was for black coal (up 92 PJ or 13%). This is consistent with an increase of 36 PJ or 14% in electricity generation during the period. Linking fuel usage back to greenhouse gas emissions – increased electricity usage has been driving increased coal usage, and thereby stationary energy sector emissions, which recorded the largest increase in greenhouse emissions over the period.
Renewable Sources of Electricity Generation
Electricity generation from renewable sources such as hydro, wind, solar, biomass or biogas provided 7.2% of NSW total electricity generation in 2005–06. Of these sources, the highest contribution was from hydro (5.9%), with the balance from other renewable sources (1.3%). In the future, it is projected that hydro will contribute a fixed amount of NSW energy generation, requiring other renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass or biogas to increase considerably, if renewable sources are to maintain their share of electricity generation.
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