28 JUNE 2013
SLOWER GROWTH IN ELECTRICITY USE TO CONTINUE
The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2013 National Electricity Forecasting Report (NEFR) released today shows that electricity use across the National Electricity Market (NEM) is forecast to be 2.4% lower for 2013–14 than estimated in 2012.
"The slower growth in electricity consumption across eastern and south-eastern Australia, first seen in last year’s inaugural AEMO forecasts, is a result of continued increases in rooftop PV systems, energy efficiency savings from new building regulations, and lower-than-expected growth in most industrial sectors," said AEMO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Matt Zema.
Under the most likely (medium economic growth) scenario for the 10-year outlook, annual energy in the NEM is forecast to grow by an average 1.3%, lower than the 1.7% forecast in 2012.
"The main drivers for growth over the 10-year outlook period are three large industrial liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Queensland, population increases in most NEM regions and an easing in electricity price growth," Mr Zema said.
"In NEM states outside of Queensland, reduced resources demand and the recent high Australian dollar has affected large industrial projects, with some projects that had been expected to commence now either not going ahead or being deferred.
"Rising population in most NEM states is driving an increase in residential and commercial (including light industrial) electricity use over the next decade, together with a moderation in electricity prices over the outlook period," said Mr Zema.
"The 2013 demand forecasts show there is a continuing fundamental behavioural shift among consumers in response to recent electricity price growth across the NEM. Rooftop PV system uptake remains strong while rebates are still available, and there are significant increases in energy efficiency savings from new building regulations."
Across the NEM, residential and commercial electricity use is forecast to be 6.3% below the 2012 forecasts due to a 37.7% increase in energy efficiency savings and a 17.9% increase in rooftop PV output.
"As a result, the forecasts show residential and commercial electricity consumption declines and then flattens on a per capita basis over the next decade; individually, consumers are using less electricity than they used to," Mr Zema said.
Reduced maximum demand forecasts across the NEM regions are also due to lower industrial demand and increased energy efficiency projections. Increased PV installation rates are also contributing to reduced maximum demand in all summer-peaking regions.
"Under the same scenario over the next 10 years, the 2013 NEFR anticipates a lower growth trajectory in maximum demand in most NEM states compared to the 2012 forecast. The exception is Queensland, where there is an increase," Mr Zema said.
The 2013 NEFR includes several improvements since the inaugural 2012 NEFR, with models used to develop the 2013 NEFR forecasts now independently reviewed, and a greater focus on short-term (one-to-five-year) forecasts. Together, these developments provide a more accurate and robust forecast over the 10-year outlook period.
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AEMO operates the National Electricity Market (NEM) and power system, supporting 19 million people across Australia’s eastern and south-eastern seaboard. AEMO operates the Victorian Declared Wholesale Gas Market as well as the Victorian gas transmission system. It also manages the wholesale gas Short Term Trading Market (STTM) hubs in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.