Graph of the Day: And Australia’s top 10 corporate emitters are…

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It’s that time of the year when the Clean Energy Regulator releases the data it has gathered from Australian corporations, on their annual emissions and energy consumption.

As the 2016-17 data shows, the top 10 corporate emitters is more or less a name-check of the nation’s major black and brown coal power generators – with gas major Santos and coal miner Glencore thrown in.

All told, the team of fossil fuel generators and miners emit nearly half of all of Australia’s scope 1 emissions – which are the emissions released to the atmosphere as a direct result of an activity, or series of activities at a facility level; aka “direct emissions.”

Leading the pack is AGL Energy, whose 43.4 millions tonnes of scope 1 emissions come in at more than double those from the next biggest emitter, Energy Australia – a record it intends to guard jealously for another three decades.

And why wouldn’t it? As we reported here, AGL’s latest financial results from from its coal and gas generation assets revealed the gen-tailer’s electricity gross margins – that’s the difference between the price it sells its output over the costs of generation – jumped a whopping 30 per cent in the latest half, from $772 million to $996 million.

So why does the CER bother collecting this data? As it puts it: “Australian corporations that meet certain thresholds are required to report their emissions and energy information to the Clean Energy Regulator. This data helps inform government policy and programs and meet Australia’s international reporting obligations.”

Somebody say policy?  

  • George Darroch

    And yet AGL are on the television telling us that they’re “getting out of coal”. They’re getting out of coal by waiting for their last generator to die, and no sooner.

    I would be interested to see the next ten highest emitters.

    • Joe

      Ah, the AGL. Just did the big reno on The Bayswater Coaler to keep burning that ‘little black wonder rock’ for a few more years yet. But I guess we should be very thankful that AGL has committed to getting out of coal….by 2050!

      • daw

        Read the articles instead of imagining things Joe. The ‘big reno’ as you call it hasn’t started yet. But thank goodness they are going to. Otherwise we will be very short of reliable power in the coming years.

        • Joe

          I stand corrected with the ‘big reno’….it was an announcement to do the reno. Not sure on your thinking about reliability. There have been many instances of Coalers ‘tripping’ this summer and that on top of the ‘big trip’ February 2017 when NSW was almost in blackout mode.

        • Nick Kemp

          Hopefully they will realize they will be spending on a stranded asset – coal will be worthless well before 2050

  • Kevan Daly

    I was a bit surprised to see Woodside on the list; it must take a lot of energy to liquefy natural gas.

    • Andy Saunders

      It does.

      But there may also be released CO2 as it is stripped from natural gas processing. Some fields are high in CO2.

    • Ian

      Woodside has been Australia’s largest point source emitter for the petroleum industry for many years (The NWS JV train 1 first cargo was 1989). CO2 is removed from the gas prior to chilling to LNG. CO2 can freeze in the heat exchangers and cause blockages. A lot of the residual CO2 is removed with the Ethane, however CO2 freezes at around -42C and can’t be passed through for further processing, whereas LNG turns to liquid at -161C at atmospheric pressure. Woodside has HUGE turbines driving their generators, compressors and chilling units. The amount of shaft power required is in the hundreds of megawatts. Santos has the same CO2 issue with Cooper Basin gas plus the amount of fuel used in compression to get it to the plant.

      It is interesting that Santos is mentioned in the text, yet not mentioned in the diagram.

  • MaxG

    Yes: policy… the policy is “noted”… or direct non-action… It’s like Orwell’s 1984: we have increased the chocolate rations from 29 to 25 percent… 🙂