The great de-electricifation of Australia  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

The Conversation has a post on dropping electricity demand in Australia - caused by a combination of rising power prices, the demise of large manufacturing users (courtesy of the dutch disease) and the success of the government's roof insulation program and various rooftop solar PV schemes - Electricity demand: The great de-electricifation of Australia’s grid

One of the certainties in the energy business used to be the regular year-in, year-out rise in demand for electricity [1].

Up until about 6 years ago, demand growth could be counted on with metronomic precision. Across our National Electricity Market – the NEM – electricity demand grew at about 2% annually.

That all stopped in 2008. On the basis of the numbers for June and July this year, we are on the verge of our twelfth straight season where demand has reduced on the year before.

Over the last 3 years, the annualised demand reduction has been about 500 megawatts – or about 2.2%. And since the peak in 2008, average demand has reduced by about 2 gigawatts or about 8%.

On these figures, Australia is clearly undergoing a profound de-electrification. If it continues for a few more years then, by analogy with economics, it will be worthy of the appellation the great de-electrification.

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