The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) National Electricity Forecasting Report shows a continued decline in electricity demand within the National Electricity Market (NEM), with forecasts cut for coming years.
AEMO Chief Executive Matt Zema said the energy market operator now expects a 2.4 per cent decline in energy demand during the next financial year, largely due to the rising use of solar panels, energy efficiency measures and the deferral of large mining and industrial projects.
“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,” 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.”
The expected decline for 2013-14 exceeds previous estimates, while forecasts out to 2022/23 have also been reduced. AEMO now anticipates average demand growth of 1.3 per cent across the next decade, lower than the 1.7 per cent forecast in 2012.
Across the NEM, residential and commercial electricity use is forecast to be 6.3 per cent below the 2012 forecasts due to a 37.7 per cent increase in energy efficiency savings and a 17.9 per cent increase in rooftop PV output.
The forecast comes in the wake of a separate report earlier this week that found electricity prices rose 70 per cent over the past five and a half years.
AEMO expects electricity prices to plateau rather than fall in the coming years.
This article appeared on Business Spectator.