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Department of Premier and Cabinet

2. Tasmania’s emissions by sector

This chapter presents information on Tasmania’s emissions by sector, the activities that are responsible for these emissions, and the likely factors that have influenced trends in emissions in each sector over time.

Tasmania’s net emissions in 2017

Figure 10 shows Tasmania’s net emissions for 2017 by sector and energy sub-sector.

Tasmania’s net emissions in 2017 were 0.87  Mt CO2-e.

The Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector provided net sequestration of emissions (carbon sink) of minus 7.59 Mt CO2-e, offsetting the majority of emissions from all other sectors.

Excluding LULUCF, the remaining sectors contributed 8.46 Mt CO2-e to Tasmania’s emissions: energy (47 per cent); agriculture (27 per cent); industrial processes and product use (IPPU) (21 per cent); and waste (4 per cent).

The energy sector contributed 4.01 Mt CO2-e to Tasmania’s net emissions, made up of sub-sectors: direct combustion (22 per cent); transport (19 per cent); and electricity generation (5 per cent of net emissions excluding LULUCF).

Figure 10: Tasmanian emissions by sector and energy sub-sectors – 2017

This figure combines a stacked bar chart with a table to show the contribution of different sectors and energy sub-sectors to Tasmania’s net emissions for 2017 of 0.87 Mt CO2-e. Those contributions comprise the energy subsectors of direct combustion (1.9 Mt CO2-e), transport (1.63 Mt CO2-e) and electricity generation (0.44 Mt CO2-e), and the sectoral contributions from agriculture (2.31 Mt CO2-e), IPPU (1.77 Mt CO2-e), Waste (0.37 Mt CO2-e) and LULUCF (-7.59 Mt CO2-e). The bar chart highlights the significant impact of the LULUCF sector in offsetting Tasmania’s net emissions.

Source: DoEE 2019B.

Figure 11 highlights the differences in the relative contribution of each sector and energy-subsector to an Australian state or territory’s total emissions, noting LULUCF has been excluded from this analysis. The ACT is also excluded from this analysis as it only has a partial inventory, because its electricity is supplied by New South Wales.

Tasmania’s emissions profile differs from other Australian states and territories, with much lower contributions from the electricity generation sub-sector to Tasmania’s total emissions. Emissions from Tasmania’s transport, direct combustion, IPPU and agriculture sectors make a larger relative contribution to the State’s total emissions than in most other jurisdictions.

Figure 11: Relative contribution of each sector and energy-subsector to an Australian state or territory’s emissions, excluding LULUCF – 2017

This stacked bar chart highlights the differences in the relative contribution of each sector and energy-subsector to an Australian state or territory’s total emissions, excluding LULUCF. It shows that Tasmania’s emissions profile differs from other Australian states and territories, with much lower contributions from the electricity generation sub-sector to Tasmania’s total emissions. In contrast, it shows that electricity generation is the largest source of emissions in Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales. The figure also shows that emissions from Tasmania’s transport, direct combustion, IPPU and agriculture sectors make a larger relative contribution to the State’s total emissions than in most other jurisdictions.Source: DoEE 2019A.

2.1 Energy

Tasmania’s energy sector comprises electricity generation, direct combustion, transport, and fugitive emissions, and contributed 4,013 kt CO2-e in 2017. This accounted for 47 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions when LULUCF is excluded. Unlike other states and territories (Figure 11), Tasmania has high levels of renewable energy generation. This means the majority of Tasmania’s energy emissions are attributed to direct combustion and transport (Figure 12).

Figure 12: Breakdown of Tasmanian emissions by energy sub-sector – 2017

This table shows that the energy sector was responsible for 47 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions excluding LULUCF. It further breaks down responsibility for these emissions into the stationary energy sub-sectors of electricity generation (11 per cent) and direct combustion (47 per cent), and the transport sub-sector (41 per cent).Source: DoEE 2019B.

2.1.1 Direct combustion

Sources of emissions

Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels for stationary energy purposes used directly on site have been aggregated into the direct combustion sub-sector. Activities aggregated into direct combustion include burning coal, gas, agricultural waste or forestry residue to generate heat, steam or pressure for commercial and major industrial operations, and burning wood or gas for household heating and cooking. The activities and industries that cause these emissions include manufacturing, construction, agriculture and fisheries, residential, and commercial operations.

Emissions associated with the use of electricity, or fuel combustion in transport, are accounted for in the electricity generation and transport sub-sectors respectively.

Key trends and drivers

The change in Tasmania’s emissions from direct combustion is presented in Figure 13. Direct combustion accounts for 21 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions, excluding LULUCF.

Figure 13: Tasmanian emissions from direct combustion – 1990 to 2017

This figure includes an area chart showing the change in Tasmania’s emissions from direct combustion, which remained fairly steady between 1990 to 2002 (between 1500 to1600 kt CO2-e), falling to 1,329 kt CO2-e in 2003, climbing to 1,804 kt CO2-e in 2009, falling again to 1,484 kt CO2-e in 2012, and again climbing to 1,901 kt CO2-e in 2017.
The figure also includes a pie chart that shows direct combustion was responsible for 21 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions, excluding LULUCF, in 2017.

Source: DoEE 2019B.

Manufacturing industries and construction are the largest source of emissions from direct combustion in Tasmania, followed by the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries (Figure 14). By contrast, in other states emissions from residential activities make a larger contribution to emissions from direct combustion. For comparison, the direct combustion emissions by sub-categories for Victoria are provided at Figure 15. The differences may be attributed to the relatively high use of natural gas for household heating and cooking in other states, as well as the importance of the major industrials to the Tasmanian economy.

Figure 14: Tasmanian emissions by direct combustion sub-categories – 2017

This pie chart shows manufacturing industries and construction was the largest source of emissions from direct combustion in Tasmania (74 per cent), followed by the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries (14 per cent), residential (8 per cent), and commercial/institutional (5 per cent).

Source: DoEE 2019A.

Figure 15: Victorian emissions by direct combustion sub-categories – 2017

This pie chart shows the relative contribution of direct combustion emissions by sub-categories for Victoria. It shows manufacturing industries and construction was the largest source of emissions from direct combustion in Victoria (35 per cent), followed by the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries (29 per cent), residential (13 per cent), and commercial/institutional (7 per cent).

Source: DoEE 2019A.

Figure 16 shows the change in Tasmanian emissions from direct combustion sub-categories from 1990 to 2017.

Figure 16: Tasmanian emissions by direct combustion sub-categories – 1990 to 2017

This stacked bar chart shows the change in Tasmanian emissions from direct combustion sub-categories from 1990 to 2017. It shows that the manufacturing industries and construction sub-category was responsible for the majority of emissions, and has increased from a minimum of 873 kt CO2-e in 2003 to reach a maximum of 1,400 kt CO2-e in 2017. Similarly, agricultural, forestry and fishing emissions increased from 117 kt CO2-e in 1990 to 265 kt CO2-e in 2017. In contrast, the figure shows residential emissions experiencing a consistent downward trend from a maximum of 376 kt CO2-e in 1993 to a minimum of 125 kt CO2-e in 2015, with a small increase to 2017. It shows the commercial/institutional sub-category consistently making a small contribution to Tasmania’s emissions from direct combustion.

Source: DoEE 2019A.

Emissions from the manufacturing industries and construction sub-sector have increased from a minimum in 2003 to reach a maximum in 2017.

Emissions from manufacturing industries and construction can be split into sub-categories including: iron and steel; non-ferrous metals; chemicals; pulp, paper and print; food processing, beverages and tobacco;
non-metallic minerals; and other. The Australian Government treats emissions from these sub-categories as confidential. In Tasmania, the majority of emissions are mainly attributable to burning coal (4 petajoules [PJ]), gas (6.3 PJ) and wood waste (3.6 PJ) (DoEE 2018A). The energy contained in 1 PJ is equivalent to about 29 million litres of petrol (DoEE 2017).

Emissions from direct combustion in Tasmania’s agriculture, forestry and fishing industries have increased by around 125 per cent from 1990 to 2017, while emissions from the residential sector have decreased by around 64 per cent over this period (DoEE 2019A).

The key driver of direct combustion emissions in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector is the use of diesel for equipment and machinery (eg pumps, tractors, log skidders) which has increased by 111 per cent between 1990 and 2017 (DoEE 2018A). The increased use of diesel is likely to be linked to growth in the Tasmanian agricultural and fishery industries.

The changing role of wood as the dominant form of heating in Tasmanian homes is an important factor driving the reduction in residential emissions from direct combustion. Residential use of wood fuel has decreased by 44 per cent since 1990 (DoEE 2018A). Other contributing factors to the decline in residential emissions are the shift to high efficiency heat-pumps and increasing efficiency of wood heaters, through improved standards and technologies.

2.1.2 Transport

Sources of emissions

Emissions from the transport sub-sector are produced by the combustion of fuels such as petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), in passenger and commercial motor vehicles, railways, domestic aviation and shipping.

Emissions from electricity used to power electric vehicles, and liquid fuels used to run logging and farming machinery such as log skidders and tractors, are accounted for in the electricity generation and direct combustion sub-sectors.

Key trends and drivers

The change in Tasmania’s transport emissions from 1990 to 2017 is presented in Figure 17. Transport accounts for 19 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions, excluding LULUCF.

Figure 17: Tasmanian emissions from transport – 1990 to 2017

This figure includes an area chart showing the change in Tasmania’s emissions from transport, which increased from a minimum of 1,552 kt CO2-e in 1991 to a maximum of 2,088 kt CO2-e in 2008, before decreasing to 1,633 kt CO2-e in 2017, with a relatively large decrease between 2011 and 2012. The figure also includes a pie chart showing transport was responsible for 19 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions, excluding LULUCF, in 2017.

Source: DoEE 2019B.

Road transportation was the main contributor to Tasmania’s transport emissions (97 per cent) in 2017. The leading contributor to road transportation emissions was cars (48 per cent), followed by heavy duty trucks and buses (29 per cent) (Figure 18). Motorcycles only contributed 0.3 per cent to Tasmania’s transportation emissions and are therefore not included in Figure 18.

Figure 18: Tasmanian emissions by mode and road transport sub-categories – 2017

This table shows that the transport sector was responsible for 19 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions excluding LULUCF. It further breaks down these emissions into modes of transport, comprising road transport (97 per cent), domestic aviation (0.3 per cent), railways (1 per cent), and domestic navigation (2 per cent). It shows emissions from road transport can be attributed to cars (48 per cent), light commercial vehicles (19 per cent), and heavy duty trucks and buses (29 per cent).Source: DoEE 2019A.

The change in Tasmanian emissions from road transport sub-categories is presented in Figure 19.

Figure 19: Tasmanian emissions by road transport sub-categories – 1990 to 2017

This stacked bar chart shows total emissions from road transport reaching a peak in 2008, falling in 2009 before climbing to another peak in 2011, before decreasing to 2017. It shows emissions from cars increased from 908 kt CO2-e in 1990 to a maximum of 1,033 kt CO2-e in 2004, staying relatively constant until 2011, before decreasing to 788 kt CO2-e in 2017. It shows emissions from light commercial vehicles increased from 191 kt CO2-e in 1990 to 307 kt CO2-e in 2011, before dipping slightly between 2012 and 2015, and then again climbing to 311 kt CO2-e in 2016, which was maintained in 2017. It shows emissions from heavy duty trucks and buses has experienced a consistent upwards trend from a minimum of 287 kt CO2-e in 1991 to 478 kt CO2-e in 2017.

Source: DoEE 2019A.

To understand changes within the sector, emissions data have been overlaid with fuel and vehicle registration data. The road transport sub-category consumed 22.6 PJ of energy in 2017, comprising diesel (53 per cent), petrol (46 per cent) and LPG (1 per cent) (DoEE 2018A).

The total number of vehicles registered in Tasmania has increased by 56 per cent since 1991, with passenger cars increasing by 45 per cent, light commercial vehicles by 95 per cent, and heavy duty trucks, buses and other modes by 77 per cent (ABS 2017C; ABS 1991).

However, total energy consumption from road transportation has only increased by 9 per cent. Energy from petrol use decreased by 31 per cent, while diesel use has increased by 127 per cent (DoEE 2018A).

Road transportation is becoming more efficient, using less fuel to travel the same distance. This is contributing to the decrease in emissions from cars (13 per cent), despite the increasing number of passenger vehicle registrations. The overall increase in emissions from the transport sector is explained by strong growth in freight transport and an increase in commercial activity, which has offset emissions savings from efficiency improvements within these vehicle classes. The significant increase in diesel is concentrated in the heavy duty trucks and buses sub-category.

2.1.3 Electricity generation

Sources of emissions

Emissions from electricity generation are produced by the combustion of fuels to generate electricity that is supplied to the electricity grid for domestic and commercial use.

This sub-sector covers emissions from electricity that is generated in Tasmania, some of which is exported to the National Electricity Market via Basslink. Emissions from electricity imported into Tasmania via Basslink are accounted for in the greenhouse gas inventory of the state generating the electricity.

Key trends and drivers

The change in Tasmania’s emissions from 1990 to 2017 from electricity generation is presented in Figure 20. Electricity generation only accounts for 5 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions, excluding LULUCF.

Figure 20: Tasmanian emissions from electricity generation – 1990 to 2017

This figure includes an area chart that shows the change in Tasmania’s emissions from electricity generation, which have fluctuated significantly between 1990 and 2017. It shows emissions reached 756 kt CO2-e in 1991, stayed relatively stable at under 100 kt CO2-e between 1992 and 2000, before climbing to a peak of 670 kt CO2-e in 2008, falling to 391 kt CO2-e in 2009, climbing to another peak of 731 kt CO2-e in 2013, falling to 107 kt CO2-e in 2015, and again climbing to 483 kt CO2-e in 2016, with a small fall in 2017. The figure also includes a pie chart that shows electricity generation was responsible for 5 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions, excluding LULUCF, in 2017.

Source: DoEE 2019B.

Unlike other states and territories, the majority of Tasmania’s electricity is generated using renewable resources including wind (10 per cent) and hydroelectricity (80 per cent).

Figure 21 shows Tasmania’s emissions from electricity generation using non-renewable fuels from 1990 to 2017. In 2017, non-renewable electricity generation accounted for around 9 per cent (915 Gigawatt hours (GWh)) of electricity generated in Tasmania (DoEE 2018B), noting this trend is variable over time. The use of natural gas at the Tamar Valley Power Station is responsible for the majority of Tasmania’s emissions from electricity generation. Key factors influencing its operation are water inflows into Hydro Tasmania’s storages and interstate demand (Figure 21).

Figure 21: Tasmanian emissions from electricity generation using non-renewable fuels – 2009 to 2017

This figure combines a stacked bar chart showing energy generated from different sources of non-renewable fuels in Gigawatt Hours, with a line chart showing total emissions from electricity generation in Tasmania since 2009. It shows natural gas was largely responsible for Tasmania’s emissions from electricity generation since 2009. In 2009 natural gas produced 705 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, increasing to 1,752 GWh in 2013, falling sharply in 2015 to 131 GWh, before increasing to 894 GWh in 2017. It shows the use of oil products for producing electricity fluctuating significantly, with the two most significant years being 2011 (95 GWh) and 2016 (90 GWh).

Source: DoEE 2018B and DoEE 2019B.

2.2 Agriculture

Sources of emissions

Some of the sources of agriculture sector emissions are livestock digestive systems (enteric fermentation), the release of nitrous oxide from cropping and pasture land, and manure management.

  • Enteric fermentation of plant material that is digested by livestock (eg cattle, sheep and pigs) results in methane emissions.
  • Urine and dung deposited by grazing animals, and nitrogen leaching and run-off, result in emissions from microbial and chemical transformations that produce and consume nitrous oxide in the soil.
  • Manure management produces emissions through the anaerobic (without oxygen) decomposition of the organic matter contained in manure.
  • Land management practices such as lime, fertiliser and urea applications produce nitrous oxide emissions.

Emissions associated with the use of electricity, fuel consumption from operating agricultural equipment, and fuel consumption in transport, are accounted for in the energy sector.

Key trends and drivers

Tasmania’s agriculture sector contributed 2,305 kt CO2-e in 2017. This accounted for 27 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions when LULUCF is excluded (Figure 22).

Figure 22: Tasmanian emissions from agriculture – 1990 to 2017

This figure includes an area chart that shows the change in Tasmania’s emissions from agriculture between 1990 and 2017. It shows emissions decreased from 2,318 kt CO2-e in 1990 to a minimum of 1,930 kt CO2-e in 2010, before climbing to 2,305 kt CO2-e in 2017. The figure also includes a pie chart that shows agriculture was responsible for 27 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions, excluding LULUCF, in 2017.

Source: DoEE 2019B.

Enteric fermentation was the largest source of emissions from agriculture in Tasmania in 2017, followed by agricultural soils, manure management, and liming (Figure 23). Field burning of agricultural residues (0.02 per cent) and urea application (1.54 per cent) only made minor contributions to the sector’s total emissions.

Figure 23: Tasmanian emissions by agricultural sub-sectors – 2017

This pie chart shows enteric fermentation was the largest source of emissions from agriculture in Tasmania in 2017 (74 per cent), followed by agricultural soils (18 per cent), manure management (4 per cent), and liming (2 per cent).

Source: DoEE 2019A.

The change in Tasmanian emissions from agricultural sub-sectors is presented in Figure 24.

Figure 24: Tasmanian emissions by agricultural sub-sectors – 1990 to 2017

This stacked bar chart shows emissions from enteric fermentation have decreased by 10 per cent between 1990 and 2017. Emissions declined from 1,880 kt CO2-e in 1990 to a minimum of 1,402 kt CO2-e in 2010, before increasing to 1,699 kt CO2-e in 2017. It shows that over the same period, emissions from agricultural soils demonstrated a slight upwards trend, experiencing a total increase of 17 per cent. It also shows manure management and liming only contribute a small amount to Tasmania’s agricultural emissions, with emissions from liming fluctuating significantly.

Source: DoEE 219A.

Emissions from enteric fermentation have decreased by 10 per cent between 1990 and 2017. Over the same period, emissions have increased from agricultural soils (17 per cent), manure management (102 per cent) and liming (174 per cent).

Cattle and sheep make the largest contribution to Tasmania’s enteric fermentation emissions (Figure 25).

Figure 25: Tasmanian enteric fermentation emissions by livestock type – 1990 to 2017

This stacked bar chart shows that enteric fermentation emissions from cattle increased by 43 per cent between 1990 and 2017 (from 929 to 1,329 kt CO2-e), while emissions from sheep decreased by 61 per cent (from 940 to 367 kt CO2-e), resulting in the decrease in total enteric fermentation emissions. It shows swine and other livestock only made a small contribution to Tasmania’s enteric fermentation emissions.

Source: DoEE 219A.

While enteric fermentation emissions from cattle increased by 43 per cent between 1990 and 2017, emissions from sheep decreased by 61 per cent, resulting in the decrease in total enteric fermentation emissions. Cattle can be further split into beef cattle and dairy cattle. While beef cattle numbers have fallen by 13 per cent since 1990, dairy cattle numbers have nearly doubled (ABS 2017D).

2.3 Industrial processes and product use

Sources of emissions

Emissions from the industrial processes and product use (IPPU) sector are generated from a range of production processes that include: the calcination of carbonate compounds (eg cement, lime or glass production); carbon when used as a chemical reductant (eg iron and steel or aluminium production); and the production and use of synthetic gases such as hydrofluorocarbons (eg refrigeration, air conditioning, solvents) and sulphur hexafluoride (electrical equipment).

Emissions associated with the energy used in industrial production processes are accounted for in the electricity generation and direct combustion sub-sectors. For example, the emissions from cement manufacture include combustion of fuels (coal or natural gas) used to heat kilns in the manufacturing process. However, these combustion-related emissions are reported as energy emissions (direct combustion) and not with IPPU, which only includes the emissions from calcination.

Key trends and drivers

Tasmania’s IPPU sector contributed 1,771 kt CO2-e in 2017. This accounted for 21 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions when LULUCF is excluded (Figure 26).

Figure 26: Tasmanian emissions from IPPU – 1990 to 2017

This figure includes an area chart that shows the change in Tasmania’s emissions from IPPU, which decreased between 1990 and 1996 (from 1,556 to 1,217 kt CO2-e), before trending upwards to a maximum of 1,772 kt CO2-e in 2015, which was nearly matched in 2017.
The figure also includes a pie chart that shows IPPU was responsible for 21 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions, excluding LULUCF, in 2017.

Source: DoEE 2019B.

Emissions from IPPU can be split into a number of sub-sectors. The disaggregated emissions from the chemical industry and metal industry are treated as confidential by the Australian Government. Emissions from these sub-sectors are reported in the STGGI as combined emissions under ‘Other’.

The combined emissions from the metal and chemical industries (44 per cent) was the largest source of emissions from IPPU in Tasmania, with the mineral industry (41 per cent) also making a large contribution (Figure 27). Emissions from Tasmania’s electronics industry are not calculated, while emissions from other sub-sectors are not reported here due to their small contribution (less than 1 per cent).

Figure 27: Tasmanian emissions by IPPU sub-sectors – 2017

This pie chart shows that combined emissions from the metal and chemical industries was the largest source of emissions from IPPU in Tasmania in 2017 (44 per cent), with the mineral industry contributing 41 per cent, and product uses as substitutes for ozone depleting substances contributing 15 per cent.

Source: DoEE 2019A.

The change in Tasmanian emissions from 1990 to 2017 from IPPU sub-sectors is presented in Figure 28.

Figure 28: Tasmanian emissions by IPPU sub-sectors – 1990 to 2017

This stacked bar chart shows that emissions from the metal and chemical industries declined from 967 kt CO2-e in 1990 to 583 kt CO2-e in 2012, before increasing to 785 kt CO2-e in 2017. It shows emissions from the mineral industry increased by 25 per cent between 1990 and 2017 (from 577 to 721 kt CO2-e). It shows that emissions from product use as substitutes for ozone depleting substances first occurred in 1995, increasing to 254 kt CO2-e by 2015, and stabilising by 2017.

Source: DoEE 2019A.

Emissions from the metal industry are often attributable to the production of iron and steel, ferroalloys, aluminum, magnesium, lead and zinc (IPCC 2016, Vol 3, Ch 4). Tasmania has smelters producing aluminum, ferromanganese and zinc.

Emissions from the mineral industry are usually attributable to three source categories, comprising cement production, lime production and glass production (IPCC 2016, Vol 3, Ch 2). In Tasmania, the majority of emissions from this sub-category are likely to be attributable to the production of clinker (used in the manufacture of Portland cement).

2.4 Waste

Sources of emissions

Emissions are produced by the decomposition of organic waste in landfills and from the release of greenhouse gases during the treatment of wastewater. The anaerobic decomposition of organic matter from solid waste in landfills and wastewater treatment plants produces methane. The nitrification and denitrification of urea and ammonia in wastewater treatment plants produces nitrous oxide emissions.

Emissions associated with the energy used in the management and transportation of waste are reported in the electricity generation, direct combustion and transport sub-sectors.

Key trends and drivers

Tasmania’s waste sector contributed 372 kt CO2-e in 2017. This accounted for 4 per cent of Tasmania’s emissions when LULUCF is excluded (Figure 29).

Figure 29: Tasmanian emissions from the waste sector – 1990 to 2017