Drop in Byron Shire greenhouse gas emissions owing to lockdown

Less cars on the roads meant reduced emissions locally. Photo Aslan Shand.

Electricity emissions in Byron Shire were reduced by 21 per cent in April this year, while private transport emissions were estimated to have reduced by 50 per cent to 75 per cent over the month of April, according to a report from consultants Point Advisory, for Zero Emissions Byron Limited (ZEB).

ZEB’s aim is to educate, promote and encourage residents of Byron Shire into finding out how individuals can reduce emissions to zero, ideally by 2025.

Nik Midlam, a director of Zero Emissions Byron Limited (ZEB), says, ‘While this reduction in emissions happened for the ‘wrong’ reasons, we can see from these statistics that, as a society, it is possible to reduce our emissions quite drastically, quite fast’. 

The Point Advisory report included data from the Shire’s network distributor, Essential Energy, which provided electricity load profile data from the Shire’s three zone substations. According to the report, Mullumbimby’s substation had the highest electricity use. Mr Midlam says, ‘The interesting finding is that solar is now providing almost all of the area’s electricity use in the middle of the day’.

The report compared the load profile for January to April 2020 against the same time of year of the previous four years, 2016 to 2019. Results showed that March appeared to be a transition month, in which electricity use decreased by 11 per cent, compared with three previous years.

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