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Discuss about the Queensland Energy Consumption.

Accessing energy is important to the community.  In Australia, energy use and supply change every time. They use energy productively and as a result, the price goes up, the economy changes and new technologies are used. The perspectives and expectations of individuals about design and functions of energy systems differ. This is due to changes that happen and differ over time. Some people aim to attain lowest economic costs while others aim to attain a stable energy supply (Salvalai, et al., 2015, p. 23). Majority of people believe in the climate and environment as the most crucial elements to consider before implementing and designing the energy systems. Therefore the community must balance these perspectives and expectations. Production has changed due to changes in fuel, distribution, and importance of energy  (Shen, et al., 2016, p. 234).

Queensland is among the states in Australia and one of the famous because of the heritage sites. The climate ranges between subtropical to tropical. It is a winter tourist attraction sites. Queensland has dry and wet seasons because of the latitude. Energy in Queensland is developed through energy and water supply department  (Caputo, et al., 2016, p. 378). Increase in consuming energy impacts the environment and leads to risks of production of emissions. 80% of electricity produced comes from burning fossil fuel. Gases that are produced from combustion of fuel are greenhouse gases that result in global warming, acid rain, ozone depletion and negative effects  (Tan, et al., 2016, p. 265).

Queensland is affected by mild winters and summers that require air conditioning, refreshing in pools mining and showers. All these activities consume a lot of electricity. According to Söderqvist, et al., (2015, p. 256) 40% of Australian energy is spent on cooling and heating activities.

Queensland uses energy in:

  1. Cooling and heating

Most homes in Queensland use energy in cooling and heating in rooms in order to maintain and attain comfortable temperatures. Installing air conditioning in houses increases energy consumption. Changes in temperatures make individuals install this appliance and therefore one needs to take proper measures in order to reduce costs of energy consumption  (Shen, et al., 2016, p. 134).

  1. Home appliances

Home appliances energy to heat water, dry clothes, cook, store and iron clothes. These activities consume a lot of energy making it expensive at homes. Before purchasing home appliances on should consider the amount of energy used so that they choose one that consumes low energy and has alternatives. Fridges and freezers use a lot of energy and should be properly regulated with the required amount of light  (Salvalai, et al., 2015, p. 278).

  1. Lighting

Means in Which Queensland Uses Energy

Energy is used by homes to provide illumination through lighting. Installing LED lights, natural lights and fluorescent lights reduces the energy required to achieve an equal amount of illumination as compared to the traditional approach of lighting. To improve lighting energy consumption one needs to use new technology  (Cumo, et al., 2013, p. 543).

  1. Mining

Coal mining is one of the major fuels of generating electricity in Australia.  Queensland uses Natural gas to drill water wells and electricity in refineries and mining smelters. This leads to a large amount of energy being used to make extraction and supply of coal, fuel, oil and other minerals thus increasing its consumption  (Bisegna, et al., 2015, p. 567).

  1. Home appliances

Queensland is affected by mild winters and summers that require air conditioning. Australians use 40% of energy for cooling and heating. This meant to keep individuals comfortable by maintaining the temperature of the rooms.

This includes Fridges, ovens, dishwashers, clothes washers and freezers consume a lot of energy. One can minimize energy consumption by installing cloth line. This will reduce the cost of the dryer. Use of refrigerators will reduce energy by 40%. If everyone in Queensland uses new appliances, they will save approximately 20 billion kWh of electricity which in turn minimizes carbon dioxide emissions by 18billion kg using new appliances is the most efficient means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Turning these appliances off or maintaining low power is also energy efficient  (Cumo, et al., 2013, p. 543).

  1. Mining

Consumption of energy in the mining industry has been growing rapidly since 2013. This is due to increase in demand and production of commodities and resources across the world. Energy consumption has increased by 7% in 2013  (Science, 2015, p. 256). In the process of extraction, oil consumption has increased by 11% due to increase in production of gas for household uses in Queensland. Mining of fuels and transporting oil and gas in pipelines leads to the emission of greenhouses gases due to use of road transport and coal power thus polluting the environment. Importing these products leads to a reduction of energy by 7%.

  1. Coal

In 2014 coal was recognized as the biggest source of energy with 33% in Queensland. The state contributes to coal mining. This is one of the major fuels of generating electricity in Australia. Coal seam gas and coal are significant sources of fuel.  According to Science, (2015, p. 256) Queensland contributes 98% of coal seam gas in Australia. This is because of the growth of energy industries like mining, population growth, and economic growth that have increased high demands of energy. Mining of fuels and transporting oil and gas in pipelines leads to the emission of greenhouses gases due to use of road transport and coal power thus polluting the environment.  The energy policy resolved not to issue licenses for coal unless best low emission technology is used. Queensland was recognized as the first state to produce oil and natural gas, using hydroelectric power and supply the city with natural gas. 

  1. Electricity

Appliances that Consume Lot of Energy

Queensland generates a capacity of electricity of over 14000 MW. The highest demand for electricity is about 8891 MW in 2010. The resource sector of Queensland demands electricity in refineries and mining smelters. Queensland exports 1380 MW and imports 880 MW of electricity. In 1985 workers disputed over wages. Electricity generation was deregulated in the year 2007 and nuclear power banned. People in the remote areas have resulted in electricity prices being subsidized by the community.

  1. Oil

Oil was first distributed in Queensland the year 1980. The pipeline used busted in 2003 causing split of oil. Approximately 30billion of oil barrels is in Queensland. It produces petroleum products that result in the majority of states’ fuel. The state was affected by high prices and there were no alternative sources of energy and it is upon the state to find a solution to mitigate this problem. In 2014 oil was recognized as the biggest source of energy with38% in Queensland.

  1. Gas

In 2014 natural gas was recognized as the biggest source of energy with 24% in Queensland. Coal gas was produced at Queensland and was extracted from coal in 1964. Natural gas was used to drill water wells. The first pipeline for the gas was 435km. mine gas is used to generate power in small quantities. This mine gas is 45MW and generates less power that reduces greenhouse emissions. In 2010, coal gas has grown by 43% compared to other years. The effect of coal gas production and exploration has increased environmental issues. From Science, (2015, p. 256) 34 wells had detectable wells. Five wells that leaked were flammable which is dangerous to human life.

  1. Solar

Solar energy is used by 27% homes in Queensland. This gives a total of 937 MW. A third of solar panel owners receive 6.4% kW/h for extra power and the remaining receive 44c/KWh. Clean energy office offers hot water by installing solar systems for water. Rooftop solar installation is affected by deficiencies in electricity grid since grids were designed to operate from the power station.

  1. Renewables

They contribute to about 15% of electricity generation in Queensland. This is because of hydro. It has increased from 7% in 2013. They fall under the policy of renewables and have signed up to 20% target schemes. Renewables still lag behind compared to other sources of energy. They emit fewer greenhouse gases in the environment  (Carbonara, et al., 2015, p. 100).

Queensland government policy has led to fuel diversification of sources of fuel which has given rise to regulatory organization e.g. 13% gas scheme. The target for electricity consumption is to increase by 15% in 2011 and 8% in 2020  (De Santoli & Di Matteo, 2003, p. 111). Fuels include natural gas, LPG, waste gas, and coal seam gas. This has led to the formation of regulatory bodies to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emission.

  1. Australian energy regulator

Sources of Energy

AER is an organization used to regulate gas markets and wholesale electricity in Australia. They control the monopoly of energy distribution and transmission. They monitor wholesale and enforce rules of the electricity market. They have powers from the national electricity laws.

  1. Australian capital authority

This policy is meant to provide a framework to manage economic, environmental and social challenges in relation to energy consumption and production. They provide reliable and affordable gas and electricity supply in Australia. It aims at providing a sustainable supply of energy to reduce carbon dioxide.

Soft tools

  1. Office of clean energy

It was started in 2008 to enable industries in initiating clean energy projects for Queensland. It administers SBS (solar bonus schemes) to pay surplus electricity for small customers and households  (Garcia, et al., 2013, p. 765).

  1. Solar school programs

This program aims at reducing the number of energy consumptions in schools by 30%. This initiative began in 2008. This program involves installing a solar panel of two KW in each school in Queensland. Kindergarten and crèche services were funded for solar power installation systems  (Fioretti, et al., 2015, p. 123).

  1. Government energy strategy.

They initiated WCR water project which was built to ensure supply of water from source to power stations. This was meant to minimize peak demand and initiate new power stations. It involves initiatives of off-peak tariff for systems of hot water and easy accessibility to off-peak energy for pools. The strategy aims at establishing energy management Centre for advice on power efficiency and tariff for home appliances e.g. air conditioners, fridges and freezers  (Gabay, et al., 2014, p. 654).

Adopting these strategies would save a $3.5 billion of infrastructure cost.

Lowering consumption of energy is not only due to use of reduction of cash but also conserving the environment. These ways are categorized according to use.

  1. Saving lighting energy

In order to reduce energy used due to lighting, we can do this by

  • Using the light from the solar panel in order to conserve electric consumption.
  • Always turn off lights when not using
  • Users should use light bulbs that save energy and offer standby power and efficient energy.
  1. Saving energy on home appliances

Hot water, clothes dryers, and air conditioners are appliances that consume a lot of energy making it expensive at homes. Before purchasing home appliances on should consider the amount of energy used so that they choose one that consumes low energy and has alternatives  (Science, 2015, p. 345). They should conserve energy by:

  • Drying clothes from the line since the sun is always available at Queensland.
  • In case one has more than one fridge, always turn them off when not in use or when only needed. Also, have the temperature of fridges regulated between 3-5degerees and 15-18 degrees for freezers.
  • Switch off other appliances that are not in use e.g. toasters and electric kettles
  • One can iron a lot of clothes at the same time. This will help reduce the amount of energy used in heating and reheating of ironing appliances.
  1. Saving energy on hot water

Hot water uses a lot of energy in homes. This according to Belpoti & Bizzarri, (2015, p. 89) is approximately 25% and contributes the biggest part of emissions of greenhouse gas. Therefore users should:

  • Implement and use a 4-minute shower that will help reduce energy.
  • Stop using a standard showerhead and use a 3-star head. This will reduce the amount of energy spent on hot water by 50%.
  • Mixer tap can be left in cold position to avoid wasting hot water in cooling pipe.
  1. Saving energy on cooling and heating

Queensland is affected by mild winters and summers that require air conditioning, refreshing in pools and showers. All these activities consume a lot of electricity. According to Bulut, et al., (2015, p. 765) 40% of Australian energy is spent on cooling and heating activities. To reduce energy one should consider:

  • Before using the air conditioner in cooling the house, one should use fans, close curtains and shut down windows. This will help reduce the amount of sunlight heating the house directly.
  • In case of soaring of mercury, do not turn on the air conditioning below 24 degrees. From the study by Di Matteo & Monaco , (2011, p. 222) shows that turning on air conditioner below 24% increases between 5-10% consumed units of energy.
  • In case one uses cooling or heating systems in their homes, always cool or heat the place you want to work from to avoid cooling or heating other rooms which are not needed. This will help in reducing energy consumption on such goods.

For Queensland to provide the safe, productive and comfortable environment, the system of lighting must offer suitable condition with the required level of illumination. Systems of Lighting should be designed to consume the maximum amount of energy. Currently, sources of light produce equal light compared to traditional systems of light. Lighting is alone consumes 20-30% of electricity. Using new technologies will be sufficient for energy reduction.  Energy saving solutions are used by 30 business sectors  (Pagliaro, et al., 2015., p. 89).

The use of LEDs bulbs has led to architects and customers competing to use new technology in the homes in Queensland. However, the use of these LEDs needs care. Not all appliances require LED installation. For instance, the maximum selling price for LED compared to the use of a conventional source of light may not be considered when installing. Therefore TC of ownership method is important, investment analysis in luminaires, costs of energy, cleaning costs and cost of lamp change. In addition, sensors need to be considered in order to reduce costs of energy and improve the lifetime of the luminaire. Mostly, LED solutions of annual costs like capital costs can be lower than conventional solutions. For example, one bulb costs $3 and uses 100W  (Viholainen, et al., 2016, p. 100). It lasts two years and rate of usage is $4h/d. We want to reduce energy by replacing existing bulb with an LED bulb that costs $8 and uses 10W. The bulb lasts for a year at a usage rate of $4h/d. we want to use CBA to help make a decision on whether to replace a bulb or retain the existing one. Assuming electricity price to be $1.2 per KWH and service gain is two years at the rate of $4h/d. the company needs to buy two LED and one 100W.

Conclusion

Use of energy grows daily due to increased demand in the countries. In order to reduce energy one needs to use better appliances in order to reduce energy consumption costs. Lighting has an opportunity of saving energy. A cost-benefit analysis on the use of LED to replace another existing bulb is used to show benefits. The initial use of LED installation may be greater than traditional light installation. The use of LEDs results in lower energy consumption cost and cost of maintenance. This results in a reduction of TC of installation of energy over time and saving energy by 44 days while using existing one saves energy in 37 days.

References

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