13 September 2019
Australia’s energy landscape is more productive and profitable than ever before, according to the latest report into domestic supply and usage.
Key findings from the Australian Energy Update 2019, covering all types of energy used across the Australian economy, show that energy productivity has improved by 20 per cent over the past decade as the emissions intensity of the economy continues to fall, while electricity prices fell in the June Quarter 2019 to their lowest level since September 2017.
Australia now generates $294 million in Gross Domestic Product for every petajoule of energy consumed, nearly $50 million more per petajoule than a decade ago.
The report highlighted renewable energy use continues to grow strongly, driven largely by technology improvements, falling costs and consumer choice.
Electricity generation from renewables increased 10 per cent in 2017-18, contributing 17 per cent of all generation. This upward trend continued in calendar year 2018, with renewable generation increasing to 19 per cent of total generation.
The share of renewables is expected to continue to grow strongly over the next few years thanks to record levels of investment in 2018. Australia leads the world in per-capita investment in renewable energy – at almost double the level of second placed Japan, and triple that of France and Germany.
While renewable energy grew, fossil fuels remain an important part of meeting our energy needs. Coal, oil and natural gas provided 94 per cent of Australia’s primary energy in 2017–18 and 81 per cent of electricity generation in calendar 2018.
While the report found we are now using less coal than we used to, coal-fired electricity generation still accounted for 60 per cent of total generation in 2018.
The challenge in the energy sector is integrating the renewables boom to deliver affordable and reliable power. That means keeping our existing generation in, and running at full tilt, and supporting complimentary investment in dispatchable generation and storage.
That is why the Government has invested $1.43 billion in reliable generation and storage, supporting a high-tech expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme and the development of MarinusLink, the second Bass Strait interconnector needed to turn Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation vision into reality.
Only the Liberal National Government unreservedly supports continued growth in energy production and exports. These sectors have made our economy strong, and are contributing to a reduction in global emissions.
The full report can be accessed here: energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-data/australian-energy-statistics.