Gas is continuing to power Australia’s economy, with gas use growing strongly over the last year, along with greater use of renewables and continued reliance on coal according to the latest official energy data.
The 2020 Australian Energy Statistics cover all energy used, produced and traded across the Australian economy, including to power our electricity system, fuel our transport and sustain our manufacturing sector.
The new data shows gas consumption increased the most of all energy types in 2018-19, by 35 petajoules, up 2 per cent.
In total, natural gas provided 26 per cent of Australia’s energy mix in 2018-19, and 20 per cent of total electricity generation.
The new data also shows that total renewable energy consumption increased by 18 petajoules. This is a five per cent increase on the previous year in terms, while electricity generation from renewables was up 17 per cent in 2018-2019.
Electricity generation from coal remained high accounting for 58 per cent of total generation in 2018-19.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said getting the balance right across a mix of energy generation is crucial to ensuring households, businesses and industry have reliable and affordable energy.
“The Government is focused on ensuring all Australians have the energy they need, when they need it and at the right price,” Minister Taylor said.
“As Australia recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, reliable and affordable gas is more important now than ever to keep the lights on and businesses open, especially in the manufacturing sector which relies on gas for over 40 per cent of its energy needs.
“We are a world-leader in renewable energy, but we need a balance in our energy system to deliver reliable power. We know that gas is flexible and provides the dispatchable capacity needed when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. Gas should be seen as complementary to renewables, not a competitor.
“That’s why the Government is backing gas to deliver a secure, reliable and affordable electricity system to power our homes, businesses and industries while creating jobs and driving economic growth.
“The data also shows the importance of energy generation from coal. Coal will continue to play an important role for many years to come in our energy sector.”
The new data shows energy exports grew eight per cent in 2018-19, driven by a 21 per cent increase in LNG exports as new capacity came online.
Energy productivity (GDP/energy consumption) has improved 19 per cent over the past 10 years, with Australia now creating $304 million in GDP per petajoule of energy used – nearly $50 million more per petajoule than a decade ago.
The full set of statistics is available at www.energy.gov.au/publications/australian-energy-update-2020