Where does Australia’s energy come from?
When it comes to energy efficiency on an individual level, usually, we think about saving energy from our home. As we’ve discussed in our previous posts, there are a lot of different items to considerations if you need to make sure a minimum 6 star energy rating certified home.
But sometimes it’s a good idea to look at the equation on a larger, macro scale to understand a little bit about the energy industry in Australia and where all our energy comes from. It is a field that it pays to have some general knowledge about as it’s becoming more and more important to our future. This article will discuss the main sources of energy in Australia currently.
Renewable energy stands as a solution to the problem of finding a sustainable energy source to see us into the future. Yet it still only accounts for around 15% of Australia’s total energy production, mainly due to the fact that it is an emerging industry itself. The good news is that it is growing at a rapid rate, having increased its share of total energy production 10% between 2006 and 2015.
Renewable energy includes those energy sources that come from resources that are renewable, or that are conceptually available in infinite supply. The main renewable energy sources currently utilised in Australia include hydroelectricity, wind, bioenergy and solar, with hydroelectricity accounting for more than half.
Coal production remains an important export for Australia and accounts for a large proportion of energy production as well. Despite the fact that there is some discussion about moving away from this traditional energy source, its production in Australia is actually increasing over time and provides around 69% of total electricity in the country.
This method of energy production continues to attract criticism, as the burning of coal in plants around the country produces a number of emissions, including carbon dioxide, which are said to contribute to climate change.
Natural gas is another non-renewable energy source that Australia is lucky enough to have available, with a great deal being mined out in Western Australia’s North-West shelf. A fossil fuel, natural gas has a huge number of applications for power generation, domestic use in heating and cooking and in the transportation industry among others. Some Australian mining companies have agreements in place with Chinese corporations, so a great deal of the natural gas mined in Australia is used in China.
The upside is that despite being a fossil fuel, the burning of natural gas produce nearly as many pollutants as coal for example and has little effect on the environment if managed correctly.
These three energy sources are the most significant in Australia currently. Oil production, which was in greater supply as recently as 30 years ago, accounts for a much smaller percentage than it once did, mainly due to our having used the majority of the oil reserves in Australia. This article helps you understand where your energy is coming from and the work and great costs that go into providing this energy to the population. Recognising this can help us to not take our energy for granted and always look to save it where possible.