Australia's energy use climbs 15%



coal footprint

Australia's energy footprint is on the rise, according to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Credit: iStockphoto

- Advertisement -

Australia's total energy use has increased by 15 per cent over the last six years, according to a new report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Released today, the Energy Account, Australia report reveals that manufacturing, along with the electricity, gas and water industries were the largest domestic energy users, while households accounted for 12 per cent of our country's energy usage.

Over half of household energy use was accounted for by the consumption of fuels such as petrol, diesel and LPG, while about one quarter was on electricity and the remainder on products such as natural gas, biomass and solar energy.

In its first attempt at presenting both physical and monetary aspects of energy use, the Bureau of Statistics calculated that in total this household energy use represented 215 petajoules - almost 60 billion kilowatt hours - with an estimated worth of $7.8 million.

In total, the report found that in 2006-07, Australia's total supply of energy products was 21,359 petajoules - predominantly from natural gas (44 per cent), black coal, uranium concentrates and refined products (the latter three at 19 per cent each).

Despite increases in the supply of renewable energy products, renewables such as hydroelectricity, wood biomass, wind and solar made up just over one per cent of Australia's total energy production during this time.

While there have been large decreases in energy intensity in some industries, such as construction (74 per cent) and transport (50 per cent), energy intensity has increased in others, such as mining, where energy use has doubled over the last 30 years due to a number of factors, including a shift towards more open-cut mining.

The report also found that while Australia's production of crude oil has fallen 21 per cent in the past six years, and our export of oil and refined products has dropped 31 per cent, our imports have grown by 35 per cent.