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Fig 1 - Australia consump profile

Energy Profile - Australia

"The Land of Plenty"

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(population: 25 mi; GDP: US$1.55 tri; primary energy consumption: 129 Mtoe; electricity consumption: 245 TWh; installed capacity: 88.4 GW; energy self-sufficiency: 346%)

  

With abundant energy resources, Australia is a leading producer & exporter of coal (top exporter), liquefied natural gas (LNG) (top exporter), and uranium (largest reserve [INN, 2023], 4th largest producer [INN, 2023]).

  

In 2020, fossil fuels accounted for roughly 90% of Australia’s total energy consumption.  Figure 1 shows the total primary consumption in Australia by fuel type in 2020.  Australia’s energy exports, excluding uranium, accounted for approximately 81% of its total energy production in 2020 [EIA, 2023].  Figure 2 shows Australia’s resources & major export ports.

  

Coal

  

Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter based on energy content and the 2nd-largest exporter based on weight, behind Indonesia [EIA, 2023].  Russia and the U.S. come third and fourth, respectively.  Australia's coal is high quality as a result of its low moisture and ash content, and high carbon content [AAP, 2023].  Australian coal (thermal, for electricity & metallurgic, for steel making) is shipped mainly to Japan, China (exports to China fell in 2021 due to Beijing's ban on Australian coal) India, and South Korea.

    

LNG

  

In 2020, Australia passed Qatar to become the top LNG exporter, at 3.7 Tcf (0.1 Tcf more than in 2019). Australia exports LNG almost exclusively to markets in Asia.  Figure 3 shows Australia LNG exports by destination (2020).

Uranium  

  

Australia's uranium reserves are the world's largest, with around one-third of global resources.  Australia is the world's 4th largest producer behind Kazakhstan, Canada, and Namibia [INN, 2023].

    

Mining

  

Australia is the leading global producer of iron ore, accounting for 35% of the total production with 900 million tons in 2021, followed by Brazil and China (with 380 million tons each) [NRC, 2023].  Moreover,   

Australia is already the world’s largest producer of spodumene, the base material for lithium (hydroxide & carbonate), and has the 2nd largest lithium ore reserves globally, after Chile [MCY, 2023].

The shift to renewables

In 2021, renewables production increased 10%, largely due to the rapid expansion of solar & wind [GA, 2022].  In 2021, renewable energy accounted for 29% of Australia’s total electricity generation, the highest on record.  Key sources were solar (12% - up 31%), wind (10% - up 19%) and hydro (6%).

  

The Australian Government has committed a record of almost A$ 25 billion budget to reaching emissions targets through its Powering Australia plan, including funding for projects that unlock opportunities for investors in clean energy and other low-carbon technologies.

  

Australia became the first country in the world to export hydrogen, when it shipped LH2 to Japan in 2022 [GA, 2022].  At the end of 2022, Danish company "European Energy" announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Austrom, a company located in Queensland, w/ the intention of accelerating the 3,600 MW Pacific Solar Hydrogen Project in the Gladstone region and producing more than 100 000 tpy of green hydrogen [EG, 2022].

 Figure 1: Total primary energy consumption in Australia by fuel type (2020)

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 Figure 2: Australia resources & major export ports

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 Figure 3: Australia LNG exports by destination (2020)

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Fig 2 - Australia map
Fig 3 Australia LNG
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