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Electricity in Australia in 2023

Global Ranking: #25
36.1% #93 Low-carbon electricity
44.93 % #53 Electrification
1210.69 watts #16 Generation / person
481.35 gCO2eq/kWh #131 Carbon Intensity

In 2023, Australia's electricity consumption remains heavily reliant on fossil fuels, with almost two-thirds (64%) coming from these sources. Coal is the dominant source, contributing nearly half (46%) of the total electricity generation. Natural gas also plays a significant role, accounting for about 16%. Oil accounts for a minimal share of about 2%. In contrast, low-carbon or clean energy sources constitute just over a third (36%) of the electricity mix. Solar power is the leading clean energy source, providing around 17% of the total generation. Wind energy follows, contributing 12%, and hydropower adds approximately 6%. Biofuels, while classified as low-carbon, play a minimal role at just over 1%.

Suggestions

To increase the proportion of low-carbon electricity generation, Australia should prioritize the expansion of its existing wind and solar capabilities, given their already substantial contributions. Drawing inspiration from countries that have excelled in particular clean energy technologies can be beneficial. For instance, Denmark generates more than half its electricity from wind energy, a feat that Australia could aim to replicate given its similar climatic conditions. Additionally, embracing nuclear energy could substantially drive down carbon emissions. France generates a significant majority (65%) of its electricity from nuclear power, despite having a roughly comparable population size to Australia. Learning from such successful implementations can offer valuable strategies to reduce Australia's dependence on fossil fuels.

History

Historically, Australia's journey towards low-carbon electricity has seen various fluctuations. Notably, in the 1980s, hydropower experienced a significant decline, with a decrease of 2.4 TWh in 1980. The 2010s brought mixed results for hydropower, with increases in 2011 and 2016 but declines in 2012, 2014, and 2017. Solar and wind energy saw considerable growth beginning around 2015, with a notable boost in solar generation starting in 2018, steadily increasing to a substantial 8.1 TWh by 2023. Wind energy followed a similar upward trend, growing consistently from 2015 onwards, reaching an additional 4.9 TWh in 2022. This clear upward trend in wind and solar power generation underscores Australia's potential to significantly expand these green technologies further.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1971 to 1984 the data source is World Bank.
For the years 1985 to 2022 the data source is Energy Institute.
For the year 2023 the data source is Ember.
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