In Australia in 2022, fossil fuels remain the most dominant source of electricity, accounting for close to 68% of the total, with coal constituting almost half of this. Gas follows closely at 18%, while oil only comprised a tiny portion at 1.7%. Low-carbon, or clean energy sources accounted for slightly more than 32%, with hydroelectricity making up 6%, and biofuels at around 1%. Solar and wind energies, considered integral components of Australia's green efforts, contributed to 13% and nearly 12% of total electricity respectively. Notably, Australia neither imports nor exports electricity from or to other countries, making its energy landscape primarily domestic-centric.
To increase its low-carbon electricity capacity, Australia can draw inspiration from the successful energy profiles of several countries which generate a high share of their electricity from clean sources. Denmark, for instance, generates over half of its electricity from wind power, a capacity Australia can potentially replicate given its abundant wind resources. Similarly, France generates a significant 61% of its electricity from nuclear energy which is a noteworthy low-carbon energy source. Australia, endowed with one of the world’s largest reserves of uranium could take steps to introduce or expand nuclear power in its energy mix. Solar expansion, given the country's sunny climate, should also remain a primary focus.
Australia's history of low-carbon electricity saw marked changes over the last four decades. The early 80s saw a decrease in hydroelectricity, although it fluctuated several times across the years. The new millennium, however, witnessed an increased focus on wind and solar energy. In 2015, wind energy saw a noticeable increase of about 2 Twh. Rapid strides were made in the latter half of the decade with significant growth in solar and wind power capacities. Since 2018, both these sectors recorded gains year after year, crystallizing Australia's commitment to amplifying its green electricity sources.