Coal consumption falling in Australia



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Coal consumption falling in Australia

Coal remained the second largest primary fuel by consumption in Australia in the period July 2012 – June 2013 (FY2012/13), according to new official figures from the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE).

Reporting on that period in the latest Australian Energy Update, BREE’s figures show hard coal and lignite accounted for 33% of total energy consumption, behind oil (including crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas and refined products).

But despite coal’s strong showing, it’s share fell in the mix to its lowest level since the early 1970s. Overall, coal consumption fell in FY2012/13 by 6% on the back of lower coal use in the electricity and iron and steel sectors.

“This reflects not only a decline in output in both of these sectors, but also a shift away from the use of coal in electricity generation in recent years,” the report concluded.

In contrast, renewables showed annual growth of 11.5% – with hydro generation up by almost 30% on the previous year, reflecting increased water flow in southeast Australia, as well as improved relative costs of hydro generation under the carbon price. Solar PV and wind energy also grew strongly – up 49.2 and 19.9% respectively.

Consumption of natural gas was also up on the back of its greater use in the electricity and industrial sectors. It accounted for 24% of consumption, up 2.2% on the previous year.

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Published on 18/07/2014

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