Australian Energy Resource Assessment

Australian Energy Resource Assessment Report

  • Author(s): Geoscience Australia and ABARE,
  • Published: 2010

Abstract: • This national assessment of Australia’s energy resources examines Australia’s identified and potential energy resources ranging from fossil fuels and uranium to renewables. It reviews and assesses the factors likely to influence the use of Australia’s energy resources to 2030 including the technologies being developed to extract energy more efficiently and cleanly from existing and new energy sources. • Australia has an abundance and diversity of energy resources. Australia has more than one third of the world’s known economic uranium resources, very large coal (black and brown) resources that underpin exports and low-cost domestic electricity production, and substantial conventional gas and coal seam gas resources. This globally significant resource base is capable of meeting both domestic and increased export demand for coal and gas, and uranium exports, over the next 20 years and beyond. There is good potential for further growth of the resource base through new discoveries. Identified resources of crude oil, condensate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are more limited and Australia is increasingly reliant on imports for transport fuels. • Australia has a rich diversity of renewable energy resources (wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, wave, tidal, bioenergy). Except for hydro where the available resource is already mostly developed and wind energy where use is growing strongly, these resources are largely undeveloped and could contribute significantly more to Australia’s future energy supply. • Greater use of many energy sources with lower greenhouse gas emissions (especially renewable energy sources) is currently limited by the immaturity of technologies and the cost of electricity production. Advances in technology supported by industry and government actions are expected to result in commercial electricity production by 2030 from sources that are currently only at the demonstration stage. • Australia’s energy usage in 2030 is expected to differ significantly from that of today under the influence of the 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target and other government policies such as the proposed emissions reduction target. In addition the Government has established the Clean Energy Initiative which includes the Carbon Capture and Storage and Solar Flagship Programs, and the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy. • Australia’s long-term energy projections show total energy production nearly doubling due to strong export demand, primary energy consumption rising by 35 per cent, and electricity demand increasing by nearly 50 per cent by 2030. Whilst coal is expected to continue to dominate Australia’s electricity generation, a shift to lower-emissions fuels is expected to result in a significant reduction in coal’s share and increases in gas and renewable energy, particularly wind. • Australia’s energy infrastructure is concentrated in areas where energy consumption is highest and major fossil fuel energy resources are located. Greater use of new energy resources, particularly renewable energy sources, will require expansion of Australia’s energy infrastructure, including augmentation of the electricity transmission grid.

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Suggested Citation
Geoscience Australia and ABARE,, 2010, Australian Energy Resource Assessment, Report, viewed 23 July 2024,

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