Energy is of vital importance and interest to policy makers and has both economic and environmental dimensions. Demand for energy products has risen strongly in recent years, driven by strong growth in energy use, which can in turn affect the price and security of supply. Environmental concerns associated with increased demand and use of energy, include those related to the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. As is the case in many other countries, most energy consumed in Australia is derived from non-renewable energy sources. The Energy Account, Australia, provides statistics to monitor changes over time in the supply and use of energy within Australia from an economic and environmental perspective and is part of a suite of integrated environmental-economic accounts being developed for Australia.
The outputs contained in this publication fall under the heading of integrated environmental and economic accounts and follow general principles outlined within the Handbook of National Accounting: Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting 2003 (SEEA) —a satellite system of the System of National Accounts (SNA). Satellite accounts, as articulated in the international System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA08), allow for an expansion of the national accounts for selected areas of interest while maintaining links to the basic concepts and structures of the core national accounts. Integrated environmental and economic accounts have an important feature distinguishing them from other information systems related to energy and the environment. The integrated accounts are able to directly link data on natural resources, environment, energy and emissions, to the economic accounts through a shared structure, set of definitions and classifications. This serves to integrate environmental-economic analyses and to overcome the tendency to divide issues along disciplinary lines, in which analyses of economic issues, energy issues and environmental issues are carried out independently of each other.
Satellite accounts typically use a set of recommended classifications and frameworks developed from international research and discussion over a number of years, with international agencies usually taking the lead. For example, when the ABS developed its satellite accounts for tourism there were international guidelines available to guide the work. The United Nations Statistical Division is in the process of coordinating an energy-specific module of SEEA, SEEA-Energy (or SEEA-E). Consequently, guidelines for producing an energy account are in their infancy; and work in this publication has proceeded without comprehensive guidance from international standards or guidelines.
This publication utilises a number of data sources, both ABS and non-ABS. Data on the physical supply and use of energy products are derived from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences’ (ABARES) Australian Energy Statistics (AES). The Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) is the principal source of economic information. A range of other ABS data have been used including: the general Economic Activity Survey (EAS); Energy, Water and Environment Survey (EWES) and the Survey of Motor Vehicle Use (SMVU). A fuller description of these publications is contained in Data Sources.
In this publication considerable effort has been devoted to reconfiguring data from ABARES' Australian Energy Statistics to ensure use of consistent classifications, concepts and scope between these data and data from the ASNA and other economic collections. The type of adjustments made to data contained in Australian Energy Statistics include: using estimates from the Energy, Water and Environment Survey (EWES) to classify energy use data to the latest version of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06); attributing unallocated energy conversions to energy products and using industry, as appropriate, to create a full picture of gross supply and use of energy products in Australia; developing a fuller articulation of service industries using various energy products; and converting certain data on industry use from an 'activity' basis to an industry of ownership basis (consistent with classification principles outlined in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, ANZSIC). See Methodological Issues for a more detailed description of the process used to develop this publication.
The fundamental compilation framework for the energy account is the National Accounts' 'supply and use' system, which in this case has been adapted to focus on energy products. This framework allows various data to be brought together and integrated for the entire economy. In essence, the system consists of a table of supply estimates representing the supply of energy products from imports and from Australian producers, and a use table that tracks the use of those products by industries, households, government and for export. It aims to be comprehensive in its coverage and a range of data sources are used to populate the supply and use tables. The diagram below presents a graphical view of the supply and use system using data from 2008-09, showing the balance between supply and use.
SUPPLY AND USE, by Components, 2008-09
Note: Any discrepancies between totals and sums of components in this publication are due to rounding.
In order to satisfy the requirement that supply and use of products must balance, discrepancies due to deficiencies in the source data must be identified and resolved. A great strength of this framework is that it facilitates this confrontation and provides a basis for optimising the quality of the overall estimates in the face of data deficiencies and gaps in data coverage. Frameworks and Concepts
provides a more complete description of the supply and use system that underpins environmental accounting, and identifies other important concepts relating to the Energy Account, Australia.
This edition of 4604.0 presents estimates of physical supply and use for the period 2001-02 to 2008-09.
Associated with the mid-2011 release of the AES through the Energy Update 2011, ABARES proposes to revise the energy balance for the 2008-09 energy data . Among other sources, this revised balance table will incorporate data collected through the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (NGER). The NGER, which commenced in relation to the 2008-09 reference period, is a framework for the mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and energy production by Australian businesses exceeding specified thresholds. Following the release of the 2011 AES ABS will prepare physical and financial energy accounts to reflect the release of this new information. This ABS release is proposed for early 2012.