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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Energy >> International comparisons of energy performance

This section outlines the main concepts underlying measures of energy performance, and the difficulties they present for measurement. It provides some international comparisons of energy performance and discusses Australia's performance against various indicators relative to that of other OECD countries.

Given that countries exhibit a range of climate, industrial structures, geographical features and economic development, changes in the aggregate energy intensity ratio (energy consumed per unit of output) are an inadequate basis for measuring and comparing energy efficiency among countries. Using only the ratio of energy use to GDP as an energy performance indicator for international or cross-country comparison would be misleading. However, aggregate energy intensity can be broken down to identify the factors which have contributed to the net aggregate effect. These factors may be due to the level of economic activity (the production effect); the sectoral composition of the economy (the structural effect); and energy intensities of activity within the various energy-using sectors (the real intensity effect).

Overall, Australia's ratio of energy use to GDP and its energy use per capita are higher than the OECD average (table 15.22). Although the ratio of energy use to GDP for Australia declined between 1990 and 2000, this was less of a decline than that experienced in most other OECD countries. This is partly due to a natural evolution of the Australian economy towards more energy use, particularly in the transport, commercial, and residential sectors. In addition, structural changes in the economy towards certain energy-intensive manufacturing industries contributed to increased energy use. Energy savings offset some of this growth, but the overall impact was a growth in energy use (OECD/IEA 2001).


15.22 ENERGY INDICATORS FOR SELECTED OECD COUNTRIES - 2000

Energy production
Change
1990 to 2000
TPES(a)
Change
1990 to 2000
TPES(a)/GDP(b)
Change
1990 to 2000
TPES(a)/Population
Change
1990 to 2000
Mtoe(c)
%
Mtoe(c)
%
toe/$USm
%
toe/capita
%

Australia
232.55
47.5
110.17
25.1
232.8
-11.4
5.8
13.3
Canada
374.86
37.0
250.97
19.1
306.8
-8.7
8.2
8.8
Denmark
27.87
170.6
19.46
6.6
141.8
-14.6
3.6
2.6
Finland
15.13
29.1
33.15
16.5
268.8
-7.1
6.4
10.9
France
131.38
18.7
257.13
16.3
189.6
-4.5
4.3
10.5
Germany
134.32
-27.6
339.64
-4.3
177.8
-19.3
4.1
-8.3
Italy
26.86
9.1
171.57
10.9
135.5
-3.3
3.0
12.4
Netherlands
57.24
-4.6
75.80
14.1
192.6
-14.3
4.8
8.1
New Zealand
15.38
25.4
18.63
33.0
261.1
1.0
4.9
17.8
Norway
224.99
87.4
25.62
19.1
216.9
-14.3
5.7
12.9
United Kingdom
272.69
31.1
232.64
9.8
184.1
-12.6
3.9
5.7
United States of America
1,675.77
1.6
2,299.67
19.8
255.9
-13.4
8.3
7.8
OECD total
3,826.49
12.2
5,316.93
30.3
215.9
-8.9
4.7
8.8

(a) Total primary energy supply (TPES) is made up of production plus imports less exports less international marine bunkers, net of stock changes.
(b) Gross domestic product (GDP) in purchasing price parity terms, expressed in 1995 $US.
(c) Million tonnes of oil equivalent.

Source: OECD/IEA 2002.


Between 1990 and 2000 the end use of energy by Australian industry (manufacturing and mining) increased by a higher percentage than in all but four of the OECD countries included in table 15.23; in two countries (Germany and the United States of America) it fell. Australian manufacturing production involves a high share of energy intensive raw materials. Particularly important is the production of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Energy use for non-ferrous metals (alumina refining and aluminium smelting) has increased dramatically as Australia has captured an increased share of the global market. Expansion of these industries has pushed up manufacturing energy use. Australia is one of the few countries listed where structural changes have had an upward effect on energy use over the past two decades.

Passenger transport rose strongly all through the 1970s and 1980s, driven by increased car ownership and air travel. In the early 1970s Australia had a relatively low level of per capita motorisation by United States of America or Canadian standards. However, Australia experienced a higher rate of growth in ownership, relative to GDP, than most other countries, and significantly closed the gap with the United States of America. Factors that combined to give Australia high energy use for transport include: high volume of passenger transport; above-average fuel intensity of cars; and high car ownership (OECD/IEA 2001).

The 1970s and 1980s saw an expansion of the area of built space in the commercial sector in Australia that closely followed the rise in commercial sector gross product. Electricity intensity in this sector rose, indicative of greater electrification (e.g. increased electricity use for air conditioning, lighting and computing). This trend appears to be slowing, however, even with the rising commercial sector gross product. Significant growth in residential energy use over the past two decades can be attributed to rapid development of equipment ownership in Australia. Canada, the United States of America and Nordic countries, by contrast, showed little growth in residential energy use for equipment because consumption was already so well developed in the early 1970s.


15.23 ENERGY END USE BY SECTOR, Selected OECD countries - 2000

Industry(a)
Transport
Other(b)



1990
2000
Change
1990
2000
Change
1990
2000
Change
Mtoe(c)
Mtoe(c)
%
Mtoe(c)
Mtoe(c)
%
Mtoe(c)
Mtoe(c)
%

Australia
21.8
24.5
12.6
22.7
28.1
23.9
12.1
15.7
29.3
Canada
58.4
70.8
21.2
41.2
53.5
29.9
54.5
62.0
13.8
Denmark
2.8
2.9
3.6
4.6
4.9
6.5
6.5
6.9
5.8
Finland
9.9
11.6
16.9
4.4
4.5
3.2
7.5
8.1
8.1
France
45.7
46.4
1.6
41.5
52.8
27.2
52.5
64.9
23.6
Germany
88.7
75.8
-14.5
60.0
67.2
11.9
96.8
96.7
-0.1
Italy
42.9
42.9
-
34.3
42.4
23.6
38.2
42.7
11.7
Netherlands
20.5
20.6
0.5
10.6
14.2
34.3
19.5
22.7
16.4
New Zealand
4.0
5.9
47.1
3.6
5.0
40.4
2.3
2.6
11.6
Norway
7.2
8.2
14.4
4.1
4.6
11.4
5.9
6.7
13.8
United Kingdom
40.9
41.3
0.9
46.5
52.7
13.4
56.2
63.7
13.4
United States of America
416.0
359.5
-13.6
484.4
610.3
26.0
406.6
473.1
16.3

(a) Manufacturing and mining.
(b) Includes agriculture, commerce, public services, residential and non-specified other sectors.
(c) Million tonnes of oil equivalent.

Source: OECD/IEA 2002.


Table 15.24 shows that Australia has a far greater dependence on coal for the production of electricity than the other OECD countries shown.


15.24 FUEL SHARES IN ELECTRICITY GENERATION, Selected OECD countries - 2000

Coal
Petroleum
Natural gas
Fossil fuels
Nuclear
Hydro-electricity
Geothermal,
solar
Combust. renew.
and waste
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Australia
77.2
1.3
12.6
91.1
-
8.1
-
0.8
Canada
19.5
2.5
5.5
27.5
12.0
59.2
-
1.2
Denmark
46.0
12.2
24.3
82.5
-
0.1
12.3
5.1
France
5.8
1.4
2.1
9.3
77.5
12.5
0.1
0.6
Germany
52.7
0.8
9.3
62.8
29.9
3.8
1.7
1.8
Italy
11.3
31.8
37.5
80.7
-
16.4
2.2
0.7
Netherlands
28.4
3.5
57.7
89.6
4.4
0.2
1.2
4.7
New Zealand
2.6
-
23.8
26.4
-
63.1
8.9
1.5
Norway
0.1
-
0.1
0.3
-
99.5
-
0.2
United Kingdom
33.4
1.5
39.4
74.3
22.9
1.4
0.3
1.2
United States of America
52.7
3.1
15.7
71.6
20.0
6.2
0.5
1.7
OECD
38.8
6.2
15.8
60.8
23.3
13.7
0.7
1.5

Source: OECD/IEA 2002.


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