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Total energy use
Growth in primary energy products commonly reflects the demand for derived fuels (graph 17.15). As such, an increased demand for electricity since 1974 has led to significant growth in black and brown coal use. Similarly, growth in the use of crude oil over the last 25 years is due primarily to an increased demand for petroleum products by the transport industry. Natural gas use has demonstrated the fastest growth since 1974, due to increased demand from the electricity generation, mining, manufacturing and commercial sectors (Bush et al. 1999). The use of renewable energy sources increased marginally over this time period.
Of the derived fuels, use of electricity, diesel and aviation turbine fuel demonstrated significant growth since 1974, whereas coke and fuel oil use has decreased (graph 17.16). Electricity use, which has more than tripled over this period, was 780 PJ in 2000-01. Growth in diesel use, which has increased from 260 PJ in 1974-75 to 518 PJ in 2000-01, is driven by a strong increase in demand for automotive diesel oil by the transport industry. In contrast, the use of fuel oil, a heavy fuel used for industrial purposes, has decreased over this period. In 2000-01, Australia used 79 PJ of fuel oil.
Energy inputs into the energy conversion sectors
The energy conversion sectors represent an intermediate stage in the energy supply chain. These sectors transform primary energy products into more useful, higher value-added secondary (derived) energy products. Petroleum refiners, for example, transform crude oil into petroleum products such as petrol and diesel.
The main energy conversion sectors, comprising electricity generators, gas manufacturers, petroleum refiners, and operators of coke ovens and blast furnaces, are significant users of primary energy products. Of the conversion sectors, the petroleum refining and electricity generation sectors are the two main users of energy (table 17.17).
In 2000-01, the electricity generation sector used 2,123 PJ of energy (up 39% since 1989) and the petroleum refining sector used 1,700 PJ (up 21%). The strong growth in energy consumption in the electricity sector is attributed to increased electrification in all end use sectors; rapid growth in a number of industries in which electricity is the prime fuel source, such as the commercial and non-ferrous metal sectors; and technological innovation encouraging the use of new electrical appliances in all sectors (ANZMEC 2001). In contrast, coke oven operation, briquetting and gas manufacturing used less energy in 2000-01 than in 1989-90 (table 17.17). For example, coke oven operation used 132 PJ in 2000-01, down 26% since 1989.
The conversion of one form of energy to another leads to significant losses of energy. Additionally, losses are incurred during the transmission of distribution of secondary energy to end-users. In 2000-01, conversion losses to transform fuels, including transmission and distribution losses, totalled 1,665 PJ.
Energy end use by sector
In 2000-01, Australia's end users of energy, comprising household and industry (excluding the conversion sectors), used 3,375 PJ of energy (table 17.18). The transport and manufacturing sectors accounted for 68% of the total use.
The transport sector (including household transport) is the largest end user of energy, using 1,264 PJ in 2000-01. In 2000-01, road transport accounted for 77% (975 PJ) of the sector's energy use, of which over 40% can be attributed to household activity. Air transport energy use has increased by 87% since 1989, to 204 PJ in 2000-01.
While manufacturing remains a large end user of energy, using 1,018 PJ of energy in 2000-01, growth over the last decade has been modest relative to other sectors (table 17.18). This is mostly due to a smaller but more energy efficient iron and steel manufacturing industry. Energy use by the iron and steel industry, which is the main contributor to total manufacturing energy use, has grown by only 3 PJ in more than a decade (from 100 PJ in 1989-90 to 103 PJ in 2000-01).
Growth in the mining sector reflects the rise in energy consumption in oil and gas mining, and in particular the development of a liquid natural gas industry in the late-1980s; the expanding demand for natural gas and for increased production of crude oil, condensate and liquid petroleum gas; and strong energy demand in other mining activities (Bush et al. 1999).
Energy use in the commercial sector has grown by 50% since 1989. This growth reflects the significant economic growth of the sector, the increased use of electrical equipment, particularly electronic data processing equipment, and the deregulation of working hours (Bush et al. 1999).
In addition to transport, households used 400 PJ of energy in 2000-01 (table 17.18), primarily electricity, gas and wood for home heating and lighting. In 2000-01, households used 179 PJ of electricity, 122 PJ of natural gas and 80 PJ of wood (ABARE electronic datasets).
Australia has a very high level of motorisation, and a high level of total personal travel. Other than the North Americans, only Italians are more motorised than Australians (OECD/IEA 2001). Per capita road transport fuel use in Australia increased 10% from 1990-91 to 1998-99 (table 17.21). Table 17.19 shows that the number of persons driving to work or study in Australia increased by 9% between 1996 and 2000. Some 76% of adults aged 18 years and above drove to work or study in 2000.
The 1970s and 1980s saw significant increase in the level of indoor comfort and amenities in Australian homes for space comfort, water heating and electric appliances. Natural gas and electricity are the key sources of space heating (table 17.20). In 2002, natural gas was the main heating source for 34% of residences (up from 31% in 1994); electricity provided 31% and wood 14%. Over 19% of households did not have space heating. As comfort standards have increased, whole house heating rather than 'spot' heating increased and pipeline gas became more widely available (OECD/IEA 2001). Electricity is the major source of energy for both heatng water (about 61% in 2002) and cooking (about 57% in 2002).
Indicators of energy use in Australia
Between 1992-93 and 1998-99, Australia's total energy consumption increased by 19%, or 2.7% per year. Over the same period the population increased by 7%, or 1% per year, and GDP by over 29% (in chain volume terms), or 4.2% per year. Aggregate energy intensity (energy consumed per unit of output) of the economy declined by around 8% from 1992-93 to 1998-99. Despite electricity generation on a per capita basis, growing by an average of 2.9% over the seven year period, total energy consumption grew at a slower rate than GDP, particularly over the more recent years shown (table 17.21).
An indicator of aggregate energy intensity, such as the ratio of energy use to GDP, does not account for the effects of changes in the structure of energy use over time. Aggregate energy intensity is a very basic indicator and does not provide an adequate picture of the underlying trends in energy intensity within the economy. The next section International comparisons of energy performance provides more detail on the composition of this aggregate indicator.