Renewable energy supply increases 15 per cent in 2019-20

Media Release

Renewable energy generation continued to gather momentum in Australia, with solar and wind energy expanding their role in Australia’s electricity generation mix according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Director of the ABS Centre for Environment and Satellite Accounts, Jonathon Khoo, said: “Solar, wind and hydro contributed 222 Petajoules (PJs) to Australia’s domestic energy supply in 2019-20 which is an increase of 15 per cent from 2018-19 and continues the upward trend seen over the last 5 years.”

“To put this into context, a single PJ could provide 47,000 Australian homes with electricity for 12 months. Solar drove this increase with an expansion of large-scale solar PV power stations.”

Australian energy use patterns also saw initial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The lockdowns that began at the end of 2019-20 led to changes in the way households and businesses used energy. Households used more electricity due to the additional time spent at home,” Mr Khoo said.

“Increases in energy consumption around the home were offset by reductions in petrol and diesel use by households, with people unable to travel due to national and state movement restrictions.”

In terms of industries the largest impact was seen in Air Transport, with limited flights taking to the skies.

“There was a 22 per cent decrease in other refined fuel use in 2019-20 as less planes took flight after borders closed.” said Mr Khoo.

In terms of energy exports black coal fell 0.6 per cent from 11,131 PJs in 2018-19 to 11,062 PJs in 2019-20 due to a drop in international demand for metallurgical coal. Metallurgical coal is used in the production of products like steel and iron alloys. Liquefied Natural Gas exports were up 6 per cent from 4,129 PJs in 2018-19 to 4,393 PJs in 2019-20.

Further information can be found in the Energy Account, Australia 2019-20 which presents national estimates of energy assets, and physical/monetary supply and use.

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