Energy Use and Electricity Generation, Australia

Latest release

Electricity generation and energy use practices of Australian businesses

Reference period
2017-18 financial year

Key points

This release presents information on electricity generation and energy use of selected industries for 2017-18. The estimates are produced from the Energy, Water and Environment Survey 2017–18.

Electricity generation

Electricity, gas, water and waste services industry

This industry includes businesses engaged in the generation, retailing, distribution and transmission of electricity, as well as the supply of gas, water and sewerage and drainage services. The industry therefore plays an important part in Australia’s electricity generation landscape.

  • Coal and coal by-products generated 69.4% (151,742.7 GWh) of total electricity within this industry in 2017-18
  • Gas generation was the second largest source of generation (33,799.7 GWh)
  • Renewables made up 15.0% (32,694.7 GWh) of total electricity generated
  • Hydroelectricity was the largest source of renewable generation (15,811.8 GWh)
  • Wind power was the second largest source of renewable generation (14,744.3 GWh)
  • Solar generation produced 729.2 GWh

Note: these proportions have been calculated using unrounded estimates

For more information on the businesses included in this industry see Division D Electricity, gas, water and waste services in Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 edition (cat. no. 1292.0).

Manufacturing industry

  • Electricity generation from natural gas made up the largest proportion of this industry's total electricity generation (45.0%), producing 3,623.9 GWh
  • Renewable generation accounted for 28.2% (2,274.3 GWh)
  • Coal and coal by-products made up 22.9% (1,844.6 GWh)

Industry energy consumption and expenditure

  • Of the selected industries, the Manufacturing industry consumed and spent the most on electricity ($5.4b and 52,461.4 GWh) and natural gas ($2.5b and 341,504,671.1 GJ)
  • The Construction industry spent the least on electricity ($639.8m), also consuming the least (2,318.2 GWh)
  • Transport, postal and warehousing spent the least on natural gas, but consumed several times that of Construction
Key figures
IndustryElectricity expenditure $mElectricity consumption GWhNatural gas expenditure $mNatural gas consumption GJDiesel expenditure $mDiesel consumption ML
DElectricity, gas, water and waste services9936,543.901,915.10325,324,829.50807.6661.9
ITransport, postal and warehousing1,082.85,836.6042.714,925,946.306,775.405,581.40

Changes since 2014-15

Revisions since 2014-15

  • A select number of revised estimates for the 2014-15 reference year have been included for download to provide users with updated information.
  • The revisions result from the review of new information received from businesses in the sample.

Comparisons over time

  • Estimates on energy use and electricity generation have been produced since 2008-09 from the Energy, Water and Environment Survey. Given each iteration of the survey has a number of differences, such as changes to the scope, data source, form design and methodology, caution should be exercised when comparing estimates over time.

Scope changes since 2014-2015

The scope of the 2014-15 collection consisted of all business entities operating in the Australian economy during 2014-15, except for entities classified to ANZSIC subdivisions:

  • 01 Agriculture
  • 62 Finance
  • 63 Insurance and superannuation funds
  • 96 Private households employing staff

Unlike the 2014-15 collection, the scope for the 2017-18 collection only consists of businesses operating in select energy intensive industries, i.e. entities classified to ANZSIC divisions:

  • B Mining
  • C Manufacturing
  • D Electricity, gas, water and waste services
  • E Construction
  • I Transport, postal and warehousing

Methodology, data source and form changes since 2014-15

  • Estimation and imputation improvements.
  • National Greenhouse Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS) data was not used for data substitution in the 2017-18 collection.
  • Improvements to survey form wording and definitions for some data items.

Content changes since 2014-15

  • Environmental Management questions were not collected in the 2017-18 cycle.

Data downloads

Energy consumption and expenditure, Australia, 2017-18

Electricity generation, Australia, 2017-18

Energy consumption, expenditure and generation (revised), Australia, 2014-15

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 4660.0.

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