Coal Still Leads Electricity Generation despite Growth in Renewable Energy

Jon Capistrano
Jon Capistrano
July 14, 2016

Based on a news from ABC, coal continues to supply 2/3 of Australia’s electricity generation even though there’s an increase in renewable energy supply, this is according to the numbers published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Non-renewable sources like gas and coal account for about 88% of the country’s electricity generation in a 2014-15 financial year, which is down from 90.4% in 2011-12 and 93% in 2008-09.

On the other hand, renewable power generation went up from 9.6% to 12% over the past 3 years. The coal market share has marginally slipped from 65.3% to 64.9% over the past 3 years of the survey. Although it is a big pullback from 70% share 6 years ago.

Coal has maintained its fair share, as Queensland produced gas is increasingly exported through the large LNG terminals at Gladstone which are coming in. The LNG plants are also boosting electricity demand in Queensland which is increasingly being supplied or backed-up by local black coal-fired generation.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics found large-scale renewable generation is dominated by hydropower, with about 5% of the market and wind with 4%. Australia remains one of the most coal-intensive electricity markets if measured on a global scale. A survey from the Paris-based International Energy Agency released last year has found coal make for about 41.1 % of global generation in 2013, while renewable energy had beaten gas as the 2nd largest source of electricity with a 22% share of the 5,130 terawatt hours that is generated worldwide.

All in all, large-scale power generation in the country has gone down almost 9% from 255,319 gigawatt hour in 2012 to 233,212 gigawatt hour last year. This decline in generation is due to many closures of older inefficient power plants and by the big generators to replace them in the face of declining demand from the increased efficiency and closure of large-scale industrial plants in the aluminum industry.

Click here to read full story on ABC News

Image credit: abc.net.au

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