Renewable Energy News

POSTED August 29, 2012

A recent report from Australia’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) shows Australia’s total energy consumption has increased by 3 per cent from 2009–10 to a total 6100 petajoules.

Renewable energy (not including biomass) showed the strongest annual consumption growth in 2010–11 at 20 per cent, followed by a 7 per cent jump in natural gas and oil consumption.

Total electricity generation in Australia stayed static at around 250,000 gigawatt hours in 2010–11. A welcome drop in coal-fired generation was offset by increased generation from natural gas and renewable energy sources. In 2010–11, coal’s share in total consumption fell to 35 per cent; the lowest since the early 1970s.

Renewable energy consumption provided around 4 per cent of total energy consumption in Australia in 2010–11 (260 petajoules), 6 per cent higher than 2009–10.

Electricity generation from renewable sources including wind, hydro and solar power has increased rapidly in recent years. Electricity generation from solar, hydro and wind jumped substantially in 2010–11 relative to 2009–10 by 204, 24 and 15 per cent respectively. Solar PV generation has been driven primarily by solar rebates and incentives.

An earlier report from BREE predicted renewable technologies, such as solar PV and onshore wind, are expected to have the lowest levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) compared of a range of energy sources examined; including brown coal, by 2030. However, Renew Economy’s Giles Parkinson states the BREE forecasts for solar PV and solar thermal costs may be twice as high as what the industry expects. The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics is an economic research unit within the Australian Government Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism