Gladstone Town CSG
Gladstone Town CSG

Fossil fuels continue to power Queensland

RENEWABLE energy production grew 10 per cent nationally in 2017-18 but Queensland remained reliant on fossil fuels for 92 per cent of electricity generation, according to a new report.

The 2019 Australian Energy Update to be released today highlights that Queensland was the second largest total energy user behind NSW but rated poorly for energy productivity.

Nationally, total energy consumption grew 1 per cent to a record 6172 petajoules (1 petajoule is needed to power 43,500 houses for one year) in 2017-18.

Queensland energy consumption was "mostly flat" after increased mining consumption was offset by falling use in manufacturing sectors such as sugar and metals production and mild weather led to a dip in airconditioning use.

Electricity production from wind farms was the quickest growing form of renewables in 2017-18.
Electricity production from wind farms was the quickest growing form of renewables in 2017-18.

The transport industry overtook electricity supply as Australia's most energy hungry industry, accounting for 28 per cent of all consumption.

Road transport was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the industry's consumption.

The study of domestic energy supply and usage found that electricity generation from renewables increased 10 per cent in 2017-18 with most of the growth coming from wind and solar.

Renewables generated about 17 per cent of national electricity but just 7.7 per cent in Queensland, where coal accounted for 75 per cent of power generation and gas 16 per cent.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said coal-fired electricity generation accounted for 60 per cent of total electricity generation in 2018, which was well below its peak share of 84 per cent in the late 1990s.

"The challenge in the energy sector is integrating the renewables boom to deliver affordable and reliable power," he said.

"That means keeping our existing generation in, and running full tilt, and supporting complementary investment in dispatchable generation and storage."


Energy Minister Angus Taylor. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP
Energy Minister Angus Taylor. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP

Queensland's energy productivity, a measure of how much economic output was produced for each unit of energy input, lagged behind every state but Western Australia.

It produced $221 million of value for every petajoule consumed, which was 25 per cent below the national average.

Queenslanders consumed the third most energy per person, behind Western Australia and the Northern Territory and 25 per cent higher than the national average.

The report found black coal remained Australia's largest energy export in energy content terms with exports growing by an average of 4 per cent over the past decade.