Australia is a ‘powerhouse’ of energy resources

The latest assessment of energy resources has confirmed Australia is has an abundance of coal, gas and renewable energy resources to meet domestic demand and export overseas.

The 2018 update to the Australian Energy Resources Assessment (AERA), developed by Geoscience Australia in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Energy, was released this week.

Geoscience Australia chief of resources division Dr Andrew Heap said the latest update to AERA provides a snapshot of Australia’s current and potential energy resources and how they contribute to our economy.

“From the alarm that wakes us up in the morning, to the last light we switch off at night; our everyday lives are fuelled by energy,” Dr Heap said.

“The latest update to AERA shows we have more than enough oil, coal, gas and renewable energy resources to not only meet our daily needs but also to export overseas.”

Dr Heap said energy resource exports make a significant contribution to the Australian economy, creating investment and job opportunities.

“We are a world leader in exporting coal, oil, gas and uranium – they make up more than 20 per cent of our total exports, and are projected to earn around $90 billion a year over the next five years.

“Given Australia is largely under-explored for oil and gas, there is great potential for more to be discovered.”

Dr Heap said the latest update to AERA also highlights an increase in renewable energy generation.

“We are only just starting to understand the scale of Australia’s renewable resources, and to develop the technologies to harness them not just for electricity generation, but also for fuels,” he said.

“The latest data from 2016 shows renewable energy now accounts for around 16 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation.

“We expect that share to increase as renewable energy technologies become more advanced.”

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the assessment shows Australia “really is the lucky country when it comes to energy resources”.

“We’re fortunate to possess a plentiful and diverse range of energy resources that can simultaneously fuel our everyday lives and grow exports, creating investment and job opportunities,” Minister Canavan said.

“Australia has in excess of 3,500,000PJ of Economic Demonstrated Resources (EDRs) like coal, gas, oil and uranium.

“This is nearly 600 times Australia’s total primary domestic energy consumption.”

The latest update to AERA is the third in a series of national assessments of Australia’s energy resources, first released in 2010.