Energy in Australia
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Australia is a net energy exporter. Australia was the fourth top coal producer in the world 2009. According to James Hansen the single most important action needed to tackle the climate crisis is to reduce CO2 emissions from coal.
|Energy in Australia|
|Mtoe = 11.63 TWh, Prim. energy includes energy losses.|
Fossil fuels 
According to IEA the coal production of the world increased 23 percent from 2005 to 2010 and 4.7 percent from 2009-2010. In Australia, coal production increased 12.9 percent between 2005 and 2010 and 5.3 percent between 2009 to 2010. Australia was the fourth top coal producer in the world in 2009. Australia produced hard coal 335 Mt and brown coal 64 Mt in 2009.
Australia was the top hard coal exporter in 2009. Australia's share was 31 percent of the world's hard coal export in 2009 (262/ 836 Mt = 31 percent). Australia exported 78 percent of its hard coal production in 2009. In this respect Australia is an exception because Australia used the majority of the hard coal that it produced. Australia's hard coal export share in the world was 14 percent of all production (836/5,990 Mt).
Australia's oil production peaked in 2000 after gradually increasing from 1980. Net imports of oil have risen from 7 percent of total consumption in 2000 to 39 percent in 2006. Decreasing domestic oil production is the result of natural declines from oil producing basins and few new fields going online.
Natural gas 
Australia's natural gas reserves are estimated to be 3,921 billion cubic meters (bcm), of which 20 percent are considered commercially proven (783 bcm). The gas basins with the largest recoverable reserves are the Carnarvon and Browse basins in WA; the Bonaparte basin in the Northern Territory; the Gippsland and Otway basins in Victoria; and the Cooper-Eromanga basin in Southern Australia and Queensland. In 2003–2004, Australia produced 33.2 bcm of natural gas, of which 62 percent was produced in WA. The majority of Western Australian gas is sourced from the North West Shelf. Australia also produces LNG. In 2004, LNG exports were 7.9 Mt (10.7 bcm), which represented 6 percent of world LNG trade.
GGAP provides $26 million in subsidies for construction of natural gas-fired power plants.
In addition, Australia owns a large potential of deposits of coal seam methane (CSM). The majority of these deposits are located in the black coal deposits of Queensland and New South Wales.
On 19 August 2009, Chinese petroleum company PetroChina signed an A$50 billion deal with ExxonMobil to purchase liquefied natural gas from the Gorgon field in Western Australia, considered the largest contract ever signed between China and Australia. This contract ensures China a steady supply of LPG fuel for 20 years, and also forms China's largest supply of relatively "clean energy". This deal has been formally secured, despite relations between Australia and China being at their lowest point in years, following the Rio Tinto espionage case and the granting of visas to Rebiya Kadeer to visit Australia.
Oil shale 
Australia's oil shale resources are estimated to be around 58 billion tonnes or 4,531 million tonnes of shale oil. The deposits are located in the eastern and southern states with the biggest feasibility in the eastern Queensland deposits. Between 1862 and 1952 Australia mined 4 million tonnes of oil shale. The mining stopped when government support for mining ceased. More recently, from the 1970s on, oil companies have been exploring possible reserves. From 2000 to 2004 a demonstration-scale processing plant at the Stuart Deposit near Gladstone, Queensland produced over 1.5 million barrels of oil. The facility is now on care-and-maintenance in an operable condition, and the operator of the plant — Queensland Energy Resources – is conducting research and design studies for the next phase of its oil shale operations. A campaign by environmentalists opposed to the exploitation of oil shale reserves may also have been a factor.
Renewable energy in Australia 
Renewable energy in Australia has potential in Australia. The Climate Change Authority is reviewing the 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target (RET). 50 megawatts wind power (power for nearly 21,000 homes annually), creates ca 48 jobs during construction, and five permanent staff.
Control and politics 
Electricity shortage in the near future 
The electricity producers in Australia are not building gas-fired power stations to meet future demand, while the 4 major banks are not willing to give loans to build dirty coal power stations, therefore power cuts are predicted in Queensland in 2013-14 and NSW, Victoria from 2015-16.
Energy efficiency 
According to Forbes list of billionaires Australian billionaire Chris Wallin ($1.3 B 2011) has made his wealth in coal business. C. Wallin mapped coal deposits as Queensland government geologist and started a company, Qcoal selling licenses to Australia's Macarthur Coal, a U.S. and Japanese company.
Climate change 
Australian total emissions, million tonnes of CO2 in 2007 were 396 Mt. Per capita Australians were in 2007 among the top climate change polluter nations of the world. Australian emissions of carbon dioxide per capita in 2007 were 18.8 tons CO2 compared to EU 27 average 7.9 tons. Emission change 2007/1990 (%) was +52.5 % compared to EU 27 average -3.3 %.
In March 2009 the British economist Nicholas Stern warned the governments in the international climate meeting of the high cost of climate change. He said policy-makers needed to think the likely impact of temperature rises of 6C or more. The target of limiting temperature rise to 2C above pre-industrial levels is no longer realistic because the world emissions have grown faster than expected. An increase of more than 5C is "likely to lead to major disruption and large-scale movement of population". It said the effects would be "catastrophic" and "far outside human experience".
The footprint per person in Australia was the 12 th top in the world by PNAS in 2011.
- IEA Key World Energy Statistics 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
- IEA Key World Energy Statistics 2011 October 2011
- IEA Key energy statistics 2010 Pages: 15
- Australia: Energy profile 26 June 2007, Energy Publisher accessdate 3 July 2011
- OECD/IEA, p. 131-137
- Stephen McDonell, 19 August 2009, Record gas deal between China and Australia – AM – Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- Babs McHugh, 19 August 2009, Massive sale from Gorgon Gas Project – Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- David McLennan, 20 August 2009, Australia to be 'global supplier of clean energy' – The Canberra Times
- 20 August 2009, CNPC to import 2.25m tons of LNG annually from Australia – ChinaDaily (Source: Xinhua)
- Peter Ryan, 19 August 2009, Deal means 2.2 million tonnes exported per year – AM – Australian Broadcasting Corporation
- Shale oil. AIMR Report 2006 Geoscience Australia, accessdate=30 May 2007  archivedate 13 February 2007
- Climate-changing shale oil industry stopped Greenpeace Australia Pacific, 3 March 2005, accessdate 28 June 2007
- scheme (2012).Energy Council
- Wind Farm Investment, Employment and Carbon Abatement in Australia
- (22 May 2011).Carbon tax is delaying investment: McIndoe. Inside Business. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on 12 March 2012.
- Royce Millar & Adam Morton (21 May 2011). Big banks 'no' to coal plant. The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved on 12 March 2012.
- Alison Bell (22 May 2011). Power bills ‘to double in six years' on carbon price - TRUenergy. Herald Sun. Retrieved on 12 March 2012.
- Australia's largest solar farm opens amid renewable target debate The Greenough River Solar project in Western Australia is expected to have enough capacity to power 3,000 homes The Guardian 10 October 2
- Forbes list of billionaires (2011) Energy. Forbes 10 March 2011.
- Chris Wallin profile
- Energy in Sweden 2010, Table 1: Emissions of carbon dioxide in total, per capita and per GDP in EU and OECD countries, 2007
- Global warming 'will be worse than expected' warns Stern The Guardian 12.3.2009
- Which nations are really responsible for climate change - interactive map The Guardian 8.12.2011 (All goods and services consumed, source: Peters et al PNAS, 2011)