Coal and oil to be main energy sources for Australia

Oct 13, 2005 02:00 AM

Most of Australia's long term energy needs will be met by coal and oil but natural gas demand will soon outstrip supply, a new report has said.
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) released its outlook for the nation's energy consumption and production for the next 25 years. Primary energy consumption is expected to grow by 2.1 % a year to 2009-10, dipping slightly to 1.9 % by 2029-30, ABARE says.

While the nation will still rely on oil and coal, natural gas consumption is set to double.
"Growth in domestic use of natural gas is projected to remain strong, with total consumption projected to more than double to about 2,100 PetaJoules by 2029-30," ABARE acting director Karen Schneider said. "Expected strong growth in peak electricity generation and the alumina industry, as well as in the exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), are the key elements to the gas outlook."

Within a decade, ABARE said, natural gas demand in eastern Australia will exceed supply.
"Beginning from the early to mid-2010s, natural gas demand in eastern Australia is expected to exceed local supply," Ms Schneider said. "The demand gap is expected to rise to about 40 % of the eastern Australia gas market by 2029-30." Major infrastructure investment would be required to meet the demand, ABARE said.

Despite the continuing rise in gas consumption, coal and oil would be the main energy sources through the outlook period.
"Coal and oil will continue to supply the vast bulk of Australia's domestic energy needs, although natural gas use is projected to continue to grow relatively strongly and increase its share in the fuel mix," the report said. "Gas use in the alumina and chemical, rubber and plastic products industries, in particular, is projected to expand rapidly."

ABARE has also made projections about Australia's energy use relating to economic output.
The bureau estimates that by 2029-30, 25 % less energy will be needed to produce a dollar of output compared with the2003-04 financial year.

Source: AAP
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