How Much Electricity Does Australia Use?

Table O of the Australian Energy Statistics has been revised with projections for 2019-20 and calendar year 2020, based on the most recent data on total power generation in Australia.

These figures represent total energy generation in Australia, including electricity generated by power plants as well as electricity generated by businesses and homes for their own consumption.

In calendar year 2020, total energy generation in Australia is expected to be 265,232 gigawatt hours (GWh), essentially unchanged from 2019.

In 2020, thermal sources generated 200,566 GWh (76%) of total power output.

Coal generated the majority of electricity in 2020, accounting for 54 percent of total generation.

Renewable energy sources accounted for 64,667 GWh, or 24% of total electricity generation in Australia.

Solar was the most common renewable energy source (9 percent of total generation), followed by wind (9 percent) and hydro (9 percent) (6 percent ).

Table O, Australian Energy Statistics, 2019-20 and 2020 electricity generation by fuel type (PDF 190 KB)

Table O, Australian Energy Statistics, 2019-20 and 2020 electricity generation by fuel type (XLS 139 KB)

What will Australia’s energy usage be in 2021?

Electricity consumption in Australia was predicted to be around 188.6 terawatt hours in the fiscal year 2021. In comparison to prior years, there was a decrease in electricity usage across Australia.

Who in Australia consumes the most electricity?

The majority of Australia’s energy is produced centrally and is largely reliant on traditional energy sources, frequently referred to as fossil fuels.

In reality, these fuels account for roughly 86 percent of our energy generation, with coal accounting for 73 percent and natural gas accounting for 13 percent.

1 The usage of fossil fuels for electricity, heating, and vehicle power is similar everywhere over the world.

Because coal-fired electricity generation is often the most cost-effective, the globe relies significantly on it. It’s also dependable and plentiful. That is why renewable energy sources like wind and solar struggle to compete on a strictly financial level.

The remaining 14% of Australia’s electricity is generated by renewable energy sources.


Hydropower is the main source of renewable electricity in Australia, accounting for 60% of all renewable generating and 7% of total electricity. It began adding to the country’s generation in the 1950s.

Wind and solar energy are characterized as intermittent energy sources since they rely on natural resources and cannot provide consistent baseload electricity.

The electricity mix evolves

As the economy, technology, and infrastructure have progressed, the source of Australia’s power, as well as how it is produced and utilized, has evolved.

People used wood, water, wind, and sun as primary energy sources before the 1800s; the 19th century saw the introduction of the first coal-fired power stations; and the realization that burning fossil fuels for electricity was contributing to climate change drove demand for renewable energy sources throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Government policies (such as the Renewable Energy Target) and improved battery technology may make reliable renewable energy more inexpensive on a wide scale in the future, allowing natural gas to be used as a cleaner-burning fuel. Until then, Australia’s electrical infrastructure will rely on fossil fuels for backup.

The average solar radiation per square meter in Australia is the greatest of any continent on the planet.


Who’s the biggest consumer?

Australians, without a question, consume a lot of energy. However, the manufacturing sector (27 percent)5 is the largest user of both electricity and gas, with homes consuming almost a quarter of total energy in Australia. Transportation (15%) and mining (13%) are also significant uses. 6

Our generation power plant group is one of the largest in the country, and it contributes to meeting this electricity demand. In reality, we have the capacity to supply approximately 13% of the electricity consumed in the National Electricity Market. 7


  • Origin Energy’s research covers the entire country, including the National Electricity Market (QLD, NSW, Vic, SA, TAS), as well as Western Australia and the Northern Territory, but not Mt Isa. Embedded generation data sourced from Australian Energy Regulator’s State of Energy Market Report 2014, Greg Ruthven’s WA FY12 data from Greg Ruthven 2012, Independent Market Operator’s Statement of Opportunities Pre-Launch briefing, and NT FY13 data from Energy Supply Association of Australia 2012, Electricity Gas Australia 2014.
  • ARENA, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), 2013, Australian Energy Resource Assessment 2013.
  • Energy Account Australia 2011-2012, Australian Bureau of Statistics. Electricity data encompasses gas supply, water supply, and waste services, whereas agriculture data includes forestry and fisheries.
  • Energy Account Australia 2011-2012, Australian Bureau of Statistics. Electricity data encompasses gas supply, water supply, and waste services, whereas agriculture data includes forestry and fisheries.
  • The generation capacity of Origin is 6,010 MW, compared to 45,000 MW for the National Electricity Market. Generation Capacity and Peak Demand data from the Australian Energy Regulator.

Which countries make the most use of renewable energy?

China, the United States, and Germany are the top three countries in terms of renewable energy usage. Bioenergy, solar energy, hydropower, and geothermal energy are just a few examples of renewable energy sources used around the world.

What percentage of Australia’s energy will come from solar by 2020?

In 2019-20, renewable energy sources represented for 7% of Australia’s total energy consumption.

Renewable electricity generation has more than doubled over the last decade, but combustion of biomass such as firewood and bagasse (the remnant sugar cane pulp left after crushing) remains more than two fifths (40%) of all renewable energy consumption in Australia.

Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources (INDUSTRY, SCIENCE, ENERGY, AND RESOURCES (2021) Tables D, F, and O of the Australian Energy Statistics, as well as internal sources

Renewable energy sources, such as solar (9%), wind (9%), and hydro (9%), will account for 24 percent of Australia’s total electricity generation in 2020. (6 percent ). Renewables’ share of overall electricity generation in 2020 was at its highest level since the mid-1960s.

Over the previous decade, solar and wind have been the key drivers of more than doubling renewable generating expansion. Small-scale solar generation increased by 27% in 2020, and by an average of 28% per year over the previous decade. Wind power generation increased by 16 percent in 2020, and by an average of 14% per year over the previous ten years. Hydro power output has varied at a fairly steady level in response to rainfall and market conditions, but has lost a lot of ground as generation sources have diversified.

Large-scale solar power has recently exploded in popularity. Large-scale solar generation has increased from zero in 2016 to 3% of total Australian electricity generation in 2020, reflecting a 1,268 percent growth rate over four years.

What is Australia’s primary energy source?

  • Australia is believed to have 46% of the world’s uranium resources, 6% of coal resources, and 2% of natural gas resources. Australia, on the other hand, has only approximately 0.3 percent of the world’s oil reserves.
  • Australia produces roughly 2.4 percent of total global energy and is a key supplier of energy to international markets, exporting nearly A$80 billion worth of energy.
  • Australia is the world’s leading coal exporter. More over half of Australia’s energy exports are coal. Australia is the world’s sixth-largest exporter of uranium and sixth-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In comparison, Australia imports more than half of its liquid fuel requirements.
  • Australia is the world’s twenty-first largest energy consumer, and the fifteenth greatest in terms of per capita energy consumption.
  • Coal (about 40%), oil (34%), and gas (approximately 12%) account for the majority of Australia’s primary energy use (22 per cent). Coal generates around 75% of Australia’s electricity, with gas (16%), hydro (5%), and wind accounting for the remaining 25%. (2 per cent).

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences publishes data on Australia’s energy output and use every year in the Australian Energy Statistics (ABARES). The database contains precise historical data on energy consumption and production culled from a variety of sources.

What percentage of Australia’s electricity comes from renewable sources?

Renewables continued to grow as a share of overall energy output in Australia in 2020, according to the latest data, although dispatchable generation sources, such as coal and gas, remained to provide the majority of generation.

According to the Australian Energy Statistics for electricity generation for 2021, renewable energy generated 24% of Australia’s electricity last year, up from 21% in 2019.

This rise is being fueled by a surge in solar installations. Solar currently accounts for 9% of total renewable energy generation, up from 7% in 2019, and one in every four Australian households has solar panels the world’s highest uptake.

Solar’s widespread adoption aided in the installation of a record 7 gigawatts of new renewable capacity last year, cementing Australia’s position as a global leader in renewable energy.

The rapid expansion of renewables, on the other hand, emphasizes the critical role that more traditional and stable energy sources play in the system.

This emphasizes the necessity for dispatchable generation to balance and complement the high levels of variable supply entering the energy system in order to provide consumers with inexpensive, reliable power.

Last year, gas-fired generation increased in Queensland and the Northern Territory, while overall generation has been largely steady in previous years.

Coal also remained the backbone of our electrical supply, accounting for 54% of total generation in 2020 and serving as a critical source of stable, inexpensive, and dependable power.

The Morrison Government, according to Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, is ensuring that Australia’s record level of renewable energy is matched with dispatchable generation.

“Minister Taylor stated, “My focus is on ensuring Australia’s energy system remains reliable and affordable for all Australians.”

“The Morrison government is taking decisive steps to stabilize the system and correct the energy generation balance, ensuring that Australians have reliable and affordable power when they need it.

“We are a renewable energy superpower, and we should be proud of it. However, renewables require reliable generation to back them up and keep rates low when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

“As more renewables enter the system, reliable energy sources such as coal and gas will be required to keep the lights on and provide power to individuals and businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

It is critical to ensure that the design of the future National Electricity Market (NEM) is fit for purpose in order to provide Australian families and companies with dependable, secure, and cheap electricity.

The Post-2025 Market Design, which is presently open for public comment, is the most important energy reform that the National Cabinet has charged governments with implementing.

To balance and complement record amounts of renewables entering the energy grid, the Morrison government is supporting new generation, transmission, and storage projects around Australia, including:

  • Through a $600 million equity contribution to Snowy Hydro, a new 660 MW open cycle gas turbine will be built at Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley.
  • Supporting all major priority transmission projects indicated in AEMO’s Integrated System Plan, including Project Energy Connect and Marinus Link, the second interconnector required to realize Tasmania’s vision of the Battery of the Nation;
  • To boost new firm generating capacity and increased competition, the Underwriting New Generation Investments program was established.
  • The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will be in charge of administering a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund.

What percentage of Australia’s energy comes from nonrenewable sources?

Approximately 87 percent of coal production is exported, with the remaining coal used for power generation in the United States accounting for 88 percent. Although the high usage of coal in Australia’s energy mix is divisive, coal still accounts for 35% of primary energy consumption and generates more than $30 billion in yearly export earnings.