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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Atmosphere

Energy production from renewable sources
Graph Image for Energy production from renewable sources

Source(s): ABARE 2009, Energy in Australia, 2009

Energy production from non-renewable sources
Graph Image for Energy production from non-renewable sources

Source(s): ABARE 2009, Energy in Australia, 2009

ENERGY PRODUCTION FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES

Renewable energy sources, such as solar, hydropower, biomass and windpower, are naturally replenished and produce relatively few greenhouse gases.

Australia's production of renewable energy increased by 41% between 1975–76 and 2007–08 (from 206 petajoules (PJ) of energy to 290 PJ). However, in 2007-08, renewable energy still only accounted for about 5% of the total energy produced.

Renewable energy production is heavily dominated by bagasse, wood and hydro-electricity. Nearly three-quarters of renewable energy production in 2008 (72%) came from biomass (bagasse and wood), 15% from hydro-electricity, and 7% from wind and solar. Hydro-electricity generation was restricted due to continued drought conditions in many areas (ABARE 2009).

A number of large scale wind power projects have been completed in recent years, with more planned or under construction. Electricity generation from solar photovoltaic cells is growing quickly, but from a very low base, and has been encouraged by government subsidies for installation and the payment of feed-in tariffs (ABS 2010a).

The vast majority of Australia's primary energy production (95%) is from non-renewable sources. Black and brown coal accounted for more than half (54%) of primary energy production, and provided 84% of the fuel used to generate electricity in Australia. The remaining fuel used to generate electricity was mainly gas, followed by renewable energy sources and then oil.

GreenPower

The production of electricity is a major contributor to Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. GreenPower is a government renewable energy accreditation program which enables consumers to pay a premium for electricity generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectricity. By the end of 2009, there were approximately 838,500 residential customers of GreenPower in Australia (NSWDWE 2009).

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