Australian Energy Resource Assessment
Australia has an abundant and diverse range of energy resources. It has very large coal resources that underpin exports and low-cost domestic electricity production, more than one third of the world's known uranium resources, and substantial conventional gas and coal seam gas resources. These can support Australia's domestic needs and exports for many years to come. Identified resources of crude oil, condensate and liquefied petroleum gas are more limited and Australia is increasingly reliant on imports for transport fuels.
Australia has a rich diversity of renewable energy resources (wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, wave, tidal, bioenergy) with low greenhouse gas emissions. With the exception of hydro and wind energy (which is growing strongly) many of these resources are largely undeveloped, constrained by the current immaturity of technologies.
The expected advances in technology by 2030 will allow them to make a growing contribution to Australia's future energy supply. By this time Australia's energy consumption pattern is expected to change significantly. While fossil fuels (coal, oil and increasingly gas) will continue to dominate the energy mix, renewable energy sources, notably wind, are expected to become increasingly more significant.
A major report on Australia's energy resources was released by the Minister for Resources and Energy, The Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP, on 1 March 2010. The Australian Energy Resource Assessment examines the nation's identified and potential energy resources ranging from fossil fuels and uranium to renewables. The assessment reviews the factors likely to influence the use of Australia's energy resources to 2030, including the technologies being developed to extract energy more efficiently and cleanly from existing and new energy sources. The Minister said that the assessment 'was more than a snap-shot of Australia's energy resources. It is a national prospectus for energy investment and exports. It would provide fundamental information for policy debates over the next couple of years'.
The Australian Energy Resource Assessment was undertaken jointly by Geoscience Australia and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) at the request of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism as a contribution to future energy policy.
A second edition will be undertaken jointly with the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics and is planned for release in June 2013.