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Australia's Energy Commodity Resources 2023

Minister's Foreword

Photograph of the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia: The Hon Madeleine King MP

Welcome to the third edition of Geoscience Australia’s assessment of Australia’s Energy Commodity Resources (AECR 2023).

This publication is a stocktake of our nation’s non-renewable energy commodity resources – gas, oil, uranium, and coal – as well as a reminder about the potential for carbon capture use and storage (CCUS) in Australia.

AECR 2023 provides important data on Australia’s position in the global energy supply chain as a reliable trade and investment partner with a diverse mix of energy resources and strong exports. It also highlights the nation’s huge potential to become a renewable energy superpower, particularly through the production of hydrogen.

It demonstrates that Australia’s traditional energy resources will have a central role in supporting the transition to net zero emissions and contributing to our future energy security.

The road to net zero runs through Australia’s resources sector.

Highlights of the assessment include:

  • Australia maintained its position as one of the world’s largest Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exporters;
  • We were the world’s largest exporter of metallurgical coal and the second largest exporter of thermal coal;
  • We were the world’s fourth largest producer of black and brown coal and uranium;
  • Approximately 85 per cent of Australian produced energy was exported; and
  • Clean energy projects continued to expand across Australia to meet the growing domestic and global demand for net zero energy resources.

AECR 2023 shows the downward effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Australia’s production and export of energy commodities in 2021. This trend was not seen in Australia’s clean energy projects, which expanded during this period.

The Albanese Government is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. In response to this commitment, industry investment in CCS, clean energy and low emissions hydrogen projects, continues to grow.

As the International Energy Agency has said that reaching net zero will be virtually impossible without CCS.

Hydrogen will also be an important component to reducing emissions.

AECR shows that Australia is well placed to advance CCUS and CCS as an industry and is on track to become a significant producer of hydrogen for both domestic consumption and export.

Through the 2023-24 budget the Australian Government is working to provide regulatory and administrative certainty for CCS projects. The government has also set aside $600 million under the Powering the Regions Fund to establish the Safeguard Transformation Stream to help industry reduce their carbon emissions through projects like CCS or hydrogen.

There is significant interest in Australia’s future hydrogen production, with between $230 and $300 billion currently in the investment pipeline for hydrogen and its derivatives.

Geoscience Australia is working to identify Australia’s CCS potential and is currently mapping the distribution of potential hydrogen storage sites, particularly thick underground salt accumulations under its Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program.

This program helps fill in the gaps about Australia’s geology, reducing risk for explorers and helping to ensure diverse energy resources are being supplied, shoring up our nation’s energy security for years to come.

I commend Geoscience Australia on the analysis and presentation of this data in AECR 2023, which will be vital to ensuring the long-term energy security and decarbonisation of Australia and our region.

The Hon Madeleine King MP
  Minister for Resources and Northern Australia

The Hon Madeleine King MP
Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia