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Australia continues at the head of the global energy pack - report

Image shows an LNG ship

Photo by Bloomberg

26th June 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – Geoscience Australia’s 2023 assessment of Australia’s Energy Commodity Resources (AECR 2023) has revealed that Australia has maintained its role as leader in the global energy supply chain.

AECR 2023 provides a snapshot of Australia’s non-renewable energy resources, including gas, oil, uranium and coal, as at the end of 2021. It also reports on clean technologies such as hydrogen production and carbon capture use and storage (CCUS).

The assessment found that Australia has maintained its position as one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters, the world’s largest exporter of metallurgical coal and the second-largest exporter of thermal coal, while also being the world’s fourth-largest producer of black and brown coal, as well as uranium.

Australia’s global share of energy production in 2021 included 8% of uranium commodities, 7% of coal commodities and 4% of gas commodities.

The assessment found that 85% of Australian-produced energy was exported, and that clean energy projects continued to expand across Australia to meet growing domestic and global demand for net zero energy sources.

“Australia is a reliable trade and investment partner with a diverse mix of energy resources, strong exports and the potential for significant renewable energy production,” Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia Madeleine King said.

“While our traditional energy resources have an essential role in supporting the transition to net zero emissions, they also contribute to our future energy security.

“In 2021, Australia maintained its position as one of the world’s largest exporters of LNG, as well as the world’s largest exporter of metallurgical coal and second largest exporter of thermal coal.

“Perhaps most excitingly is the expansion of clean energy projects here in Australia.”

While AECR 2023 shows the downward effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on Australia’s production and export of energy commodities in 2021, the trend was not seen across Australia’s renewable energy production, which increased by 10.4%.

“The Australian government remains committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and investment in new clean energy projects, including carbon capture and storage (CCS) and zero and low emissions hydrogen projects, continues to grow,” King said on Monday.

She noted that there was already significant interest in Australia’s future hydrogen production, with between A$230-billion and A$300-billion currently in the investment pipeline for hydrogen and its derivatives, as well as A$1.9-billion through the Powering the Regions Fund to help industry reduce their carbon emissions through projects like CCS or hydrogen, and the new A$2-billion Hydrogen Headstart programme to scale up development of Australia’s renewable hydrogen industry.

According to AECR 2023, the number of hydrogen projects that are operational or in development in Australia increased by 34% in 2021.

This includes a world-first project, the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project in the Gippsland basin, which successfully demonstrated the feasibility of producing clean liquid hydrogen from brown coal resources.

Geoscience Australia is currently mapping the distribution of potential hydrogen geological storage sites and identifying Australia’s CCS potential under its Exploring for the Future (EFTF) programme.

“Programmes like EFTF help to fill the gaps about Australia’s geology,” King said.

“This reduces the risk to explorers and helps to ensure diverse energy resources are being supplied, shoring up our nation’s energy security for years to come.

“As we look to the future, AECR provides an overview of how our geology may support hydrogen production and CCS technology to achieve our net zero carbon emissions and decarbonise Australia’s economy.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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