Australia is one of only a handful of OECD countries that are significant energy net exporters, with a rich supply of fossil fuel and mineral energy resources.
Self-sufficient energy production
According to data produced by the International Energy Agency, Australia ranks among the world leaders for self-sufficiency in energy production, producing more than twice its domestic energy needs (241%).
In 2011, national coal production represented 462% of Australia's domestic requirements while natural gas output was at 166%.
New South Wales (NSW) is a major global exporter of coal, with exports from the state, largely destined for Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan, valued at around $13.3 billion in 2012-13.
NSW has by far the largest installed renewable energy capacity in Australia, as well as abundant renewable energy resources and world class research and development capacity.
In 2012, approximately 7.9 gigawatt hours of electricity generated in NSW was from renewable energy sources, up 35% from 2011.
According to the Clean Energy Council, in 2012, NSW had around 5,485 megawatts of installed capacity of renewable energy, accounting for around 39% of the national total, while there were 93 clean energy projects in the state with a capacity to each produce more than 100 kilowatts of clean energy.
Energy Action Plan
The New South Wales Government is committed to a secure, reliable, affordable and clean energy future for the state.
In September 2013, the NSW Renewable Energy Action Plan was released, detailing how the state will contribute to the national target of producing 20% of electricity from renewable energy by 2020, through initiatives such as:
- creating renewable energy hubs
- streamlining the planning process and
- supporting the commercialisation of renewable technologies.
It is estimated that $36 billion will be invested across Australia in renewable energy over the decade to 2020, particularly in wind and solar projects, and the NSW Government will seek to attract a large proportion of this investment for the state.
- To promote and facilitate investment opportunities and increase renewable energy generation in the state, the NSW Government recently appointed a Renewable Energy Advocate.
- Sydney is home to the new Clean Energy Finance Corporation, a $10 billion commercially oriented body established by the Australian Government to fund low emissions technologies through commercial investments.
- Also, the new $40 million Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources at the University of Newcastle has capacity for 274 research staff.
- NSW continues to attract international renewable energy companies, which have chosen to locate their Australasian headquarters in Sydney.
|Country||% of domestic needs|
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1. Percentage of total domestic requirements in tons of oil equivalent.
Source: Energy Balances 2013, OECD/IEA, as cited in The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2014, Switzerland, www.imd.ch/wcy.