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'Energy intensity' continues to fall: ABARE.



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

'ENERGY INTENSITY' CONTINUES TO FALL: ABARE

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has welcomed the latest data from ABARE which shows Australian 'energy intensity' is improving and Australian industry is becoming more efficient.

Minister Ferguson said: "Statistics show that growth in energy consumption since the early 1990s has generally remained below the rate of growth in GDP. This indicates a longer term decline in ‘energy intensity’ of the Australian economy that can be attributed chiefly to two factors.

"First, greater efficiencies are being achieved by improved technology and energy management, supported by programs such as Energy Efficiency Opportunities, as well as fuel switching. Second, there has been rapid growth in less energy intensive sectors such as trade, commerce and service provision, relative to the more moderate growth of the energy intensive manufacturing sectors."

"We should applaud the innovation of Australian industry which continues to find ways to become more efficient and maintain its international competitiveness through greater energy efficiency."

ABARE noted that the fuel mix in Australia’s domestic energy use was largely unchanged between 2005-06 and 2006-07. Black and brown coal accounted for the greatest share (40 per cent) followed by oil (34 per cent), natural gas (20 per cent) and renewables (5 per cent). Increased use of natural gas contributed most strongly to the rise in energy consumption in 2006-07.

Despite the decline in the production of hydroelectricity, renewable energy maintained its share of the fuel mix in 2006-07 with a rise in biogas, bioliquids, solar and wind energy. However, these new energy sources only accounted for around 1 per cent of Australian energy consumption.

Minister Ferguson said: "The importance of coal to affordable and reliable energy supply in Australia was further evidence backing the Australian Government's dual strategy of supporting renewable energy while also supporting research into improving the environmental performance of Australia's coal electricity production.

"In the May Budget the Australian Government allocated $500 million to establish the National Low Emission Coal Fund to support the National Low Emission Coal Initiative, $500 million to establish the Renewable Energy Fund and $150 million to establish the Energy Innovation Fund. These

funding allocations will ensure that Australia has cleaner energy options in the future while maintaining energy security today."

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The H

on Martin Ferguson AM MP

11 Jul 2008