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Energy intensity continues to decline in Australia



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GPO Box 1563 Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone (06) 272 2000 Facsimile (06) 272 2001 International code 616 http://www.abare.gov.au

11 September 1997

Energy intensity continues to decline in Australia

‘The real energy intensity of the Australian economy — that is, the amount of energy we consume per unit of output after allowing for changes in the contribution of industry sectors to the economy — declined by around 14 per cent between 1973-74 and 1994-95’, ABARE’s Acting Executive Director, Dr Stephen Beare, said today when releasing Trends

in Australian Energy Intensity, 1973-74 to 1994-95.

‘An important element in the development of policies aimed at improving the efficiency of energy use is a thorough understanding of past trends in energy use. Reliable indicators of change are required because many policies are proposed or implemented with the intention of changing energy use over time. This report aims to fill some of the information gaps in

our understanding of past trends in energy use’, Dr Beare said.

Dr Beare said fuel mix changes, particularly the increased use of natural gas and electricity at the expense of petroleum products, were an important factor in reducing the energy intensity of the economy. However, the effect of the changing fuel mix on reducing energy intensity diminished between 1991-92 and 1994-95, probably as a result of lower real

energy prices.

The study also examined the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions from energy production and use. ‘The real intensity of carbon dioxide emissions from total energy consumption declined by about 17 per cent between 1973-74 and 1994-95’, Dr Beare said.

‘Carbon dioxide intensity in end use industries declined by a smaller amount over the study period - around 3 per cent - indicating that the energy conversion sector has played a significant role in reducing the carbon dioxide intensity of the economy as a w hole’, Dr Beare said.

For further information, contact Anthony Cox (02) 6272 2128. For copies of the report, contact Denise Flamia on (02) 6272 2211. For general media enquiries, contact Sharon Palmer on (02) 6272 2257 or after hours on (018) 487 825.

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