The latest official estimates of Australia’s electricity generation in 2018-19 and calendar year 2019 have now been published.
The Australian Energy Statistics for electricity generation covers all electricity generation in Australia, including by power plants and by businesses and households for their own use.
The new data outlines that total electricity generation in Australia was estimated to be 265,117-gigawatt hours (GWh) in calendar year 2019.
Fossil fuel sources contributed 209,636 GWh (79 per cent) of total electricity generation in 2019, a decrease of 2 per cent compared with 2018.
Coal accounted for the majority of electricity generation, at 56 per cent of total generation in 2019.
Renewable sources contributed 55,481 GWh (21 per cent) of total electricity generation in 2019, an increase of 12 per cent compared with 2018.
The largest source of renewable generation was wind (7 per cent of total generation) followed by solar (7 per cent) and hydro (5 per cent).
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the increase in renewable generation was driven by record levels of new investment, with 6.3 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity delivered in 2019 and a similar level expected to be delivered in 2020.
“Australia continues to be a world-leader in renewable energy, with ongoing increases in renewable capacity and generation,” Minister Taylor said.
“This latest data also demonstrates the continuing importance of coal and the significant and growing reliance on gas to back our significant renewable capacity.”
The data outlined that gas-fired generation grew to account for 21 per cent of Australia’s total generation. This was driven largely by growth in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Minister Taylor said that gas is flexible and provides the dispatchable capacity the nation increasingly needs to balance intermittent renewables and deliver a secure, reliable and affordable electricity system to power homes, businesses and industries.
“This has never been more important – particularly as we begin our recovery from the impact of the COVID19 pandemic,” he said.
“This is why the Australian Government believes a gas-fired recovery will drive jobs and economic growth.”
“We now need state and territory governments to do their part to unlock more gas for the domestic market and encourage investment in reliable generation which will put downward pressure on wholesale prices.”