Australian Electricity Consumption 2012/13

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Australian Annual Grid Electricity Consumption

Australian Annual Energy Consumption – Grid Systems [1]

In addition to the grid consumption, there are many additional generators operated primarily by the mining industry. These add another 55 TWh to the annual consumption volume in Australia, finishing with a total of 255TWh per year.

“In 2010–11, Australia’s principal electricity generation capacity was around 54 gigawatts. Average capacity utilization remained between 48 per cent and 55 per cent over the past five years.”[2]

This means that for each hour of the 24 hours of a random day, consumption was between 25.9 and 29.7 GW.  At some points during peak usage, that hourly figure could have been as high as 54GW and would have been lower during off-peak hours.

Australian Electricity Generation by Energy Source

a includes wind, hydro, solar PV and bioenergy.

b includes multi-fuel power plants.

Australian Electricity Generation by energy source

Renewable energy sources made up 9.4% of the total volume in 2011-12.  This figure changed by the end of 2013, but no further data was available.

Australian Electricity Generation by Source

Australian Electricity Generation 2011-12 by Energy Source [3]

This means that renewable energy sources are on average producing 2.75GW per hour for every hour of every day of the year.  To reach the 54GW peak requirement, we would need to add 52GW of renewable generating capacity. The current largest solar thermal plant in the world generates 280MWh electricity for up to 24 hours a day[4].  So if the full burden of electricity generation were to fall on solar thermal, we would need 186 plants.  If our energy demands grow over time, we would need to factor in more, but our current grid demands have actually been steady or reducing since 2007 – all growth has come from off-grid production for mining.

So if that’s the total energy produced today from renewable sources, where are they all? Where are these huge solar arrays, wind farms and power plants?  The answer is: All over the country.

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