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Electricity generation

In 2019-20 total electricity generation in Australia was nearly steady at around 265 TWh (955 PJ), the highest total generation on record for Australia. COVID-19 affected sectoral usage and time of demand, but had limited impact on overall demand for electricity for the year as a whole.

Fossil fuels contributed 76% of total electricity generation in 2020, including coal (54%), gas (20%) and oil (2%). The share of coal in the electricity mix has continued to decline, in contrast to the beginning of the century when coal’s share was more than 80% of electricity generation.

Renewables contributed 24% of total electricity generation in 2020, specifically solar (9%), wind (9%) and hydro (6%). The share of renewable energy generation increased from 21% in 2019.

About 16% of Australia’s electricity was generated outside the electricity sector by business and households in 2019-20.

Australian electricity generation

The y axis is in terrawatt hours from 0 to 300. The x axis is years. There are two series. The dark blue series is the bigger series. It shows total generation which increases over time up to around 270 terrawatts in 2019. The light blue line is generation from renewables. It is fairly flat but begins to climb around 2005 and is now around 50 terrawatt hours.

Australian electricity generation by fuel mix

Stacked bar chart of Australia electricity gen fuel The y axis is per cent. The x axis is five year intervals from 1994–95 to 2019–20 and then calendar year 2020. The biggest bar historically was black coal. It is dark blue and was about 60% of the fuel mix. It has now declined to about 45%. The next biggest historically was brown coal, pink. It has declined significantly over time. Natural gas is light blue and has grown over time. Renewables is teal and has grown over time. It is now larger than gas.

Australian electricity generation by fuel mix - calendar year 2020

The y axis is per cent. The x axis shows the states in this order: NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA, TAS, NT, AUS. There are 5 series. Coal is dark blue. It is the majority of generation in NSW, VIC, QLD and AUS. Natural gas is light blue. It is the majority of generation in WA and NT. It also a significant amount of generation in SA. Oil is teal. It is significant in NT. Hydro is grey. It is the majority of generation in TAS. Dark teal is other renewables. It is is the majority of generation in SA.

Australian electricity generation by industry - 2019–20

The y axis is per cent. The x axis has the states in this order: NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA, TAS, NT, AUS. The biggest bar is the electricity sector. It is dark blue and is the majority in most states. The second biggest bar is industry and is light blue. The smallest bar is Other industries including residential solar. It is teal. Generation outside the electricity sector makes up about half of generation in WA and NT.

Australian electricity generation from renewable sources

The y axis is gigawatt hours from zero to sixty-thousand. The x axis is years. There are four series. Hydro is dark blue. It was historically the majority of renewable generation and has remained fairly flat. Wind is grey. It has grown strongly since the early 2000s. Bioenergy is light blue, It has remained fairly stable. Solar is teal. It has grown strongly since 2008-09.