Energy productivity

The Australian economy grew by 2.0 per cent in 2016–17 to reach $1.7 trillion. Australia’s energy consumption rose by 1.1 per cent in 2016–17 to reach 6,146 petajoules.

Energy productivity (gross domestic product (GDP) divided by energy consumption) improved by 0.9 per cent in 2016–17, and by 17 per cent over the past ten years. Australia now creates $275 million in GDP for every petajoule of energy consumed, nearly $50 million more than a decade ago.

This improvement reflects cumulative improvements in energy efficiency as well as a shift in the economy away from highly energy-intensive industries such as manufacturing towards less energy-intensive industries such as services. Increased use of renewable energy instead of fossil fuels for electricity generation has also had a positive impact on energy productivity.

The figure shows Australian gross domestic product, energy consumption, energy intensity and energy productivity as an index from 1976-77 to 2016-17. As economic growth in Australia over recent decades has generally outpaced growth in energy consumption, the Australian economy has tended towards lower energy intensity and higher energy productivity over time. Energy productivity improved by 0.9 per cent in 2016–17, after being flat in 2015–16. Energy productivity has improved by 17 per cent over the past ten years.

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