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Energy productivity

The Australian economy grew by 2.8% in 2017–18 to reach $1.8 trillion GDP. Australia’s energy consumption rose by 0.9% in 2017–18 to reach 6,172PJ.

Energy productivity (gross domestic product (GDP) divided by energy consumption) improved by 2% in 2017–18, and by 20% over the past 10 years. Australia now creates $294 million in GDP for every petajoule of energy consumed, nearly $50 million more than 10 years 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.

Australian energy intensity and energy productivity

The figure shows Australian gross domestic product, energy consumption, energy intensity and energy productivity as an index from 1977–78 to 2017–18. 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 2 per cent in 2017–18. Energy productivity has improved by 20 per cent over the past ten years.

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Source: Department of the Environment and Energy (2019) Australian Energy Statistics, Table B