Australian Bureau of Statistics releases Yearbook Australia 2008.

Today the Australian Bureau of statistics released its Yearbook Australia 2008. It has a wealth of information on all aspects of Australian life.

One interesting set of figures shows how little progress Australia has made in 2005-06 on renewables as part of primary energy production. It was estimated that of the total primary energy production of 16,729 PJ, black coal accounted for almost half (49%), followed by uranium (28%), natural gas (10%) and crude oil (5%). Renewable energy production (including wood, bagasse, biofuel, hydro-electricity and solar thermal energy) accounted for only 2% (270 PJ) of total production in 2005-06.

In the period 2000-01 to 2005-06, Australia’s total energy production increased by 1,465 PJ ( 10%). Unfortunately this increase came mainly from non-renewable sources – black coal (up 1,311 PJ), uranium (up 131 PJ), and natural gas (up 297 PJ). Only the production of crude oil decreased over the period 2000-01 to 2005-06 (down 532 PJ). Total renewable energy production only increased by 1% in the same period, 266 PJ in 2000-01 to 270 PJ in 2005-06.

Taking a longer term view of the trends, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that there has been an upward trend in production of non renewable fuels, over the period 1975-76 to 2005-06 increasing from 3,158 PJ in 1975-76 to 16,255 PJ in 2005-06 (up 415%).

It reported that for the production of renewable energy fuels there has been relatively little growth, only showing an increase from 206 PJ in 1975-76 to 270 PJ in 2005-06 (up 31%).

Below I have reproduced the summary of the statistics related to environmental issues facing the Australian population:

Environment chapter

Almost all households in Australia (99%) recycle or reuse waste at home, compared with 91% 10 years ago. (Page 66)

Solar energy use in Australian households is primarily for heating water (4% of households), particularly in the NT (42% of households). (Page 67)

Reverse cycle air conditioners were used in 20% of Australian households at last count (2005), up from 14% in 2002. (Page 69)

More than 14% of people report using public transport to get to work, up from 12% ten years ago. (Page 71)

Households used 11% of water consumed in Australia in 2004–05 compared with agriculture which used 65%. Australian households reduced their water consumption by 8% between 2000–01 and 2004–05 (from 2,278 gigalitres to 2,108 gigalitres). (Page 86)

The information released today provides an interesting snapshot of Australia today and offers some thought on the challenges that it points to. For those who are reading from afar I hope this can give a useful overview of Australia.

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~ by abstraktbiblos on Thursday, 7 February, 2008.

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