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 Australia on track to achieve APEC target for energy intensity reduction

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29 September 2010

The energy intensity of the Australian economy declined by 1.2 per cent a year on average between 1989–90 and 2007–08, according to the report End use energy intensity in the Australian economy, released by ABARE–BRS today.

The findings put Australia on track to achieve the target set by APEC in 2007 of a reduction in energy intensity of 25 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

“End use energy intensity in the Australian economy has declined over the past 18 years, resulting in savings in energy consumption,” said ABARE–BRS Deputy Executive Director Paul Morris on releasing the report.

Energy intensity is defined as the ratio of energy consumption to economic output, with the decline in energy intensity driven by two key factors—shifts in the structure of the Australian economy to relatively less energy intensive sectors and improvements in energy efficiency.

“Energy efficiency improvements have been important in limiting energy consumption growth,”

Mr Morris said.

“Improvements have occurred in the manufacturing, services, transport and residential sectors.”

Improvements in new vehicle technologies, government policy measures and relatively high fuel prices over the past five years have contributed to a significant improvement in energy efficiency in the transport sector, the sector contributing the most to energy savings.

The report also shows that economic growth continues to be the main driver of growth in energy consumption.

An increase in economic activity in the absence of structural and efficiency effects would have increased energy consumption by 60 per cent over the past 18 years, compared with the observed growth of 46 per cent.

For free downloads of the report End use energy intensity in the Australian economy, please visit the ABARE–BRS website.

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