The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has launched the first comprehensive assessment of Australia's energy resources. The Australian Energy Resource Assessment has been compiled by ABARE and Geoscience Australia and examines Australia's identified and potential energy resources ranging from fossil fuels and uranium to renewables.
Addressing the Sydney Institute this evening, Minister Ferguson said Geoscience Australia and ABARE had brought together, in one place and for the first time, a comprehensive understanding of our rich energy resource endowment.
Minister Ferguson said: "The two big findings are the extraordinary potential of coal seam methane and unconventional gas resources, and for the first time, we can see just how extensive Australia's renewable energy resources are.
"The Assessment defines the energy challenge. It shows our coal and gas resources can support energy demand for many decades to come. But, with almost every sector of the Australian economy dependent on oil as the major transport fuel, this dependence is likely to increase if we don't find more oil resources or alternatives."
The Assessment reviews and assesses the factors likely to influence the use of Australia's energy resources to 2030 including the development of cleaner, more efficient energy technologies.
Minister Ferguson said: "The Energy Resource Assessment is more than a snap-shot of Australia's energy resources. It is a national prospectus for energy investment and exports. If we get the settings right, Australia can not only secure its own energy future, but become the premier supplier of energy resources in the Asia Pacific region.
"Australia is in fact one of only three net energy-exporting OECD countries, the others being Canada and Norway - so we are part of a very small club and our role and our assets in global energy supply should not be under-stated.
"Sustainable energy security requires a vast expansion of Australia's energy infrastructure. The share of coal in our domestic electricity mix is expected to fall, from three-quarters today to less than half in 2030. At the same time, the proportion of energy from gas and wind will rise. Gas, for instance, will be used in more than one-third of Australia's electricity generation.
"To bring renewable energy to the consumer, we need to augment electricity transmission with more flexible, decentralised grid capacity. To encourage investors, we need to maintain competitive, transparent and efficient energy markets."
The Australian Energy Resource Assessment is available at www.ret.gov.au.