The electricity market in Australia, power consumption, power production and power trade.

Electricity market in Australia is categories in to three types, power consumption, power production and power trade. I will discuss all of these one by one.


Power consumption:

Power consumption can be measured the total amount of power consumed within the Australian economy. Australian power consumption decreased by one percent in 2013-2014 but its energy productivity increase by 4 percent (Canberra, 2015). Power consumption growth generally remains below the rate of economic growth over the past three decades.

When we talk about power consumption by its fuel type we will accounted that oil, liquid petroleum gas and refined product 38 percent share which is the largest share of Australian economy in 2013-2014. Let’s have a look on table.


2013–14 Average annual growth
Share 2013–14 10 years
PJ (per cent) (per cent) (per cent)
Coal 1 845.6 31.7 -5.0 – 2.2
Oil 2 237.8 38.4 -1.5 2.0
Gas 1 401.9 24.0 2.2 3.9
Renewable 345.7 5.9 4.0 2.4
Total 5 831.1 100.0 -1.5 0.9

Figure 1.  Australian energy consumption by fuel type (Canberra, 2015)

According to these figures coal remains the second largest primary fuel consumed in 2013-2014 but its consumption is falling since from 2008-09 (Canberra, 2015).

Natural gas was 24 percent of total power consumption and its share is continuously rising but instead of this gas consumption increases by only 2 percent.

Renewable power source is counted 6 percent of total energy consumption while its consumption is rising from the rate of 4 percent (Canberra, 2015).


2013–14 Average annual growth
Share 2013–14 10 years
PJ (per cent) (per cent) (per cent)
Biomass 183.2 53.0 -1.1 -1.4
wood, wood waste 92.9 26.9 3.1 -0.9
biogases 90.2 26.1 -5.1 -2.0
Biogas 16.4 4.7 17.0 9.1
Bio fuels 12.3 3.6 2.6 24.3
ethanol 7.1 2.1 -12.1 an
biodiesel 5.1 1.5 33.5 N/A
Hydro 66.3 19.2 0.8 1.9
Wind 36.9 10.7 28.8 31.3
Solar PV 17.5 5.1 27.0 58.3
Solar hot water 13.2 3.8 0.7 19.7
Total 345.7 100.0 4.0 2.4

Power Production:

Wind power generation is playing vital role in the growth of renewable. It is increased by 29 percent in 2013-14 solar and bio-gas power generation also increases by 27 and 17 percent respectively (Canberra, 2015).

If we talk about the power generation by industry then we can look into table that from past 10 years in every industry power consumption is increasing dramatically which has created the more demand of power to fulfill its need.

2013–14 Average annual growth
Share 2013–14 10 years
PJ (per cent) (per cent) (per cent)
Transport 1 589.2 27.3 1.1 1.8
Electricity supply 1 575.6 27.0 -2.8 -0.9
Manufacturing 1 186.2 20.2 -6.9 0.2
Mining 531.1 9.1 6.6 6.9
Residential 449.0 7.7 -1.4 1.0
Commercial 315.8 5.4 2.8 1.9
Agriculture 99.7 1.7 0.3 -0.2
Construction 26.7 0.5 7.1 -0.5
Other 58.0 1.0 -13.9 -2.6
Total 5 831.1 100.0 -1.5 0.9

The national centrality is working as a whole sale market for the supply to retailer as well as end user to different big five regions of Australia. It is the largest setup of electricity transmission in all over the word. Approximately 5000 km become when setup is established from Queensland to part Lincoln in South Australia.

The government agencies owned a small portion of assets and infrastructures and the suppliers companies owned the resting part.The electricity generation and electricity consumption exchange is calculated to meet the demand of electricity.We have discussed earlier in detail how electricity is generated and consumed in detail by fuel type and industry wise consumption.


Demand of electricity is totally different in manufacturing business, commercial and households (Kerin, December 2014). The buyer buying behavior is depending upon the demand of buyer. For example some large manufacturer of steel melting, refining operation needs the high voltages rather than the other commercial and domestic users. Due to this change buyer need then want to direct purchase power from the main transmission which will give them the assured of desired voltages. They don’t rely on the distributed companies.

They also have need of some special rates as compared to other user because they are using electricity on large scale. That is why the direct purchase power which becomes more efficient and effective for them, On the other hand if we look on commercial and domestic user they don’t need higher voltage to run their activities that is why purchasing from the distributor becomes cost effective.The commercial and domestic users consumption of electricity is calculated through smart meter. (Kerin, December 2014).

This helps us to find the exact consumption between a specific time and location. Which give the better demand graph to distributor in real time?  Due to this technology they have the option to raise prices in peak time to control the demand for electricity. (Kerin, December 2014).

Power Trade:

In future, electricity demand is becoming low due to the entry of renewable solar, bio-gases electricity production business. Large manufacturer are using electricity on large scale that is why they are moving to establish their own electricity production. They generate electricity through oil generators control the price and to avoid the inconvenience of old transmission infrastructure as well.
Domestic and commercial users are shifting towards solar and bio-gas power generation methods due to the increasing prices of electricity. These in house installed systems are sufficient for the purpose of domestic use. But these methods are not stabilizing for the purpose of commercial use. Here are some statistics which indicates the percentage use of electricity of manufacturer, commercial and domestics.


Australian Energy Market operator. (july 2013). An introduction to Australia’s National electricity market.

Canberra. (2015). Australian Enery updates. Australian government, Department of industry and science. office of chief economist.

Kerin, R. (December 2014). Electricity Distribution in Australi(IBISWorld Industry report D2630). Australian Energy regulator. IBIS World.


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One comment on “The electricity market in Australia, power consumption, power production and power trade.


very good article, do not forget to visit other interesting articles


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