A RISE in the amount of wind energy used in Australia was not enough to “green” overall energy consumption, which is still growing despite efforts to increase efficiency and lower use.
Coal production grew by just over 5 per cent in the past year, according to the latest report on Australia’s energy use by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
In the past 14 years the production of hydroelectricity has dropped by 15 per cent as the amount of water entering Australia’s river systems has fallen.
Despite this, the total amount of energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind has grown.
Wind and solar power combined grew by 230 per cent last year, although renewable energy still only accounts for about 5 per cent of all energy.
Households show few signs of reducing their energy use.
Last year the total amount of energy used by residential consumers grew by 3.9 per cent, above the long-term average rise of 2.5 per cent and the biggest jump in four years. The jump casts doubt on whether people are heeding the warnings about global warming and trying to curb their energy use.
Power bills are set to rise when the Federal Government introduces an emissions trading scheme, but whether the increases will be big enough to encourage people to use less remains to be seen.
The Government’s latest figures on greenhouse gas pollution, released last month, show emissions are still climbing steadily.
Emissions generated by the use of energy and transport are showing the largest increases and are forecast to keep growing in the coming years.