By 2020, coal-fired power generation in Australia is set to reach its highest level since World War II, according to a new report.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have released a report which estimates Australia’s annual coal consumption will reach 1.1 billion tonnes by 2020, which is the highest level in a decade.
“We are seeing a big shift in the nature of coal-related production and consumption,” AEMO chief executive Michael van der Velde told the ABC.
“It is happening in a lot of different places across the country, but we are seeing it particularly in Queensland, where the coal seam gas project has been underway for several years and it is now being developed and deployed,” he said.AEMo and ABS data shows that the average Australian coal generation capacity fell from 635 gigawatts (GW) in 2015 to 521 GW in 2020.
“The Australian coal industry is expected to increase by around 2 GW over the next five years,” Mr van der Veglde said.
“And that’s what’s driving our investment in the Galilee Basin.”
What’s happening in the coal fieldsThe coal seams are the deep pits of coal seams.
The coal is burnt to generate steam for the power stations that generate electricity.
These power stations include the AGL and SA Power Networks, which provide power to about 5.5 million households.
The coal seam is used to generate power.
A lot of this power is generated by burning coal seams and the coal seams contain a lot more greenhouse gases than coal mines.
But in some cases the coal can also be exported to Asia and Africa.
The AEMo report also said the coal industry had expanded at a “steady” rate since the mid-1990s, while the total coal exports from Australia increased by around 20 per cent over that period.
It said the expansion of coal mining was particularly impressive in Queensland because of its proximity to the Galileas Basin.
But it was the closure of the Liddell coal seam in 2014 that has left coal industry analysts concerned about the future of the industry.
The Liddel coal seam was shut down in 2014 as part of a coal seam safety project.
It is estimated that coal seam emissions are about 25 times higher than other regions in Australia, with Queensland being the biggest importer of emissions, according the ABS.AAP/ABC