Ministerial foreword

Energy fuels our everyday lives. We harness it to light our homes, transport us across the country and around the world, power our industries and produce our food.

In Australia, we are fortunate to possess plentiful and diverse energy resources, providing security for our own domestic consumption and creating investment and job opportunities to support a growing export market. Coal, oil, gas and uranium make up more than 20 per cent of the value of Australia’s total exports, and are projected to earn around $90 billion a year over the next five years.

The 2018 edition of the Australian Energy Resources Assessment (AERA) is the latest update in a series of national assessments of Australia's energy resources, first released in 2010. AERA has been developed by Geoscience Australia in collaboration with the Department of the Environment and Energy and support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and provides a snapshot of Australia’s energy resources and the demand for them in both domestic and international energy markets.

AERA shows that Australia has substantial energy resources, and that we are a world leader in exporting these commodities. Australia is largely under-explored for oil and gas, and there is great potential for more to be found. The Australian Government remains committed to continuing oil and gas resource exploration and development to ensure plentiful, reliable energy supply for generations to come. This is achieved through measures including the Exploring for the Future Program and the Gas Acceleration Program .

Australia also has abundant and widely-distributed renewable energy resources. Reflecting Australian Government policies such as the Renewable Energy Target, the use of renewable energy rose to around 16 per cent of Australia’s electricity generation in 2016. The use of hydro energy is well established, and wind and solar energy are becoming increasingly important to our energy mix. Other renewable energy resources such as geothermal, ocean and bio resources show great potential but remain largely undeveloped.

AERA provides the data that industry and policy makers need to compare energy commodities and understand their value on the domestic and world markets. This evidence base is essential for making informed decisions on resource and energy policies that affect the Australian people, economy and environment, and for ensuring the Australian Government is responsive to energy market changes. The Australian Government is powering forward with the National Energy Guarantee, a plan for a better energy future for Australia that will deliver an affordable and reliable energy system that will also help meet our international commitments..

The 2018 update of AERA has been developed as a website, making it easier to navigate and enabling digital delivery of the underpinning datasets. This gives users the unprecedented ability to compare and integrate the data with other sources in innovative ways.

AERA provides valuable information to ensure that Australia remains at the forefront of reliable energy resource use, exploration, production and export into the future.