The following analysis provides a visualisation of the location of power stations across Australia, along with a representation of the output and the amount of emissions that these power stations create.

The data used here is for the 2012-13 year, the most recent year for which emissions data is available for.

The vast majority of people have little understanding of where and how their electricity is generated. Due to the size of Australia, and the remote locations of most large-scale power stations, it can be difficult to visualise where electricity in Australia is actually generated. These maps combine a range of data sources, and has coverage for around 85% of electricity generated in Australia.

Of note are the following points:

  • Three locations across Australia dominate areas for electricity generation, and with this, sources of emissions. These are the Latrobe Valley in Victoria (predominantly Brown Coal), the Hunter region in New South Wales (black coal) and South-east Queensland (black coal).
  • Coal-fired generation dominates the Australian electricity sector, providing the bulk of electricity generated (around 80%) and is the main source of emissions.
    • Lower stations are considerably smaller; there are a lack of power stations in the “sweet zone” of being both low emission and high output.
  • Tasmania dominates for renewable energy generation, with a large number of hydroelectric power stations, with the Victorian and South Australian coast-lines having a large amount of wind powered generation.

A note on units: emissions is always measured in tonnes of CO2-e, electricity generation is always measured in Megawatt-hours

Sources:

Clean Energy Regulator – 2012-13 Greenhouse and Energy information for designated generation facilities 

AEMO – Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Intensity Index

Geoscience Australia – National Major Power Stations Database

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Michael Mazengarb
About The Author

Michael Mazengarb

Michael Mazengarb is a post-graduate student Australian National University, completing a Master of Climate Change. An environmental mercenary, he has worked numerous roles pursuing environmental conservation and climate change action. Michael edits Omnishambles, and generally writes with a progressive perspective.

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