The coal industry has been the primary source of Australia’s economic development and rapid growth with exports earning between $20-25 billion every year. The export of black coal in particular represented 20% of Australia’s total commodities exports for 2005-6. Global demand for energy is expected to increase at an annual rate of 1.8% and the supply for this demand will ultimately rely on coal. From an environmental perspective, while coal production and use is by no means clean, technologies are being developed to significantly decrease the production of greenhouse gases which are more cost effective than changing technologies all together. Taking these factors into consideration and taking note that Australian coal has the potential to supply all existing markets for the next 200 years, we would recommend the continued investment in the coal industry of Australia.
Coal exports represent 20% of Australia’s total export revenue and provides 85% of Australia’s power generation needs.
Australia is currently the largest exporter of coal around the world exporting just over 30% of the word total per year.
Coal is mined primarily from the east coast of Australia at sites such as Newcastle in NSW and Queensland. There are still vast regions around Australia where coal deposits are known to exist.
The abundance of coal in Australia significantly reduces the costs of operation our own power plants and metal production, subsequently increasing export revenue from this sector.
Australian coal can be broadly defined into two categories – thermal coal and metallurgical coal. Thermal coal is used for heating purposes, primarily by the power generation industry, while metallurgical coal is used in the production of metals such as steel.
Australia exports both grades of coal to over 35 countries around the world, with primary markets in Asia and Europe.
Japan in particular consumes 45% of total Australian coal... [continues]
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