Global energy mix
How can mining be sustainable? Bravus’ vision for a global energy mix
Energy is vital to human and economic development as a way to provide safe and secure living conditions. In Australia coal currently contributes about 60 per cent of Australia’s growing electricity consumption, which has increased 70 per cent since 1990. Australians use more energy per person than in most other countries around the world.
People ask, how can mining be sustainable? While we are transitioning to a renewable-led future on the road to net-zero, coal continues to dominate the global energy mix to provide reliable baseload power.
In India, for example, where a significant proportion of the coal from the Carmichael Mine will be utilised, 22 per cent of energy is derived from high-polluting biofuels and waste-burning. In 2017, approximately 170 million people still had no access to electricity or unreliable access.
For many of Australia’s trading partners, accessing affordable and reliable electricity sources remains problematic. The Asia Pacific region contains eight of the world’s 15 most populous nations and the United Nations forecasts these countries alone will be home to another 700 million people by 2050.
The International Energy Agency has modelled 80 per cent growth in installed Asia Pacific electricity generation by 2040, as historically low per-capita electricity consumption behaviour shifts on the back of urbanisation, industrialization, and rising wages.
An October 2020 report commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia showed thermal coal imports to the region increasing from 834 million tonnes per year in 2019 to 1.109 billion tonnes per year in 2030 to meet this demand.
As nations seek to balance energy access objectives with action on reducing emissions, low cost, high quality and lower emission per unit of electricity produced Queensland coal, like that mined at Carmichael, will remain a leading choice to supply this market.
Australia’s energy resources will help power other countries who need additional resources, providing electricity to enable nation-building development that lifts people from poverty.