A burning issue
Australia’s coal-fired power stations have sharply increased their fuel consumption in the past decade in response to ongoing demand for electricity. Power consumption has risen from 140,000 gigawatt hours a year in 1995 to 196,000 GWh, according to the latest Energy Supply Association data. This has seen black coal burning rise from 39.6 million tonnes a year to 57.7Mt and brown coal use rise from 50 Mt to almost 70 Mt. ESAA predicts that electricity consumption will move past 240,000 GWh a year by 2015-16. Coal-fired power is still expected to account for more than 80 per cent of supply.