Australia’s manufacturing industry has the highest energy intensity in the world, according to research by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Data also indicates that the industry in Australia is the only one to demonstrate an increase in energy between 200 and 2014 compared to over major manufacturing countries, including Germany, France, the UK and US.
The IEA report states that the average manufacturing energy intensity in a country depends on the “relative weight of the different sub-sectors n the manufacturing mix”.
“For example, the intensity is particularly high in countries like Finland, where the paper, pulp and printing industry – which is very energy-intensive – represented over half of total manufacturing energy consumption in 2014,” the IEA said.
“Overall, the manufacturing sector intensity has decreased over time across virtually all countries. For example, in the US it decreased about 38 per cent in the period 2000 to 2014, due to efficiency improvements mainly in the chemicals and basic metals sub-sectors, but also because of increasing shares of low energy-intensive sub-sectors, like machinery.”
Australia’s energy consumption is lower than other major manufacturing nations but is not used as efficiently – and is thought to be driven partially by the country’s smelting sector as well as previously cheaper energy prices.
“Cheap energy made this a great place to locate energy-intensive industries,” AI Group CEO Innes Willox told Fairfax Media. “This has left much of Australian industry facing intense pain.
“Improving our energy efficiency is now an essential part of competitiveness for more businesses than ever before.”