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Importance of the resources sector to meeting future energy needs

In its 2017 World Energy Outlook’s New Policies Scenario which is based on countries’ policies, targets and plans, the International Energy Agency has projected the sources of global electricity production in 2040.  These highlight the importance of the resources sector to meeting future energy needs.

The IEA’s report confirms the importance of fossil fuels and nuclear in meeting 60 per cent of all electricity demand in 2040.

Coal will remain the primary source of electricity in China and India in 2040, with South-East Asia tripling coal fired electricity.

Coal powered generation will increase from 9,282 TWh in 2016 to 10,086 TWh in 2040.  At this point, coal will provide 26 per cent of all electricity produced.

Nuclear energy is expected to increase from 2,611 TWh in 2016 to 3,844 TWh in 2040, a 47 per cent increase.  Nuclear will provide around 10 per cent of electricity.

Solar PV and Wind produced 1,284 TWh in 2016.  They are expected to produce 8,432 TWh or 19 per cent of all power by 2040.

The increase in wind and solar power represents significant demand for Australian iron ore, metallurgical coal, copper, lithium, cobalt, indium and gallium – the building blocks of renewable energy equipment.

Together, the IEA report highlights increasing demand for Australia’s mineral resources, including thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium and the myriad of other resources the Australia’s world class mining sector provides.

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