Australia is one of the most coal-dependent countries in the world. Federal energy policies support the coal mining and natural gas industries. Currently, coal, natural gas & oil-based products are the primary sources of Australian energy usage. The coal industry produces approximately 38% of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions.
Overview of Energy Supply in the National Electricity Market (2016 - 2017):
The Snowy Mountains Scheme is a massive water diversion, storage and hydro-electric scheme, which takes water from the eastern slopes of the Australian Alps (part of the Great Dividing Range) in eastern Victoria and southern New South Wales through pipes, tunnels and aqueducts into a series of dams, for use in hydro-electric power generation and irrigation in the Murrumbidgee and Murray valleys.
Australia has excellent wind resources by world standards. In 2016 there were 79 wind farms with greater than 100 kW capacity consisting of a total of 1,052 turbines in Australia. They have an annual production of almost 5,000 GWh providing close to two percent of Australia's national electricity demand.
The South West of Western Australia, southern South Australia, western Victoria, northern Tasmania and elevated areas of New South Wales and Queensland have good wind resources. However, Australia still lags considerably behind leading nations both in terms of wind generation capacity and percentage of power production. Although there is potential, wind power, and solar energy are inefficient compared to non-renewable energy.
South Australia has increased its investment in renewable energy, and is now the leading producer of renwable energy in Australia.