A new report, 'End-Use energy intensity in Australia', examines the energy intensity of Australia’s economy over the last three decades and its effect on energy productivity. The report finds that economic expansion, structural changes in the economy, and energy efficiency technologies have improved energy productivity since the 1980s.

A decrease in energy intensity suggests an improvement in energy productivity, and the report shows that Australia’s energy intensity has been decreasing since the mid-1980s. This means that Australia’s energy use has been increasing at a slower pace than economic output. This increased energy productivity has helped contribute to economic growth and improvements in social well-being.

The report notes that improvements in energy productivity are driven mostly by shifts in the manufacturing and transport sectors, including industrial processes and less energy-intensive transport modes. A structural transition in the economy towards services has also contributed to the decline in energy intensity.

Not all sectors show improved energy productivity. For example, energy intensity in the mining sector has increased due to greater extraction of marginal deposits.

The report also reviews the impacts of technological advances and government policies. Results are presented at both a national and sector level.

End-use energy intensity in Australia is available from the Office of the Chief Economist at the Department of Industry and Science.