The World Energy Outlook released by the International Energy Agency in November 2014 underlined the scale of the economic opportunity for Australia over coming decades.

The IEA projects that the global coal trade will grow by 40 per cent by 2040. Australia will be at the centre of that expansion, with the IEA projecting that Australia will supply 40 per cent of the growth in coal demand (with its share of trade growing from 27 per cent to 33 per cent). Australia will regain its position as the world’s largest coal exporter before 2030.

The outlook for uranium is also strong, with use expected to grow 90 per cent by 2040. The number of nations using uranium for nuclear energy generation will grow from 31 to 36 and there will be strong growth in existing nuclear nations including China, India, Korea and Russia.

Mining can continue to bring considerable benefits to Australia - not only in export values, employment and taxes and royalties but also investments in technology, sustainability and regional development, particularly in Indigenous communities.

But Australia’s role as a premium supplier of energy minerals in the 21st century cannot be taken for granted. Securing our position as a competitive energy superpower will require a determined and unambiguous policy agenda that supports the competitiveness of Australia’s energy export sector.

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