Electricity generation in Australia

I recently came across Australia’s electricity generation data and was curious to find out if there were any major shifts in the balance between renewables and non-renewables.  While the Australian Energy Update provides a solid summary, a Tableau Viz provides much more opportunity for exploration. (..and something a Tableau consultant can’t resist 😉 )

So…after some quick data prep and cleansing, I’ve pieced together what I hope will be a useful resource for anyone keen to discover more about our electricity generation mix for themselves.

Sticking to a dashboard rule I’ve learnt as a Tableau consultant, I’ve kept the purpose clear and simple.  I’ve resisted the temptation to include individual power plant statistics within the Viz, and instead focused on generation broken down by state and by energy source.

While a dashboard should provide answers to questions, it should also promote critical thinking around any patterns discovered.  Critical thinking is a key data literacy skill, including the ability to ask questions about data, identify patterns and test our assumptions.

In this dashboard for example, why is it that Hydro Power appears to fluctuate on a year by year basis?  Does this link in with the pattern of any other energy source(s)?  What other factors could be the cause?

A dashboard should also make key information readily discoverable.

For example, are there any states that are growing in their reliance of coal?

I’ll let you be the sleuth.

I’m also hoping this Viz will also be useful in the classroom to any students and their teachers wanting to explore our electricity generation data in more depth.  So feel free to share it as a resource and of course provide any feedback as desired.

Finally, it’s to note that the dashboard shows ‘generation’ and not where the electricity was eventually used.  Our network allows the sharing of electricity between SA, VIC, TAS, NSW and QLD, thus our electricity is not necessarily ‘consumed’ where it is generated.

This short clip demonstrates how to interact and explore with the dashboard.

*Data now updated to include 2017-18 estimated statistics.

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