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The vast majority of the electricity produced annually in Australia is generated in thermal facilities, the majority of which burn bituminous coal or lignite. This is due to Australia's rich coal, nautral gas and petroleum reserves.
The country also has several hydroelectric plants, notably the major Snowy Mountains Scheme (primarily serving Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney) and a number of smaller facilities in Tasmania. Australian researchers are studying the prospects for solar and wind energy uses.