Units of Electricity by Fuel Source in Australia

Lilie King
Written by Lilie

Scored a 7 twice in the writing test

March 21, 2021

The pie charts below show units of electricity production by fuel source in Australia and France in 1980 and 2000.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 7 Test 4 Writing Task 1.

Units of electricity by fuel source in Australia

units of electricity by fuel source in Australia

Units of electricity by fuel source in France

units of electricity by fuel source

Sample Essay

The pie charts display electricity generation from different fuel sources in Australia and France in 1980 and 2000. The measurements are in units.

Overall, total production in both countries increased significantly, from 100 to 170 units in Australia and 90 to 180 units in France. In Australia, most electricity was produced using coal in both years, whereas in France nuclear power overtook coal, natural gas, and oil as the main source of electricity supply in 2000.

Australia relied on coal for the majority of its electricity generation in both years; 50 units of electricity were generated from coal in 1980 and this amount went up dramatically to 130 units in 2000. Production from hydropower also showed a climb, to 36 units, while that from natural gas and from oil declined, to 2 units each.

In comparison, most of France’s electricity came from coal, natural gas, and oil, at 25, 25 and 20 units respectively. The other 20 units were generated from nuclear power and hydropower. However, with a dramatic increase to 126 units, nuclear power, which was never used in Australia, became the predominant source of electricity generation in 2000. Burning coal and oil each produced 25 units in 2000, while production from natural gas and from hydropower dropped to only 2 units each. (214 Words)

How to Vary Your Language

Electricity Production

You can omit “electricity” and just say “production”. You have already established the context in your introduction paragraph, so when you say ‘production from coal’, readers know you are referring to ‘electricity production from coal’.

You can also use these terms:

  • Electricity generation
  • Electricity supply
  • The amount of electricity generated
  • The quantity of electricity produced


  • Production from coal
  • Production by coal

How to Group Data

In terms of France’s figures in 1980, ‘25’, ‘25’ and ‘20’ are big ones, so I grouped them together. ‘15’ and ‘5’ are smaller ones, so they are grouped together.

Moving on to 2000, “126” is a very significant figure, so I singled it out. For the rest of the figures, I grouped the two “25” together, and the two “2” together.

14 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. Hi Lillie,
    I have a question, I thought that in the overview paragragh, the specific numbers are not allowed to appear as it is what my teachers told me. I don’t know if you wrote this down only in this essay or is it okay for every essay?

    1. Yes, only for this essay. I don’t want to mention total production again in the details paragraphs just to add the data.

  2. The pie charts illustrated units of electricity production by using five various sources in Australia and France in 1980 and 2000. Australian mainly used coal for electricity generation in overall, while French had a relatively evener distribution from different sources in 1980, though nuclear power had become majority in 2000.

    Australia produced 100 units of electricity in 1980, when coal contributed 50% of them. Natural gas and hydro power took up to 20 units respectively, the rest of the 10 units were from oil. Compare to 1980 when nuclear power had not been introduced into electricity generation, there were 2 units of electricity out of 170 were coming from the nuclear power in 2000. The Australian’s reliance on oil in 2000 had sharply plunged as only 2 units of electricity came from oil, which was equal to the amount contributed by nuclear power. A total of 130 units of electricity were generated from coal, which contributed to more than 65% of the total 170 units in 2000.

    French electricity production depended on 5 different fuel sources evenly in 1980, with both coal and natural gas took up to 25% of the outcome. 15 units of electricity were generated from nuclear power while 20 units were from oil, which was a double compared to aussie. The reliance on nuclear power had rose in 2000, where 126 units out of 180 units of electricity were from nuclear power. Although he amount of electricity generated from coal remain unchanged compared to 1980, French electricity was less depending on hydro power and natural gas in 2000.

    So far the Australian had a more electricity production than French in 1980 however the situation had been reversed in 2000.

    OK it’s too detailed and too bad that i spent more than 20mins on this…

  3. My writting teacher cuts my marks in my mock test because I included the year as you did in your overview. So is it fine to mention year in overview paragraph. As my teacher told me instead of mentioning year I should year initial year.

    1. Hi, thanks for your comments. Your teacher doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Of course we can include years in the overview.

    1. In theory, we’re not supposed to include numbers in the overview. But every chart is different. If I don’t include total numbers here, I’ll have to write about total production again in details paragraphs. They’re total numbers so it’s fine.

    1. Thanks for your question. All the essays I published on this site were edited by native speakers. There is no grammatical error and the language is idiomatic. These essays are far better than what I wrote on my real exams. Perhaps, an 8.

    1. Data on total production are included in the overview so that I don’t need to describe total production in the details paragraphs again. Every question is different. Be flexible!

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