Author: Ian Cronshaw, Consultant, Office of the Chief Economist, International Energy Agency

Key points:

  • Coal is the most important source of power generation globally, accounting for some 41% of global power generation in 2011.
  • In non-OECD countries, it accounts for almost half of power output.
  • The role of coal in the future will be largely determined by energy policy developments in non-OECD countries.
  • Despite all endeavours to diversify energy soources, coal will remain the dominant power sector fuel for at least the next quarter century, as coal fired power generation is projected to increase by more than 70%.
  • Increasing the efficiency of coal-fired power plants and the development and gradual utilisation of CCS technology will be essential to reconcile the ongoing importance of coal fired power with the global environmental objectives.

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Author: Professor Chris Greig, Professor Energy Strategy, University of Queensland; and Director, UQ Energy Initiative.

Key Points:  

  • innovation is critical to a low-carbon energy future but it is not adequately valued or incentivised in Australia;
  • there is a need to pursue a portfolio approach to energy innovation;
  • collaboration, including international collaboration, is also essential; and
  • public and stakeholder engagement is necessary to build confidence.

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Authors: Robert Pritchard, Executive Director, Energy Policy Institute of Australia and Managing Director, ResourcesLaw International; and Keith Orchison, Principal, Coolibah Pty Ltd, editor of OnPower website, publisher of the "This is Power" blog and a commentator for Business Spectator.

Key Points:

  • Eastern Australia, mainly New South Wales, faces a potential gas supply crisis.
  • There is plenty of gas in the ground in eastern and central Australia but it is too often blocked from getting into any market by a combination of regulatory, environmental and social constraints that have created a investment imbroglio.
  • Some elements of the gas industry contributed to the problem in the early days by not fully appreciating and not adequately responding to community concerns.
  • The root cause is nonetheless policy failure in New South Wales, the remedy for which is to immediately establish a well-resourced task force with all affected stakeholders to proactively eliminate the blockages.

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The second in the Institute's 2013 series of public policy papers is now available for download. 

Author:  Malcolm Keay, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, UK 

Key Points:

  • Governments across the world are supporting renewable energy but the programmes are often controversial.
  • In particular, the costs are contentious, with advocates arguing that renewables are competitive; opponents arguing that support for renewables is increasingly expensive.
  • One reason for the differing views is that the cost structure of most renewable electricity sources is very different from that of conventional generation.
  • The cost depends on the amount and type of renewable energy in a system as well as on the technology used.
  • The level and form of government support for renewables should be based on a robust understanding of these costs and the implications for the wider electricity system.
  • Where the costs are uncertain, the emphasis should be on limiting total costs, providing incentives for innovation and cost reduction, and removing market barriers.

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We welcome your comments.  Please email us via the Contact Us page on this website.

Author:  Robert Pritchard, Executive Director, Energy Policy Institute of Australia; Managing Director, ResourcesLaw International

This paper is the first in a series of Public Policy Papers to be published by the Energy Policy Institute of Australia.  Its key points are ..

  • public mistrust is deeply affecting the energy industry
  • outbreaks of political activism in Australia, with inadequate responses by government, could become an insuperable obstacle to the entire process of economic development
  • consultative processes have been inadequate
  • the energy industry has good cause to be alarmed
  • there is need to provide for genuine participation by stakeholders in an independent energy institution which brings sound governance and transparency to Australilan energy policy 

pdfClick here to download the full paper.  We welcome your comments.  Please email us via the Contact Us page on this website.

What's New

EPIA Webinar transcript: A Low-Emissions Technology Roadmap for Australia (June 2020)

pdf graphic Click here to download the transcript 

Key Goals and Principles of a Post-COVID-19 National Energy Plan (May 2020)

pdf graphic Click here to download

EPIA's Executive Briefing on "Innovation in Nuclear" - March 2020

pdf graphicClick here to view the video presentation from Suzanne Jaworowski of the US DOE



Policy Papers

Policy Paper 1/20 "The Gaping Hole: the absence of an energy vision in Australia, its consequences and an alternative way forward"

Author: Robert Pritchard, Executive Director, EPIA

pdf graphicClick here to download the paper


Public Policy Papers: A compendium of Key Points (to Feb 2020) 

Since May 2013 the Institute has published 25 Public Policy Papers.

pdfClick here to view the compendium of key points. 

Public Policy Papers : A Compendium of Key Points (Aug 2016)

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Since May 2013 the Institute has published twelve Public Policy Papers.

pdfClick here to view the compendium of key points.