We have opportunities to emerge strongly from the pandemic through reform and investment across energy and the clean economy – or the risk of a reversion to uncompetitively high energy costs if we do not manage well.
For gas, Australia’s strategy should include facilitation of new supply options that make long-term sense; expansion of alternative fuels including biogas and hydrogen; a heavy focus on demand reduction through gas efficiency and electrification; and continued policy reform to promote a competitive and secure local market.
Achieving competitive, reliable and clean electricity requires that we renovate our power markets; enhance our electricity networks; de-link power prices from volatile fuel export prices; manage coal closures effectively; improve energy productivity and management across the economy; aim for globally competitive costs for energy infrastructure delivery; and close the emissions gap in electricity market designs and policies.
Building a broader clean economy demands that we develop clear and practical transition pathways across all sectors; ramp up platforms for supporting clean economy innovation and cost reduction; build a policy suite to drive mass take-up when improved technologies and practices are ready; and manage risks to our existing exports through economic hedges, a more diverse economy and fair transition and opportunity for communities, workers and supply chains.
All that is a tall order, but well within the capabilities of a talented and richly endowed country – and strongly in the interest of a nation whose future prosperity requires both success on climate and a new energy advantage.
Climate, Energy and Environment Policy