Public Policy Papers

Public Policy Papers : A Compendium of Key Points (Feb 2019)

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

pdfClick here to view the compendium of key points.

Policy Paper #1/2020: The Gaping Hole: The Absence of an Energy Vision in Australia, Its Consequences and an Alternative Way Forward

Author: Robert Pritchard, Energy Policy Institute of Australia

Key Points

  • The absence of a truly technology-neutral energy vision has left a gaping hole in the electricity sector in Australia. The Australian electricity market is failing to attract substantial investment from corporate and institutional investors, the money is lying idle and climate risk is not being addressed.
  • There have been calls to impose a domestic emissions price. However, no-one can explain how payments that disappear into general revenue will reduce climate risk.
  • There are lots of alternatives. One would be to establish an innovation fund, exclusive to the electricity sector and largely directed by industry. Levies could be based either on turnover or on emissions, with the proceeds being recycled into technology-neutral, emissions-mitigation initiatives, instead of disappearing into general revenue.
  • The Federal government is starting work on an “emissions reduction technology roadmap”. It remains to be seen whether this will be genuinely technology-neutral. An innovation fund would help align this work with the global “net zero by 2050” emissions target.

pdf graphic Click here to download the full paper

Policy Paper #3/2019: FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE: Power System Flexibility in an Era of Decarbonisation: An Annotated Bibliography

Author: Robert Pritchard, Energy Policy Institute of Australia

Key Points

  • This short annotated bibliography is aimed at facilitating community understanding of the range of economic and technical risks that climate policies can pose for the reliable, flexible operation of power systems.

  • Excerpts from a cross-section of published materials have been included. Some materials contradict others. They have been selected, not because they are right or wrong, appropriate or inappropriate, but because the Energy Policy Institute of Australia believes they may influence future policymaking and ought therefore to be taken into account.

  • In compiling this bibliography, the Institute has taken a technology-neutral approach.

  • Depending on responses to the publication of this bibliography, it could be the first of a number of future editions.

Click here to download the full paper

Policy Paper #2/2019: One judgment brings upheaval for energy and climate policy in Australia

Author: Robert Pritchard, Energy Policy Institute of Australia

Key Points

  •  An environmental court in New South Wales has found that the greenhouse gas emissions of a new coal mining project, even the future emissions from offshore combustion of the coal that is exported by the project, constitute a valid ground for refusing development consent because they will cause the climate to change.
  • The finding is illusory, if not false.
  • The finding poses an obstacle to all future coal mining projects and all other projects in NSW that may directly or indirectly give rise to significant emissions.
  • The finding is likely to encourage opponents of climate change in other countries to consider legal action as a tool in the global campaign against climate change beyond whatever commitments their government may have made under the Paris Agreement.
  • The finding brings upheaval to domestic energy and climate policy in Australia. It may warrant a re-examination by all governments of their energy and climate policies in the context of their bilateral and multilateral commitments.

Click here to download the full paper

Policy Paper #1/2019: Why No Energy Policy?

Author: John McDonnell, Principal, McDonnell Policy Analysis

Key Points

  • Populist policy interventions have destroyed political consensus and given rise to unsustainable energy policy in Australia.
  • At the present time, neither of the major Australian political parties has an energy policy that can last past one electoral cycle.
  • Politicians have to make difficult choices between the destruction of sectors of the Australian economy and minimising the risk from climate change. They need reliable evidence about costs to enable them to make these choices without causing unnecessary harm. They need to know the least-cost way of achieving the agreed level of emission reduction while producing reliable and stable energy flows. 

pdf graphicClick here to download the full paper

Policy Paper #3/2018: The Climate Driver: What the global clean energy goal means for the nuclear energy and energy-dependent industries

Author: Robert Pritchard, Energy Policy Institute of Australia

Key Points

  • The climate has become the main driver of change in the energy industry.
  • In many countries, this has led to renewable energy becoming the fastest-growing form of low-carbon energy. However, power systems were never designed for renewable energy. Intermittency poses a challenge to power systems that is growing faster than the share of renewables. 
  • Modern nuclear energy is becoming recognised as an essential technology in future low-carbon energy systems.
  • Nine countries that are members of the Clean Energy Ministerial forum have already signed on to the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (‘NICE Future’) initiative, with Canada positioning itself to play a prominent part.
  • Nuclear energy is not only a low-carbon response to climate change but it represents a market opportunity to supply 20% of the world’s electricity by 2050.
  • Australia has much to gain by joining the international NICE Future initiative and tracking and pursuing industrial-scale, fit-for-purpose, low-carbon energy solutions.

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·        The climate has become the main driver of change in the energy industry.

 

·        In many countries, this has led to renewable energy becoming the fastest-growing form of low-carbon energy. However, power systems were never designed for renewable energy. Intermittency poses a challenge to power systems that is growing faster than the share of renewables.

 

·        Modern nuclear energy is becoming recognised as an essential technology in future low-carbon energy systems.

 

·        Nine countries that are members of the Clean Energy Ministerial forum have already signed on to the Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future (‘NICE Future’) initiative, with Canada positioning itself to play a prominent part.

 

·        Nuclear energy is not only a low-carbon response to climate change but it represents a market opportunity to supply 20% of the world’s electricity by 2050.

 

·        Australia has much to gain by joining the international NICE Future initiative and tracking and pursuing industrial-scale, fit-for-purpose, low-carbon energy solutions.

Policy Paper #2/2018: Nuclear Power and its Potential Role in Economic Development in Australia

Author: Robert Pritchard, Energy Policy Institute of Australia

Key Points

  • By its 20-year ban on nuclear power generation, Australia has lost considerable ground. The ban has:
    1. contributed to the destabilisation of Australia’s power supply system

    2. disregarded a means of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions

    3. failed to enhance Australia’s scientific and engineering skills

    4. failed to optimise the development of the Australian economy and

    5. turned a blind eye to Australia’s national security.

  • Over the next decade, Australia could regain some of its lost ground by lifting its nuclear ban and allowing energy innovation to flourish under appropriate regulation.
  • Australia should capitalise on its small but world-class base that has been built up from 60 years’ successful and incident-free experience in operating nuclear research reactors and producing nuclear medicine.
  • A strategic initiative for any Australian state or territory would be to sponsor the development of a model town, or hub, for energy innovation and economic development, which could be in an inland location. Any such hub should be anchored to safe, complementary, zero-emissions technologies, including modern nuclear technology, and be connected to the transmission grid to enhance system optimisation at least cost. Potential sites should be identified through community engagement and developed with community support.

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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.

What's New

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

 

EPIA's Executive Director presentation to the USEA - Nov 2019

 

pdf graphic Click here to download the presentation

The Institute’s submission to the COAG Energy Council, August 2016.