Australia’s energy options: renewables and efficiency

15 May 2012

The world is wrestling with the challenge of ensuring an ongoing supply of energy that does not damage the environment while enabling billions of people to appreciate the benefits of modern life. Global interest in renewable technologies is accelerating the maturity of many of these energy sources. These efforts are vital if the quality of human life is to be improved across the planet without causing its further degradation. Energy underpins all aspects of modern life and generates many externalities that affect both the environment and society more broadly, such as the environmental consequences of extracting the raw materials used in all energy generation. All forms of energy generation create externalities, although not all have an influence on the climate.

Numerous policies have been established to adjust for climatic externalities in the energy generation and to incentivise low carbon emission sources of energy. There is a complex interplay between technological and economic factors influencing the deployment of renewable technologies, the relative cost of generating energy from different sources, and the broader political and economic cycles. Given how fundamental reliable energy is for modern life the costs involved in mitigating climate change are substantial. The scale of change requires examining public policy outcomes throughout the world to ensure that interventions are producing effective results in Australia.


Related identifier: ISBN 0 85801 280 4

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