Australia's energy options: policy choice not economic inevitability

14 Nov 2012

Executive summary

A reliable and affordable supply of energy is a fundamental component to a vibrant economy. As a major source of commodities, including significant known reserves of low carbon emission energy sources, Australia is well positioned to supply the world’s future energy needs. In order for that to occur, Australia needs to examine all its energy options.

The Government released a Draft Energy White paper in November 2011. CEDA considers this an opportunity that the Government should not miss in ensuring that Australia not only develops its energy resources for national economic gain but also to guarantee access to reasonably priced energy for Australian consumers.

CEDA determined it would contribute to this significant debate by undertaking a year-long research project that examined Australia’s future energy options. As part of this research project CEDA published three policy perspectives that addressed Australia’s nuclear, renewables and efficiency and unconventional energy options. Recommendations in each of these perspectives were made with the specific aim of providing policy-makers with evidence-based research on the various energy sources either currently available or being actively explored and researched, often funded through the public purse. Fundamental governance decisions underpinned by strong economic policy arguments were at the centre of these recommendations.

This final research report canvasses one of the more significant current debates associated with the availability of energy – the Australian electricity market. It puts forward a series of recommendations designed to enhance this element of the energy sector’s efficiency, security and effectiveness by placing consumers at the centre of the energy market and a reform agenda is proposed.

Related identifier: ISBN 0 85801 284 7

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