This white paper discusses the future of Australia’s energy sector, which underpins our modern economy and high national standard of living and has entered a period of unprecedented transformation and expansion.
These changes are part of the broader restructuring of the Australian economy as we move further into the Asian century and transition to a clean energy economy. They bring opportunities for new business and wealth creation, as well as challenges and risks.
In managing this transformation, national energy policy must aim to provide secure, reliable, clean and competitively priced energy to consumers while building national wealth through the safe and sustainable exploitation of our energy resources. Australia has a generally positive energy security outlook.
This will increasingly be shaped by the strength of future investment, the cost of energy and our ongoing response to climate change. Australia’s abundant reserves of energy resources underpin our energy security, but maintaining a high level of security also depends on our integration into diversified supply chains, access to well‑functioning global energy markets and continued effective responses to market and non-market risks.
Rising costs of production, the need to replace ageing infrastructure and the development of clean sources of energy mean that Australia will face continued pressure on energy prices.
We must position ourselves well to retain our hard‑won competitive advantage in reliable and competitively priced energy. Australian governments must collectively undertake further market, regulatory and institutional reforms to ensure the efficient supply of energy and responsiveness of demand.
Greater competition will stimulate business innovation to offer consumers better services, including a suite of information and ‘smart’ tools to help them control their energy use and keep costs down.