Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Chasing the Low Carbon Energy Solution

By Bruce Godfrey

No single policy will achieve sustainable and affordable energy.

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National energy policy cannot be formulated in isolation from the rest of the world or in isolation from other policies. An integrated, whole-of-government approach is essential, for which there are both horizontal and vertical dimensions.

National energy policy should be coordinated to the optimal extent with environmental policy, technological innovation policy and economic policy. This is the horizontal dimension of energy policy integration.

National energy policy should also be calibrated to the optimal extent with foreign policy and trade policy and with all levels of government. Domestically, this should include Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments. This is the vertical dimension of energy policy integration.

Creating a market and regulatory environment that encourages domestic and foreign investment in new, low emissions energy supply and use infrastructure and in innovation is crucial for Australia – and a clear role for Australian governments in conjunction with energy suppliers and users.

Why is this so important? Because energy is essential to Australia’s economy.

Its availability, affordability and efficient use is a key driver of business productivity and social well-being. Importantly, Australia is a net energy-exporting nation, with considerable national wealth derived from our exports of energy...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.