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Fuel efficiency standards: Driving emission reductions in transport

Fuel efficiency standards: Driving emission reductions in transport

The release of the Federal Government’s preferred option for an Australian fuel efficiency standard has quickly fallen into another version of the so-called climate wars while also being firmly couched as a ‘cost of living’ and ‘loss of vehicle choice’ issue. The Government’s proposal is for an “ambitious but achievable” standard that would allow Australia to catch up to markets like the US.

BY Carl Kitchen Feb 29 2024
Internal Carbon Pricing – on the pathway to net-zero or just another sidetrack?

Internal Carbon Pricing – on the pathway to net-zero or just another sidetrack?

Leading into the last federal election, the then Labor opposition pledged no economy-wide carbon price under its leadership, reflecting the continued vexed nature of climate policy in Australia. Since then the Federal Labor Government has maintained its promise and is pursuing emissions reductions through targeted sectoral reforms. In this environment, many businesses have started setting their own internal carbon price based around various government decarbonisation policies. Now, under new reforms being proposed by Treasury, these businesses will be required to disclose their internal carbon price.

BY Rhys Thomas Feb 29 2024
Green schemes: What are they and how are they causing greater inequality?

Green schemes: What are they and how are they causing greater inequality?

For the past two decades, state and federal governments have introduced various policies aimed at incentivising households and businesses to be more energy efficient and to support renewable technologies, which are often referred to as ‘green schemes’ or ‘environmental schemes’. While well intentioned, the cost of these schemes are typically passed onto consumers through electricity bills, impacting energy affordability for some users.

BY Tom Monaghan Feb 22 2024
Port of Hastings decision – what does it mean for electricity planning?

Port of Hastings decision – what does it mean for electricity planning?

Last month, the Federal Government blocked progress of the Victorian Renewable Energy Terminal – Victoria’s flagship offshore wind support project – on the grounds it posed “clearly unacceptable” risks to biodiversity in the Westernport Bay region. The impact of this decision was magnified by the Victorian Government reportedly being unaware that this ruling was coming. We untangle the regulatory process that led to this decision and consider what it means for energy transition planning.

BY Rhys Thomas Feb 08 2024
Green energy superpower

Green energy superpower

As Australia undergoes its energy transition, there has been discussion around the country’s potential to establish itself as a ‘green energy superpower’ within a future global green economy. Illustrating this discussion is a recently released report by the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth.

BY Braeden Keen Oct 19 2023
Decarbonising aviation – in it for the long haul

Decarbonising aviation – in it for the long haul

Until recently, the aviation sector has avoided policymaker attention – at least as far as carbon reduction policy goes. However, this has started to change with the Federal Government’s recent publication of an Aviation Green Paper, which attempts to navigate the foggy skies of how to align aviation with a net-zero by 2050 future. So what are some of the options, and challenges, for aviation decarbonisation? Here we take a look.

BY Rhys Thomas Sep 28 2023
Storage across the NEM

Storage across the NEM

In a speech in March this year, AEMC Commissioner Tim Jordan stated “…By AEMO’s current calculations, outlined in the ISP, 61 GW of storage capacity is needed by 2050 under the Step Change scenario. That’s 17 times current levels.” Federal and state governments have announced various policies to stimulate battery investment, but challenges to their development are starting to emerge. Here we take a look at current proposals for storage across the NEM and their implications.

BY Australian Energy Council Sep 28 2023
The risk of Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms

The risk of Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms

Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms have long been flagged as part of carbon-reduction schemes around the world. While some policymakers argue that a border tariff is necessary to support a truly decarbonized economy and prevent “carbon leakage”, trading partners logically identify these charges as the imposition of carbon pricing on their domestic economies by stealth. Australia has now joined other countries in considering the suitability of a border mechanism as part of its climate approach. We take a look at carbon border tariffs emerging around the world, their rationale and their impacts on free trade.

BY Mitchell Cutting Aug 24 2023
The 82 per cent national renewable energy target – where did it come from and how can we get there?

The 82 per cent national renewable energy target – where did it come from and how can we get there?

In recent weeks there has been a wave of headlines about Australia’s energy transition – while some preached opportunity, others raised caution. Of particular interest to those inside the energy beltway was whether Australia can reach 82 per cent renewable electricity generation by 2030. In this article, we do a deep dive into how this figure and what obstacles must be overcome for Australia to achieve it.

BY Rhys Thomas Aug 17 2023
Renewable Energy Supply Chains & the new Critical Minerals Strategy

Renewable Energy Supply Chains & the new Critical Minerals Strategy

The recent Critical Minerals Strategy announced by the Albanese Government showed a clear link between the success of the sector locally and the country’s ability to reach its 2030 and 2050 emissions reduction targets, partly through the construction and commissioning of renewable technology. The two industries are uniquely similar. Both are looking to rapidly increase their volume of activity, both are central to Australia’s ability to remain competitive globally, and both must succeed to ensure Australia’s economy continues to prosper in decades to come. We take a look at the Government’s priorities for the sector.

BY Australian Energy Council Jul 13 2023
Electrifying moves

Electrifying moves

This week the ACT Government announced increased support for residents to electrify their homes. More broadly electrification of homes continues to be the subject of much discussion with a new Grattan Institute report recommending ways to encourage households to shift from gas, the announcement of a Senate inquiry into home electrification and an AER review underway. We take a closer look at the new developments and some of the implications.

BY Carl Kitchen Jun 29 2023
Carbon Pricing Trends – where are we at?

Carbon Pricing Trends – where are we at?

Despite higher energy prices and global inflation pressures, emissions trading systems (ETSs) and carbon taxes appear to have weathered the political and economic challenges that emerged last year, and have continued to expand. That’s the latest assessment of global carbon pricing trends from the World Bank. There are now 73 carbon taxes or ETSs in operation. We take a look at the latest trends and developments.

BY Australian Energy Council Jun 15 2023
Inflation Reduction Act, Part 1: What’s the Big Deal?

Inflation Reduction Act, Part 1: What’s the Big Deal?

Since the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act in the US last year, the full extent of its impact on clean energy developments has started to emerge. It has been described as a “game changer”, a “big deal” and the “largest investment ever directed to combatting climate change” and it is expected to have global knock-on effects. As a result it has raised concerns with other nations. We look at some of key areas in the Act and in a separate article below we consider the responses to the Act.

BY Australian Energy Council Apr 13 2023
IRA Part 2: Responses to the Act

IRA Part 2: Responses to the Act

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has caused quite a stir globally given the breadth of its ambition and the real potential for it to impact clean energy developments elsewhere. Locally business leaders have suggested Australia needs to react. We consider some of the responses both locally and internationally to date.

BY Australian Energy Council Apr 13 2023
Carbon emissions: “Charismatic abatement” lacks compelling numbers

Carbon emissions: “Charismatic abatement” lacks compelling numbers

The latest Productivity Commission 5-year productivity inquiry report has again starkly highlighted the indirect carbon costs of a range of fragmented government policies that have emerged to drive emission reductions. The report includes updated and detailed analysis of the estimated carbon abatement costs of various measures across Australian jurisdictions. We take a look.

BY Carl Kitchen Apr 06 2023
Deep Dive: 2022 Victorian Election Commitments

Deep Dive: 2022 Victorian Election Commitments

Recent data shows that energy is an issue that more and more voters are conscious of as they consider which politicians are best to lead us. The latest True Issues Survey conducted by JWS Research and published in the Australian Financial Review shows that 39% of people believe that energy is one of the most important issue the government should focus on, compared with 20% in March. This movement comes against a background of an energy crisis in June precipitating higher wholesale energy prices and the effects beginning to filter through to consumer bills.

BY Australian Energy Council Nov 24 2022
Is there method in this “Methane Madness”?

Is there method in this “Methane Madness”?

The Australian Government has joined over 120 countries in signing up to the voluntary Global Methane Pledge. An initiative of President Biden, signatories promise to collectively reduce global methane emissions across all sectors by at least 30 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030. The commitment has not been without political controversy, with interest groups from the most affected sectors – agriculture and mining – seeking assurances they will not be negatively impacted, while the Opposition labelled it “methane madness”. Here we take a closer look at what the pledge means for Australia’s decarbonisation journey.

BY Rhys Thomas Oct 27 2022
Simple is best: cutting the costs of cutting carbon

Simple is best: cutting the costs of cutting carbon

With electricity prices rising around the world, there comes a risk that ambitious climate change action might lose its social licence. A new report from the Productivity Commission sheds some light on how governments can pursue emissions reduction policies without compounding the financial strain consumers are facing.

BY Australian Energy Council Oct 20 2022
Qld Energy and Jobs Plan: Energiewende down under

Qld Energy and Jobs Plan: Energiewende down under

Queensland, with its relatively young and mostly government-owned coal fleet, has often been criticised by environmental advocates for not engaging honestly with its future in a carbon-constrained world. That all changed last Wednesday when the Queensland Government released, with great fanfare, an audacious plan to retire and repurpose all its coal plants and commit to a remarkably large government build of transmission and pumped storage, plus a host of other matters. Here we take a look at the coal retirements, pumped storage and renewable arrangements.

BY Ben Skinner Oct 06 2022
Another cook enters the kitchen: NSW EPA to set its own carbon limits

Another cook enters the kitchen: NSW EPA to set its own carbon limits

When the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) released its Climate Change Policy and Action Plan it drew some media attention because it is the first time an Australian jurisdiction has labelled carbon dioxide a pollutant. While symbolically significant, the substantive elements of the policy are still to be consulted on and will be shaped by stakeholder input. We take a closer look at some of the key things the regulator will need to consider.

BY Rhys Thomas Sep 29 2022
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