Delivering secure, affordable and sustainable energy: is NEG the answer?

Delivering secure, affordable and sustainable energy: is NEG the answer?
Delivering secure, affordable and sustainable energy: is NEG the answer?

As the federal election looms, this panel will discuss the key issues around national energy policy and what can be done to achieve a mix of strategies that deliver secure, affordable and sustainable energy supply.

In terms of affordability, Energy prices have almost doubled since 1991 and which has seen the almost tripling of consumers who are unable to reconnect their electricity services within 7 days following non-payment. A fundamental rethink is needed about how businesses and governments can combat energy poverty. The recent debate on the National Energy Guarantee and the recent Finkel Review strongly emphasized the need to achieve affordable energy prices when considering how to further pursuit national emission reduction in the energy sector.

In terms of security, the 2018 Federal Budget includes incentives for the energy sector with the further development of coal, oil and gas. However, a lack focus on oil security diverts energy policy debate away from the availability of our energy supplies and onto back pocket affordability. Oil supplies barely rated a mention in the 2018 Budget. This comes despite repeated warnings from via the 2004 Energy White Paper and the more recent 2016 Defence White Paper, Australia has not maintained a sufficient oil reserve for 80 of the last 91 months. While the recent re-discovery of this issue by members of the government, little has been done in the last 14 years to increase our strategic oil supplies.

The NEG aims to address concerns about energy security and sustainability by combining the twin goals of delivering a reliable and secure electricity supply and reducing carbon emissions in a single instrument for the first time. The NEG seeks to impose flexible, dispatchable capacity and emissions obligations on retailers by requiring them to contract with generators and other market participants for power with the required characteristics. It argues this will reduce prices in the National Electricity market (NEM) by increasing liquidity in the contract market and boosting competition in the spot market as more players vie for reduced spot market capacity. However to what extent this will really deliver affordable prices?

Guest speakers

Kellie Caught
Senior Advisor, Climate and Energy, Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)

Kellie joined ACOSS in 2017 to provide expert policy advice and advocacy in energy and climate. For the last ten years, Kellie managed WWF-Australia's climate program where she specialised in international climate negotiations, domestic climate and energy policy, and raising awareness of climate change issues and policy solutions within the Australian community. She has strong skills in cross sector collaboration and political advocacy, gained from working in academia, the United Nations, government and the not for profit sector.

Kellie has collaborated with scientists, researchers, businesses, unions, climate groups, and community members to develop long-term plans and policies and build support among decision-makers for a cleaner, more sustainable future. Kellie has a Master in International Business and a Bachelor of Science. She also carries post graduate qualifications in Psychology.

Associate Professor Tim Nelson

Chief Economist, AGL Energy Ltd

At AGL, Tim leads the company's public policy advocacy and AGL's sustainability strategy. In recent years, Tim has led the development of AGL's Affordability Initiative, AGL's revised Greenhouse Gas Policy and Strategy and the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF) concept. He is a Director of PARF and a member of the Westpac Stakeholder Advisory Council and the Grattan Institute Energy Reference Group. Tim is also on the Board of Sustainable Business Australia.

Tim is an Associate Professor at Griffith University and has had around thirty papers published in Australian and international peer-reviewed journals as well as several books chapters. He has presented at conferences in Australia and throughout Asia and Europe. Tim holds a PhD in economics for which he earned a Chancellors Doctoral Research Medal and a first class honours degree in economics. Tim is also a qualified Chartered Secretary (AGIA and ICSA) and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professor Paul Simshauser

Executive General Manager, Corporate Development, Infigen Energy

Paul Simshauser is a Professor of Economics at Griffith University where he specialises in Energy Economics and Applied Corporate Finance. Paul is aso Executive General Manager - Corporate Development at Infigen Energy. His prior roles include Director-General of the Department of Energy and Water Supply, Chief Economist & Group Head of Corporate Affairs at AGL Energy, and other senior executive positions at Stanwell Corporation Limited, NewGen Power and Babcock & Brown.

He is a Professional Member of the Economics Society of Australia, a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and an AFMA Accredited Derivative Dealer. Paul is also a member of CEDA's Council on Economic Policy. Paul is also a Research Associate at Cambridge University's Energy Policy Research Group.

In addition to:

Catherine Cussen

General Manager, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy

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