Australia’s Electricity Infrastructure Undermined by $1 Billion Per Year Under Investment

The resilience of Australia’s electricity infrastructure is being undermined by a chronic pattern of underinvestment in maintenance and upkeep, the result of rent-seeking by private electricity producers and a deeply flawed regulatory system. That is the conclusion of a detailed review of empirical and qualitative data on the transmission and distribution system contained in a

April 2021

Statement in response to release of Energy Security Board (ESB) Options Paper

The Australia Institute has welcomed the Energy Security Board’s Options Paper for the redesign of the National Electricity Market but warned against a proposal that would effectively tax consumers to prop up unprofitable coal power stations. “The Options Paper contains a seriously risky proposal that would prolong the lives of unprofitable, highly polluting coal power

New US Climate Target Leaves Australia 875 Million Tonnes Behind

If Australia followed the leadership of the US expected announcement of a new climate target and committed to halving emissions by 2030, it would prevent 875 million tonnes of emissions being emitted, equivalent to almost two years of Australia’s current annual emissions, according to new research by the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program. 40

Dalai Lama and Australia’s Peter Doherty among 101 Nobel Laureates Calling for End to Coal, Gas Expansion

A global coalition of 101 Nobel Laureates, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Australia’s Professor Peter Doherty, are calling out the continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry as “unconscionable” in an open letter to political leaders on the eve of US President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate. The Nobel Laureates – including economics,

25 Organisations Open Letter: Victoria EV Tax Worst EV Policy in the World

An unlikely group of 25 companies and organisations, including car manufacturers, auto groups, electrical infrastructure companies and environmental groups have come together to publish an open letter to the Victorian parliament calling on them to vote against Victoria’s regressive electric vehicles tax. The letter, which appears as a full-page advertisement in The Age, highlights that

Upper Hunter Polling: Majority of Voters Agree with Turnbull Call for Moratorium on New Coal Mines

The majority of voters (57.4%) in the NSW state seat of Upper Hunter support former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s call for a moratorium on new coal mine approvals and a remediation plan for existing mines for the Hunter Valley. The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 686 residents in the NSW state seat of

March 2021

Batteries and Renewables to Provide Secure Energy Future: New Report

New research from The Australia Institute, commissioned to assist the Energy Security Board’s redesign of the National Electricity Market, has shown that batteries and clean energy are poised to replace the system security that has historically been provided by coal. The technical study was written by leading energy economist Professor Bruce Mountain and battery expert

Australia Institute Welcomes South Australian Opposition’s Plan for Green Hydrogen

The Australia Institute has welcomed the State Labor Opposition’s hydrogen energy plan for South Australia. “Clean sources of power, including green hydrogen produced from 100% renewable electricity, are the future of energy. Putting South Australia at the centre of the global energy transition is the smart thing to do,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, SA Director at

Australia Institute Welcomes SA Government Back Down on EV Tax

The Australia Institute has welcomed the decision from the South Australian Government not to introduce an electric vehicle tax in July of this year. “The Australia Institute welcomes the decision of the South Australian Government, but a delay of one year is not enough,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, SA Director at The Australia Institute. “This EV

February 2021

Rebounding Transport & Agriculture Sectors will Cause Emissions to Soar

As Covid travel restrictions ease and Australia’s agriculture sector rebounds from years of crippling drought, new research from the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program shows that the recoveries of the Transport and Agriculture sectors will cause Australia’s emissions rise significantly—reversing emissions reductions made in 2020 and setting Australia’s emissions back to pre-2018 heights. The

Gas Industry Cuts 10% of its Workforce

New Australia Institute analysis estimates that the oil and gas industry cut around 10 percent of its workforce in the 12 months to December last year. Despite this, the Government is continuing to hand out large taxpayer subsidies to the industry as part of its “Gas-Fired Recovery JobMaker Plan.” If all Australian industries had behaved

January 2021

December 2020

Economy, Health, Climate Change Top Voter Issues in 2020

New research from The Australia Institute has shown that the economy, health and climate change were the top three issues of concern for Australian voters in the second half of 2020. The Australia Institute surveyed nationally representative samples of over 1,000 Australians each month from August about what they think is the most important national

Transport Emissions Returning to Pre-Covid Highs

New research from the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program shows that while the COVID pandemic provided a brief respite from some fossil fuel emissions, in sectors like transport—which lacks any climate-abatement policy—emissions are quickly rising back to pre-pandemic heights. The Australia Institute’s analysis indicates that returning to business as usual post-pandemic will not be

$50 Million Hand-Out to Northern Territory Frackers

The Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt, has today announced a $50 million taxpayer-funded subsidy to fracking companies in the Northern Territory. “Subsidising oil and gas fracking is the last thing governments should be doing from both an economic and climate perspective,” said Rod Campbell, Research Director at The Australia Institute.

Statement on Government’s Future Fuels Strategy Discussion Paper

“This discussion paper is an admission of failure from the government when it comes to electric vehicles,” said Richie Merzian, Director of The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program. “After waiting years for a much touted electric vehicle strategy, Australia now has little more than a wafer thin discussion paper that doesn’t even exclusively focus

Leaked Government Paper: EV Tax Will ‘Discourage Uptake’, ‘Face Strong Opposition’

Putting a new tax on electric vehicles without related concessions, as has been proposed in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, would likely face strong opposition and discourage Australians from purchasing zero and low emissions cars, a leaked intergovernmental document has shown. The analysis of potential models for state based Road User Charges for

November 2020

Statement in response to Narrabri Gas Project Federal Approval

“The Federal Government’s decision to approve the Narrabri gas project not only endangers water and the environment, but will permanently lock NSW manufacturers into high gas prices,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Director at the Australia Institute. “Australia Institute research shows high cost gas from Narrabri ($7.40 GJ at the wellhead) will displace lower

Statement on the Victorian Government’s Making Victoria a Renewable Energy Powerhouse plan announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21

The Australia Institute welcomes the Victorian Government’s Making Victoria a Renewable Energy Powerhouse plan, as announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21. “This is one of the largest investments in clean energy by a state government and it should bring down prices, reduce emissions and improve the resilience of Victoria’s grid, by increasing innovation and competition,”

Australian Workplaces Unprepared for Rising Heat Stress in Light of Climate Change

Last Summer’s devastating Black Summer bushfires exposed the under-preparedness of Australian workplaces to the serious health and safety risks of heat stress for many workers across Australia. Heading in to next Summer season, new research published today by the Centre for Future Work, outlines why working in extreme heat is a growing and urgent issue

Renewed calls for Climate Levy on Fossil Fuel Exports as Black Summer Disaster Bill Soars

In the lead-up to Summer, the Australia Institute, emergency leaders, and bushfire survivors have renewed coals for a Climate Levy on fossil fuel exports to help pay for increasing disasters due to climate change. The call follows estimates that the Black Summer bushfires cost Australians over $50 billion, which represents a step change in disaster

Gas for export 12 times larger than gas for manufacturing

Research released today by The Australia Institute shows that the Federal Government’s “gas-fired recovery” will not assist Australia’s manufacturing industry. Increasing gas production is likely to benefit gas exporters, not manufacturers.  Australian manufacturing used just 373 petajoules (PJ) of gas, while more than 4,500PJ went to exports in 2018-19. Just 56PJ, or 1% of Australian

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

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anna@australiainstitute.org.au