September 2020

East Timor, Oil and Secret Prosecutions

featuring Ebony Bennett and Allan Behm

For over eighty years, Australia and East Timor have been joined together, mostly in conflict and struggle. The latest conflict is playing out in a secret court case and involves Australian lawyer Bernard Collaery and a former ASIS officer turned whistleblower Witness K. Both have been accused of communicating protected intelligence information after disclosing an

Phasing out gas would benefit Australian manufacturers and households

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by the Guardian Australia, 03 September 2020] Rather than drill new fracking wells into prime farmland, the quickest, cleanest and most economically efficient way to boost the supply of gas in Australia is to stop wasting it. According to the Australian Industry (AI) Group’s budget submission, “Ramping up support for manufacturers to

Easing Exit of Coal: Australia Institute Welcomes New Plans for National Electricity Market

The Australia Institute today welcomes the Energy Security Board (ESB) Post-2025 Market Design Consultation Paper, as an important step towards a National Elelctricity Market (NEM) designed to deliver reliability and affordability as coal-fired generators retire. “This report is an invitation to Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, to lay out his plan

QLD & NSW could see early coal retirements

Victoria and South Australia are leading Australia’s transition to renewables, with renewable energy capacity at 33%, almost twice that of Queensland and New South Wales at 16% capacity, however new research shows the northern states are ramping up new renewables. The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program’s latest National Energy Emissions Audit reveals New South

August 2020

Australia is about to get ripped off by the gas industry, and it’s not the first time

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published by the Canberra Times, 22 August 2020] The same geniuses who hiked up domestic gas prices, raked in the profits and left Australia with bupkis to show for it are trying to convince us (once again) that Australia has a gas supply shortage requiring huge taxpayer subsidies. So, let me explain

Key ‘independent’ data in last-minute Narrabri gas modelling provided by Santos itself

Economic modelling suggesting Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project would reduce gas prices is based on cost estimates from Santos itself, not independent analysis from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as claimed by Santos. If the independent production cost estimates commissioned and published by AEMO in February this year are used, rather than the figure supplied

Backfire part 2: why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending

featuring Ebony Bennett and Rod Campbell

In this second of our two-part episode on gas, we explore the flaws in the cost benefit analysis of the Santos’ Narrabri gas project in NSW and why it doesn’t stack up economically, environmentally or to create jobs, with Rod Campbell, research director at the Australia Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute

United in a Global Crisis with UN Chief Economist Elliott Harris

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richie Merzian

In this episode UN chief economist Elliott Harris talks about why it’s risky to withdraw fiscal stimulus too soon and why a clean green recovery makes sense for the long term, in conversation with Richie Merzian, director of the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program. Part of the Australia Institute’s Economics of a Pandemic webinar

Backfire part 1: why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

In this first of a two-part episode on gas, we explore why subsidising the gas industry is a poor option for economic recovery and explore the issues related to Santos’ Narrabri gas project in NSW with Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor at the Australia Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests:Mark Ogge

Narrabri CSG assessment riddled with errors

New analysis by the Australia Institute shows that the NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment’s (DPIE) assessment of the Narrabri Gas Project, downplays environmental impacts and overstates economic benefits of gas development to the region, relying on modelling commissioned by the proponent of the project while ignoring research and experience from previously failed coal

Key Gillard-Era Reform Carbon Price Would Have Saved 72 Million Tonnes of Emissions

New research from the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program shows that had the Gillard Government’s carbon price remained in place, Australia’s emissions would be 25 million tonnes lower in 2020 and 72 million tonnes lower over the last five years. Key Findings: Over the carbon price period, Australia’s emissions declined by approximately 2%, and

July 2020

Winning a Fair Share: Rebuilding Australia’s Manufacturing Base | Paul Bastian & Jim Stanford

featuring Ebony Bennett and Jim Stanford

As the pandemic interrupted global supply chains a lot of focus has shifted back onto Australia’s domestic manufacturing capabilities and what Australia has the capacity to make and manufacture onshore and research shows we’re lagging behind. In this episode we talk about the opportunities for manufacturing and why it’s vital to the economic success of

G20 analysis: Australian stimulus spending four times more on fossil fuels than clean energy

Ahead of the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting this week, 14 expert organisations from around the globe, including the Australia Institute, have launched a COVID-19 tracker of fossil fuel and clean energy stimulus. The Energy Policy Tracker shows that the world’s 20 richest countries, who together account for 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have

How to make electricity bills cheaper

featuring Ebony Bennett and Dan Cass

In this week’s episode we explain how two changes to the rules of the National Electricity Market (NEM) will help reduce electricity bills, cut emissions, pave the way for more renewable energy and storage in the grid AND improve grid stability. It’s win-win-win-win. Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett // @theausinstitute Guests: Dan Cass, energy

“CSIRO” report misleads on fracking risks

A study purported to be from the CSIRO that showed that fracking was “safe for the environment” was actually overseen by the gas industry, and was based on just six of Queensland’s 19,000 coal seam gas wells, according to new analysis by The Australia Institute. The report was published by the Gas Industry Social and

Fracking can’t fire up NT manufacturing

Research published today by The Australia Institute highlights that employment in gas-related manufacturing declined while gas in the Northern Territory was very cheap. Fracked gas will be far more expensive, making petrochemical manufacturing in the Territory unviable without massive taxpayer subsidy. Key findings: The NT Government’s Power and Water Corporation had large surpluses of gas

June 2020

Dramatic Fall in Petroleum Emissions: National Energy Emissions Audit

New research shows that Australia’s pandemic response has reduced transport emissions by over 3,000,000 tonnes (3 Mt CO2-e), due to an unprecedented drop in the consumption of petroleum fuels during April—falling by 77% for domestic aviation, and a combined 36% drop for petrol, LPG and retail diesel. The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has

Getting Off Coal: Orderly, Early Transition to Minimise Impact for Australian Economy

New research from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program has shown that an orderly approach to phasing-out thermal coal would shield Australian workers, communities and the economy from the negative consequences of an unmanaged transition. The study, written by John Quiggin, Professor of Economics at The University of Queensland, found that a managed transition

Delaying Energy Market Reform to Increase Costs, Slow Transition to Renewables: Think Tank, Industry Leaders

The Australia Institute has been joined by energy and technology leaders in opposing proposed delays to energy market reforms, including the determination on ‘Five Minute Settlement’ (5MS). The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is currently considering whether to delay the implementation of this important market modernisation measure by 12 months, from July 2021 to July

Demand Response Rule Change: Electricity market competition will reduce prices, help with summer heatwaves

The Australia Institute, Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Total Environment Centre today welcomed a ‘demand response’ reform of Australia’s electricity market that will improve reliability and reduce prices for consumers. The groups also welcome the AEMC’s decision to maintain the early, 2021 implementation date for the rule which they had advocated for. The three organisations,

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