How will Australia position itself in the transition to a clean energy future?

31 October 2019

Energy industry leaders, including Energy Security Board Chair Dr Kerry Schott and UQ Centre for Natural Gas, Professor Andrew Garnett, came together to discuss the role Australian natural gas may need to play in the transition to a clean energy future.

Over 100 business leaders and industry decision makers came together in Brisbane in October for a panel looking at Australia’s energy future and how to evolve the conversation.

Dr Kerry Schott and Professor Andrew Garnett were joined by Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, APPEA Chief Executive, Andrew McConville, Director and EDL Energy Head of Corporate Affairs, Lisa France.

The panel delved into how to achieve a reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy mix. They then looked more deeply into the path needed for the sustainable growth of renewable energy and the role of industry in helping shape national energy policy.

Dr Kerry Schott said a multi-pronged approach is needed to achieve an optimal energy mix. She believes gas has a key role to play in Australia’s energy mix for the foreseeable 20-30 years, in backing up intermittent renewable energy. Dr Lynham agreed that not only is gas economically important to the country, but he sees it as critical to the transition to renewables. Mr McConville sees a stumbling block in getting the conversation right is the concerning level of consumer confusion about the overly-complicated energy system.

Professor Garnett spoke about the need for more genuine and informed conversations amongst the broadest spectrum of people – from consumers, to researchers, to policy makers to investors, as the argument is complex and a ‘moving feast’ and it will be hard to find the best solution with the prevailing lack of understanding.

The panel and audience broadly agreed that more conversations are needed. More specifically, there is a need to connect people with understandable information about how they can power their lives today and how that might need to change into the future.