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ATSE Hidden Costs Electricity report

ATSE Hidden Costs Electricity report

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Published by: knoxd77 on Sep 03, 2010
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04/20/2013

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Tere are many areas covered in this report for which the externalities and their magnitudes are uncertain.
External costs attributable to climate change, the health damage costs of power station emissions, the
externalities that might arise from large scale deployment of technologies like carbon capture and storage
and solar power are all examples where the degree of certainty is undesirably small, given the huge
investments expected to occur.

Te question therefore arises as to how the necessary further work should be prioritised and resourced.
Te frst issue is one of funding. Tere are at least four Australian Government Departments that have
portfolio interests connected with the introduction of new energy technologies for reducing emissions:
Climate Change; Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Environment, Water, Heritage and the
Arts; and Resources, Energy and Tourism. Tese and perhaps other Departments should co-ordinate
their attention in the feld of energy externalities.

Te second issue concerns expertise. Tis review found that attention given to research on energy
externalities in Australia seems to be less than the feld deserves in an economy where energy is so
important. Research and capability in the feld need encouragement. Given that Europe has led in this
feld, funding of collaboration with international agencies and expertise, especially in the European
Union, should be a priority. Collaboration will help expand Australian capability and increase the
efectiveness of use of resources

In its recent report Energy Technology for Climate Change (ATSE 2008A), the Academy endorsed the
need for an over-arching Energy Research Council to oversee a range of existing funding programs for
research, development and demonstration of new energy technologies. Te Council would identify gaps
and projects, avoid duplication and ensure quality. It would recommend to government the appropriate
level of revenue from an emissions trading scheme that should be allocated to research, development and
commercialisation of energy technologies.

It seems logical to include the general feld of energy economics in the brief of any such Council. Tis
would ensure that further work on externalities of electricity generation highlighted in this report is

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF ELECTRICITY

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The Hidden Costs of Electricity: Externalities of Power Generation in Australia

properly integrated with other eforts to ensure that maximum social benefts fow from the introduction
of new low-emission technologies for electricity generation in Australia.

kEy MEssAgE: There is a shortfall in knowledge of externalities related to Australia’s
energy future. This should be remedied by funding from stakeholder government
Departments, with international collaboration as one of its objectives. The general
feld of energy economics should be included in the brief of the proposed Energy
Research Council.

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF ELECTRICITY

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www.atse.org.au

The Hidden Costs of Electricity: Externalities of Power Generation in Australia

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF ELECTRICITY

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The Hidden Costs of Electricity: Externalities of Power Generation in Australia

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