The Gordian knot 

Later this week, a vital report about the future of Australia’s electricity market will be released.

This report, led by Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel, will impact every part of our industry and possibly every part of the economy.

The Finkel Review won’t be light reading, but it will be compulsory reading for industry leaders. Energy markets are transitioning, not only in Australia but around the world.

Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg describes it as a policy trilemma. How does Australia keep electricity prices low, ensure security of supply and move to a low-emissions future?

It’s a policy and political ‘Gordian knot’ of the highest order, and one that has a significant impact for the economy and our industry.

The Property Council will be providing members with our analysis of the report when it is released on Friday, but here are some things to watch for:

  1. Will Finkel provide an investment framework which will mean Australia will have the generation capacity that our growing economy needs?
  2. What mechanisms will be recommended to ensure we have a coordinated approach to climate change and energy policy?
  3. What will be done to provide a stable environment for energy prices and break the heavy price hikes we are now seeing in the market?
  4. Will Finkel and the government recognise the opportunities that the built environment offers to deliver cost-effective emission reductions and increase the resilience of the system?
  5. And will the major parties reach any political consensus on these issues?

These are a complex set of challenges – and ones which we can’t postpone facing it any longer.

Will the Finkel Review reset the energy debate in Australia and build some bipartisan consensus that reaches across levels of government? We’re about to find out.