Client Update: Western Australia's Strategic Energy Initiative 2030
20 November 2009
In brief: Strategic Energy Initiative 2030, a discussion paper that aims to deliver a framework to secure Western Australia's long-term energy needs, has been released. Partner Angus Jones and Senior Associate Valeria Cooney report on the start of a challenging process.
The discussion paper notes that the Strategic Energy Initiative (the SEI) is needed because:
- total energy consumption in WA has more than doubled over the past 20 years;
- electricity generation is the largest energy user in WA, followed by transport and manufacturing;
- natural gas accounts for approximately 60 per cent of fuel used for energy generation, with coal, renewable and petroleum products accounting for the remainder;
- there is significant pressure on future energy supplies, due to the increasing global population and growing energy demand; and
- the impact of climate change will require reconsideration of energy use and consumption.
The Energy Minister, supported by a project team based in the Office of Energy, will have overall responsibility for development of the SEI, which will be an inclusive and consultative process. The SEI is expected to be completed by the end of 2010, based on the following stakeholder engagement process:
- November/December 2009: stakeholder briefings;
- December 2009: Issues Paper released for public comment;
- Early 2010: stakeholder workshops;
- February 2010: first public consultation period closes;
- April 2010: Draft Directions Paper released; and
- June 2010: second public consultation period closes.
Stakeholders may register their interest in attending briefing sessions or submit their views by contacting Aden Barker at the Office of Energy:
Office of Energy
Level 9, 197 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000
T: (08) 9420 5600
The SEI's stated objectives are to:
- propose an energy vision for 2030, in order to deliver certainty and to enhance future competitiveness and productivity;
- set out clear goals to give guidance to policy makers and investors, while maintaining flexible strategies;
- estimate the future supply of and demand for energy in a range of likely scenarios;
- ensure that frameworks are responsive and flexible enough to meet government, industry and consumer objectives;
- consider the whole energy supply chain, with a focus on stationary energy but also taking into account the role and interaction of upstream energy production and transport energy demands; and
- be consistent with national policy, while maintaining its top priority of securing the energy future of WA.
The SEI's stated strategic goals are:
- secure energy: ensuring that the WA energy supply can meet long-term demand, and management of any significant supply disruptions;
- reliable energy: high-quality energy supply with minimal disruption;
- competitive energy: an energy environment that is for the benefit of consumers and energy investors; and
- cleaner energy: development of renewable energy supplies (and meeting WA's commitment to the national target of 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020).
The next step is stakeholders briefings, which are to take place in November/December 2009, ahead of the release of an Issues Paper for public comment in December 2009. This will be followed early in the new year by the bringing together of stakeholders in a workshop environment. It is likely that this stage will reveal the real challenges ahead for the process as, while no doubt there is broad agreement in many areas, we expect there will be significant resistance to anything that is prescriptive rather than relies on market forces. Proposals that impose restrictions on the market or achieve directed outcomes at additional cost will obviously receive plenty of attention.
We will continue to monitor the stakeholder engagement process, and will alert you to any significant developments.
- John GreigExecutive Partner - Energy, Resources & Infrastructure,
Ph: +61 7 3334 3358
- David MaloneyPartner,
Ph: +61 2 9230 4724
- Igor BogdanichPartner,
Ph: +61 3 9613 8747