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Energy

Our experienced Energy legal team regularly publishes articles and updates - the full list of publications appears below. If you'd like to be notified when we add new energy publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Allens has been involved with some of the leading players that have helped reform Australia's energy industry. Read about some of these landmark projects and the developments that are shaping the industry's future.

Finket Review

Australia's Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel's report provides a possible blueprint for Australia's energy markets. The Finkel Review may prove to be a catalyst for energy and emissions policy positions that provide investment certainty, regulatory direction and political peace for generations.

Our experts provide industry-specific analysis on Finkel's recommendations and we will continue to update you on developments.

Take a browse through our extensive experience in the area.

Energy Publications

  • Client Update: Across Australia and to Paris - Recent developments in the nuclear fuel cycle

    23 December 2015

    Partner Richard Malcolmson, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Associate Emily Johnstone report on recent developments in the Australian nuclear fuel cycle debate, including: the recent shortlisting of potential sites by the Australian Government for a radioactive waste management facility; the conclusion of the uranium export deal between Australia and India; and potential implications for nuclear energy following the 'COP21' climate change negotiations in Paris.

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  • Allens insights: Unconventional oil and gas in Australia: a case of regulatory lag

    25 November 2015

    In this article Allens Senior Energy & Resources Counsel David Maloney reviews existing Australian petroleum and mining legislation relating to the regulation of unconventional oil and gas; examines some of the recent policy responses in relation to coal seam gas developments in agricultural lands, the use of hydraulic fracturing and their impact on water resources; and identifies some of the reasons why law reform is required.

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  • Client Update: Governance of energy market fundamentally sound, but with potential for improvement

    30 October 2015

    The final report of the Review of Governance Arrangements for Australian Energy Markets has made a number of recommendations to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of each governing body in the Australian energy market, while concluding that the governance arrangements are fundamentally sound. Partner and Government Sector Leader Paul Kenny and Associate Monique Donato report.

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  • Allens insights: An overview of the current energy mix, and the place in the market of different energy sources

    21 October 2015

    Allens Senior Energy & Resources Counsel David Maloney provides an overview of the current energy mix in Australia, and the place in the market of different energy sources.

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  • Client Update: Environment Minister appoints Wind Farm Committee and Commissioner

    19 October 2015

    Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has appointed Andrew Dyer as Australia's first National Wind Farm Commissioner and has announced the membership of the Independent Scientific Committee on Wind Turbines. The Commissioner and the Committee will report separately to the Australian Parliament on their progress, with their roles up for review after an initial three-year term. Partner Chris Schulz and Associate Emily Johnstone report.

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  • Focus: 'Safety net' or 'trampoline'? Emissions safeguard mechanism draft rules released

    9 September 2015

    The Federal Government has released its draft rules for the emissions safeguard mechanism, which will impose financial penalties of up to $1.8 million on businesses that emit more than their allocated emissions baselines. Partner Grant Anderson and Associate Albert Yu report.

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  • Client Update: Queensland Productivity Commission inquires into electricity pricing and solar feed-in tariff

    26 August 2015

    The new Queensland Productivity Commission's first two inquiries are into electricity pricing and solar feed-in tariffs. Partner John Hedge and Associate Andrea Moffatt look at the implications for industry.

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  • Client Update: Deal announced on revised Renewable Energy Target

    19 May 2015

    The Federal Government and Labor opposition yesterday announced that they had reached a long-awaited agreement to lower the Renewable Energy Target from 41,000GWh to 33,000GWh. Partner Grant Anderson and Senior Associate Alex Purtill report.

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  • Focus: Federal Government releases Energy White Paper

    13 April 2015

    The Federal Government has released its long-anticipated Energy White Paper, outlining the Government's policy on strategic issues facing the energy sector in Australia. Partner and Government Sector Leader Paul Kenny, Associate Amelia Hanscombe and Lawyer Alexandra Lanyon provide an overview of its key findings and recommendations.

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  • Focus: WA Electricity Market Review - Government says 'yes' to Contestability, but 'no' to privatisation

    27 March 2015

    The WA State Government has rejected recommendations for significant and transformational structural changes to the state's electricity market in response to the recently released Electricity Market Review Options Paper, opting instead for measured and incremental change. Partners Andrew Pascoe and Ben Farnsworth comment on the announced policy agenda, its 'winners and losers' and what we can expect from here in relation to electricity market reform in Western Australia.

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  • Client Update: A boost for NT onshore oil and gas opportunities

    5 March 2015

    The Northern Territory Government has decided not to impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for its onshore oil and gas industry, giving the Territory's onshore oil and gas operators and investors investment certainty at a time that export and domestic opportunities are arising. Partner Ben Zillmann, Managing Associate John Hedge and Senior Associates Gobind Kalsi and Julieane Bull report.

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  • Client Update: What does the change of government mean for Queensland's energy and resources sector?

    13 February 2015

    With the results of the Queensland election having now been declared and the Labor Party invited to form government (with the support of an independent), Partner Ben Zillmann , Managing Associate John Hedge and Associate Andrea Moffatt look at the key policies announced by Labor before the election that could impact on the energy and resources sector.

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  • Focus: NSW Government releases NSW Gas Plan to 'reset' its regulatory approach for the sector

    17 November 2014

    The NSW Government has released the NSW Gas Plan which foreshadows more gas development in the State in conjunction with the introduction of 'tough' new legislation to manage future developments. Partner Igor Bogdanich, Senior Energy & Resources Counsel David Maloney AM, and Senior Associate Michael Zissis report.

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  • Client Update: Innovation and competitiveness agenda to benefit the resources and energy sectors

    6 November 2014

    The Federal Government has released its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, the industry-led growth and innovation component of its broader Economic Action Strategy reform. Industry participants in the resources and energy sectors will benefit from proposals which aim to increase competitiveness and drive economic growth in these prioritised sectors. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Lawyer Ellie Mulholland report on the proposals.

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  • Focus: Victorian Government releases major energy sector statement

    3 November 2014

    The Victorian Government has issued a statement setting out its view of the state's strategic objectives for the energy sector and the Government's energy priorities. Energy, Resources & Infrastructure Partner and Government Sector Leader Paul Kenny, and Associate Monique Donato, provide an overview.

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  • Focus: Federal Government takes next step in energy review

    26 September 2014

    The Federal Government has issued a Green Paper to inform the preparation of its Energy White Paper, which is due for release by the end of 2014. Partners Paul Kenny, Government Sector Leader, and Anna Collyer, Power and Utilities Sector Leader, provide an overview.

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  • Focus: The Warburton Report

    8 September 2014

    The Expert Panel appointed by the Federal Government to review the Renewable Energy Target scheme has recommended changes to it that would severely curtail its operation. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Focus: Significant review of WA electricity market

    3 September 2014

    The West Australian Government is looking to restructure the WA electricity market and has invited the industry to participate in a significant structural review, which will have a material impact on the Government's privatisation agenda, and the competitive and regulatory environment in which the privatisation of electricity generation or retail assets might occur. The Government has released a discussion paper that raises questions and issues for industry feedback. Partners Andrew Pascoe and Anna Collyer and Lawyer Katherine Glossop report.

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  • Focus: Queensland's new framework for the development of the deep gas and oil industry

    1 September 2014

    The Queensland Government has released a plan to encourage the viability of the emerging 'unconventional' deep gas and oil industry. Partner Igor Bogdanich, Managing Associate John Hedge and Lawyer Ellie Mulholland analyse the recommended changes to Queensland's onshore petroleum regulatory framework, which are aimed at reducing regulatory and commercial barriers to investment, and ensuring that the industry develops in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

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  • Focus: 'Axing the tax' - the end of the Australian carbon pricing scheme

    21 July 2014

    Federal Parliament has passed legislation to repeal the carbon pricing scheme, removing the nationwide impost on greenhouse gas emissions. Partner Grant Anderson and Associate Albert Yu report.

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  • Focus: Japan and Australia - a new era of opportunity

    11 July 2014

    This week's historic visit to Australia by the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has been widely lauded as the beginning of a new era in the relationship between the two countries. Japan Sector Leader and Partner Tim Lester and Senior Associate Penny Alexander report on the opportunities this new 'special relationship' will bring for both Australia and Japan.

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  • Focus: School chaplaincy program remains out of bounds of federal power

    26 June 2014

    In a decision that has potential implications for a raft of Federal Government programs, the High Court held that legislation, passed to authorise hundreds of government funding arrangements, is invalid insofar as it relates to the national schools chaplaincy program. The decision once again confirms that the Federal executive cannot enter into contracts or authorise spending on a subject matter that it does not have power to legislate for. Partner Paul Kenny and Lawyer Danielle Atkin report.

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  • Focus: Introduction of the Emissions Reduction Fund Bill

    23 June 2014

    The Federal Government has introduced into Parliament legislation for the establishment of its proposed Emissions Reduction Fund, which will provide businesses with opportunities to enter into contracts under which the Government pays them for undertaking carbon abatement. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report. 

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  • Focus: First step towards a Common Resources Act in Queensland

    12 June 2014

    New legislation has been introduced into the Queensland Parliament that will mark the first stage of a program that will attempt to rationalise the regulatory regime for all types of resources tenure in that state. The new legislation also introduces a number of major reforms to the land access and restricted land framework, overlapping coal and coal seam gas tenure, and to the mining lease application and objection process. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate John Hedge, Lawyers Andrea Moffatt and Hannah Lilley, and Law Graduate Daniel Bradford report.

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  • Focus: Greater flexibility for onshore petroleum tenure holders in Queensland

    3 June 2014

    Queensland's petroleum legislation was recently amended to provide greater flexibility to onshore petroleum tenure holders for a variety of matters, including extensions to work programs and terms of authorities to prospect, relinquishment conditions and work programs, and greater flexibility in both the reserves required for the grant of a petroleum lease and timing for commencement of production. Partner Ben Zillmann, Senior Associate John Hedge and Lawyer Andrea Moffatt report on these amendments, which have been designed to better align tenure issues with the practicalities of large-scale multi-tenement projects, but also to offer flexibility for smaller projects.

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  • Focus: Queensland retail energy reform

    27 May 2014

    The Queensland Government has introduced legislation to apply the National Energy Customer Framework to the sale of electricity and gas to retail customers in Queensland, and to replace regulated electricity prices with a price monitoring regime in south east Queensland. Partner Anna Collyer and Senior Associate Damien Hughes report.

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  • Client Update: Abolition of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target

    26 May 2014

    The Victorian State Government has announced the closure of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Scheme at the end of 2015, which will remove the annual obligation of large energy retailers to surrender energy efficiency certificates, as well as the financial benefits provided by the scheme for implementing energy efficiency improvements. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report.

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  • Client Update: Repeal of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program

    22 May 2014

    The Federal Government has introduced into Parliament legislation which, if passed, will terminate the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program and so remove the mandatory requirement for large energy using businesses to assess opportunities to improve energy efficiency and to report publicly on the outcomes of those assessments. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Albert Yu report.

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  • Client Update: Negative report on floating LNG technology in WA

    19 May 2014

    A major report on the economic viability of using floating LNG technology in WA has found it has the potential to impact negatively on that State's domestic gas supply and the State Government's revenue base. Partners Tracey Greenaway and Mark McAleer and Lawyer Anne Beresford consider the key findings and implications of the report, especially for those contemplating/planning a floating LNG project in WA waters.

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  • Focus: Using 'reasonable endeavours' - the importance of internal contractual standards

    28 April 2014

    The High Court has recently highlighted the significance of internal contractual standards when interpreting an obligation to use 'reasonable endeavours'. Partner Nick Rudge and Lawyers Goran Gelic and Timothy Leschke report on this development and its implications.

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  • Focus: China's business regulatory approval reforms - further steps to market liberalisation

    1 April 2014

    The PRC Government is reforming its corporate regulatory approval processes at an unprecedented rate. The changes are aimed at facilitating private sector investment (including foreign direct investment) in order to move towards a more market-driven economy. Over the past four months, new regulations have reduced and, in certain cases, removed, corporate regulatory approval requirements for a range of business activities and investments. As part of these reforms, changes have also been made to the PRC Company Law and associated regulations. Partner Kate Axup, Senior Associate Wayne Wang and Lawyer Shona Shang look at the key changes.

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  • Focus: Pricing and repeal of the carbon tax

    28 March 2014

    The legislation that will repeal Australia's carbon pricing scheme will also introduce some significant new prohibitions, and confer some extensive enforcement and price monitoring powers on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, to ensure that the repeal of the scheme is accompanied by a corresponding reduction in the price of emissions or energy-intensive goods and services. Partners Grant Anderson and Fiona Crosbie report.

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  • Focus: Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper released

    10 January 2014

    The Federal Government has released its Green Paper on the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund. Partner Grant Anderson reports on this proposed centrepiece of the Government's Direct Action Plan.

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  • Focus: New merits review regime commences

    9 January 2014

    Major changes to the merits review regime applying to regulated revenue and price determinations that the Australian Energy Regulator makes for electricity and gas networks have now come into operation. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Focus: New traditional owner negotiation requirements for central Victoria

    1 November 2013

    The Dja Dja Wurrung Land Use Activity Agreement has commenced operation, creating a new negotiation framework for activities on public land in central Victoria. Partner Chris Schulz and Senior Associates Emily Gerrard and Penny Creswell explore the implications.

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  • Client Update: NSW's latest proposal to put CSG activities 'off limits' in residential areas and villages

    9 October 2013

    The New South Wales Government has released new mapping to support its growing package of measures to regulate coal seam gas activities in the State. Partner David Maloney and Senior Associate Michael Zissis review the implications of the Government's latest announcement.

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  • Client Update: Queensland's 30-year electricity strategy

    16 September 2013

    The Queensland Government has released a discussion paper outlining how it proposes to meet the challenges facing the State's electricity sector in the immediate term and over the next 30 years. Partner John Greig and Senior Associate Damien Hughes report on the Government's specific proposals and reform agenda signalled in the paper.

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  • Focus: Regulated revenue guidelines released

    10 September 2013

    The Australian Energy Regulator's recently released draft guidelines on its proposed approach to regulating electricity and gas transmission and distribution revenues indicate how it intends to exercise its expanded discretion in relation to electricity and gas transmission and distribution regulatory determinations. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Levona Lavi report.

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  • Focus: Now for the Direct Action Plan

    9 September 2013

    The Coalition's election victory means that, assuming it ultimately gains control of the Senate, or is otherwise able to garner sufficient votes from the non-Coalition parties in the Senate, the current carbon pricing scheme will soon be replaced with the Coalition's Direct Action Plan. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Focus: National infrastructure plan revealed

    5 July 2013

    Infrastructure Australia has released a 50-year plan for national infrastructure, including an update to the national infrastructure priority list. The plan identifies key infrastructure challenges, and what needs to be done to address them in the near and long-term future. Partner Emma Warren and Lawyer Freya Dinshaw report.

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  • Client Update: SCER announces reforms to limited merits review regime

    19 June 2013

    Following an independent expert panel's report, the Standing Council on Energy and Resources intends to implement a substantial range of reforms to the limited merits review regime for electricity and gas regulatory decisions. However, several of the expert panel's most significant recommendations will not be adopted. Partner Paul Kenny and Lawyer Ben Strate report.

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  • Focus: Malaysian risk service contracts - the implications

    13 June 2013

    The offshore licensing unit of Malaysia's national oil company recently invited bids for 10 marginal fields in its third risk service contract licensing round in as many years. Partners Igor Bogdanich and Anthony Patten, and Lawyer Ainsley Reid-Willet, discuss the background to the need for such contracts, and the implications of the new contracts for oil and gas companies looking at investing in Malaysia.

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  • Focus: Queensland Government responds to Costello audit report

    9 May 2013

    The Costello Commission of Audit Report and the Queensland Government's response last week could transform the State's economy by recasting the way the Queensland public sector interacts with the private sector. Partner John Greig examines the main recommendations and the Government's response.

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  • Focus: New EU financial disclosure requirements for resources and logging sectors

    24 April 2013

    Companies listed in the EU and large private companies in the EU that operate in the extractives and logging industries will need to report on payments made to host governments, both on a country and project basis, under a new EU legislative proposal that is part of a trend towards improving transparency in the extractives sector. Compliance costs will be significant and companies need to start preparing now, as Partner Anthony Patten, Senior Associate Dora Banyasz and Lawyer Raquel Dos Santos report. 

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  • Focus: China encourages foreign involvement in green energy

    23 April 2013

    Although still light on specifics, a policy articulating China's plans for the development of its coalbed methane reserves has signalled the PRC Government's intention to encourage foreign investment as a way of dealing with the national demand for clean energy. Partner Kate Axup, Senior Associate Wayne Wang and Trainee Solicitor Alice Mok look at the policy's changes that are relevant to international oil and gas companies.

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  • Focus: Further regulation of coal seam gas activities in NSW

    25 February 2013

    In response to widespread community concerns regarding increasing coal seam gas activities, particularly near residential areas, the New South Wales Government has announced a package of measures to strengthen the regulation of the coal seam gas industry. Partner David Maloney and Senior Associate Georgina Cowdroy report.

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  • Focus: Queensland Government opens door to oil shale industry

    18 February 2013

    The Newman Government has just introduced a new oil shale policy that encourages private sector research and investment in oil shale extraction, by removing restrictions on the development of an oil shale industry. Partner Ben Zillmann and Lawyer Faheem Anwar look at the new policy.

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  • Client Update: The changing environment of uranium mining

    18 December 2012

    As longstanding bans on uranium mining are being relaxed and lifted across many Australian jurisdictions, our uranium specialists summarise the current Federal regulatory framework that controls its exploration and extraction.

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  • Focus: Review of the national access regime

    10 December 2012

    The Productivity Commission has been tasked with reviewing the effectiveness of Australia's national third party access regime, which potentially applies to all nationally significant infrastructure. As part of this process it has released an Issues Paper setting out the matters it will focus on in its review. Special Counsel Verity Quinn and Senior Associate John Hedge report on the key topics raised in the paper.

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  • Focus: Senate Select Committee on Electricity prices report released

    21 November 2012

    The Senate Select Committee on Electricity Prices has released its report, which lays out a series of recommendations, findings and comments in relation to rising electricity prices in Australia and the current electricity regulatory framework in the National Electricity Market. Partner Grant Anderson and Law Graduate Albert Yu report.

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