Allens

Power & Utilities

Our experienced Power & Utilities legal team regularly publishes articles and updates – the full list of publications appears below. These publications provide a snapshot of the latest legislation, court cases, policy changes and contentious issues. If you'd like to be notified when we add new 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.

For publications in other legal areas see our recent publications page.

Power & Utilities Publications

  • Client Update: National Energy Guarantee moves to the next stage

    15 August 2018

    The COAG Energy Council has voted to progress the development of the National Energy Guarantee by approving the release of the draft National Electricity Law amendments. Partners Anna Collyer and Kate Axup and Managing Associate Karla Drinkwater discuss what has been approved, the details still to be clarified and the next steps towards implementation of the National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Report: Summary of the ACCC's Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry Final Report

    7 August 2018

    In this publication We unpack some of the key issues raised by the ACCC in its recent Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry Final Report. We look at the ACCC's findings across the electricity supply chain relating to input gas prices, wholesale markets, network costs, retail prices and consumers switching behaviours.

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  • Report: National Electricity & Gas Rules Update: July 2018

    6 August 2018

    Tis update examines the Rule changes during July and, in particular, the final AEMC report on the Reliability Frameworks Review.

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  • Client Update: A new framework for transmission network connections

    30 July 2018

    Connecting to the network is a fundamental part of getting any new renewable energy development off the ground. The rules governing arrangements for connection to the transmission network changed on 1 July 2018, and are designed to increase transparency and contestability in the connection process and decrease the costs of connection. Partner Kate Axup, Senior Associate Angela Lu and Law Graduate Katy Milne consider some of the key ways in which the new rules will affect developers of new renewable energy facilities.

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  • Client Update: Corporate PPAs - What's happening?

    17 July 2018

    Power purchase agreements are no longer the exclusive domain of retailers. As electricity prices rise and we move towards a carbon constrained future, companies are looking for ways to manage their exposure to changing electricity prices and to purchase electricity from renewable sources. Generators are also looking beyond retailers as potential offtakers to support the development of new renewables facilities. Consequently, over the past year power purchase agreements with corporate offtakers (Corporate PPAs) have become increasingly popular in Australia.

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  • Report: National Electricity & Gas Rules Update 2018

    13 July 2018

    In this final wrap-up for FY17/18 we take a look at the new rule change requests, draft and final determinations made in the period April – June 2018 as well as track the progress of other National Electricity, Gas and Energy Retail Rule changes currently underway.

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  • Client Update: ACCC makes 56 recommendations for sweeping energy sector reform

    11 July 2018

    The ACCC today released its final report on the Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry. The report finds the national electricity market is not functioning effectively and that extensive reform is required to bring down prices and restore consumer confidence. It makes 56 significant recommendations aimed at boosting competition in generation and retail markets, lowering supply chain costs and improving consumer and business experiences and outcomes.

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  • Client Update: What you need to know about the national energy guarantee and demand response

    19 June 2018

    Following the Energy Security Board's release of the National Energy Guarantee Draft Detailed Design Consultation Paper, Partner Kate Axup, Associate Mark Leersnyder, and Lawyer Mohamed Khairat consider the challenges and opportunities surrounding demand response as an alternative form of dispatchable capacity in the Australian energy market. This article is part of a series in which Allens examines aspects of the proposed National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Client Update: National Energy Guarantee enters critical consultation phase

    18 June 2018

    The Energy Security Board has released its Draft Detailed Design Consultation Paper. The paper flags some interesting developments from the April high-level design, with further detail expected in technical working group papers flagged for release one week into the four-week consultation period. Partner Anna Collyer discusses key aspects of the consultation paper.

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  • Client Update: New reporting requirements for critical infrastructure

    4 June 2018

    New reporting requirements for critical infrastructure require the lodgement of information on the Register of Critical Infrastructure Assets before 11 January 2019. This is the time for owners and operators of Australian infrastructure to consider whether any of their assets qualify as 'critical infrastructure'. Partner Wendy Rae and Senior Associate Nick Kefalianos explain what critical infrastructure is and who will be affected by the new requirements.

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  • Client Update: National Energy Guarantee - the emissions requirement in Australia's carbon policy landscape

    23 May 2018

    Following the recent release of the National Energy Guarantee High Level Design Document, Partner Jillian Button xand Lawyer Dale Straughen consider how the proposed emissions reduction requirement of the Guarantee will interact with Australia's existing emissions reduction policies. This article is part of a series in which Allens examines aspects of the proposed National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Client Update: National Energy Guarantee - development of Emissions Requirement

    3 May 2018

    Following the recent release of the National Energy Guarantee High Level Design Document, Partner Anna Collyer and Senior Associate Karla Drinkwater report on the proposed Emissions Requirement of the National Energy Guarantee, which seeks to lower emissions in keeping with international commitments. This article considers developments in the Emissions Requirement's design since the initial Consultation Paper was released in February 2018, and is part of a series in which Allens examines aspects of the proposed National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Client Update: Preparing for the NEG's Reliability Guarantee - be alert, not alarmed

    27 April 2018

    Following the recent release of the National Energy Guarantee High Level Design Document by the Energy Security Board, Partner Anna Collyer and Associate Mark Leersnyder report on the proposed Reliability Guarantee component of the National Energy Guarantee, which seeks to improve the supply and demand signals being sent to retailers, large energy users, and investors in generation and demand response. This article looks at what retailers, large customers and energy project investors could be doing to prepare for the Reliability Guarantee — if they decide to do anything — and is part of a series in which Allens examines aspects of the proposed National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Client Update: The National Energy Guarantee's Reliability Guarantee and what it means for you

    26 March 2018

    Following the release of the National Energy Guarantee draft design consultation paper by the Energy Security Board, Partner Anna Collyer and Associate Mark Leersnyder report on the NEG's proposed Reliability Guarantee component (which gives a greater role to regulatory institutions to plan and manage electricity supply and demand), and consider some of the risks and opportunities for industry participants, administrators and regulators that may arise from the proposed approach. This is the third of a series of articles in which Allens will examine aspects of the proposed high-level design options for the National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Client Update: The National Energy Guarantee and contracting to achieve compliance

    5 March 2018

    Following the release of the National Energy Guarantee draft design consultation paper by the Energy Security Board, Partners Anna Collyer and Kate Axup and Senior Associate Karla Drinkwater report on the compliance requirements proposed by the Energy Security Board and how contracts already in existence will be treated under the National Energy Guarantee. This is the second of a series of articles in which Allens will examine aspects of the proposed high-level design options for the National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Client Update: National Energy Guarantee - Emissions Requirement

    20 February 2018

    Following the recent release of the National Energy Guarantee draft design consultation paper by the Energy Security Board, Partner Kate Axup and Senior Associate Karla Drinkwater report on key aspects of the Emissions Requirement and its interaction with the existing Renewable Energy Target scheme. This is the first of a series of articles in which Allens will examine aspects of the proposed high-level design options for the National Energy Guarantee.

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  • Client Update: China's National Carbon Market - what to expect

    2 February 2018

    China will soon have the world's largest emissions trading scheme (ETS), according to announcements made late last year by China's state planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). According to the NDRC, China's national ETS will be operating by 2020 and it will initially cover the power sector only. Partner Jillian Button and Associate Shona Shang report on the key aspects.

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  • Client Update: Northern Territory's bold renewable energy target

    11 December 2017

    Recently, the Northern Territory Government released the Roadmap to Renewables report. The report considers how the Government could successfully implement a policy to achieve half of the Territory's energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030. The report indicates that considerable amounts of new, privately funded, renewable energy generation will be required to meet the target. Partner Jodi Reinmuth and Lawyer Alexander Ninkov consider the report's recommendations and the Northern Territory Government's response.

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  • Client Update: National Energy Guarantee

    28 November 2017

    The Energy Security Board recently released a report summarising the results of its modelling of the Federal Government's new energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee. The Energy Security Board's report was considered by the COAG Energy Council at its meeting on 24 November, 2017 and gives an insight into how the National Energy Guarantee will be formulated. Partner Kate Axup and Senior Associate Karla Drinkwater look at COAG's decision making in relation to the National Energy Guarantee, the governance framework proposed for the Guarantee, and how certain states may need to counter possible competition issues.

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  • Paper: Renewables in Vietnam - Opportunities for investment

    17 August 2017

    The demand for electricity in Vietnam is rising rapidly to power its fast-growing economy. In order to meet this demand, the Government of Vietnam is planning for substantial expansion to the national power generation capacity. Renewable energy forms an important part of this vision and is targeted to make up 21 per cent of the overall power capacity and generate 10 per cent of electricity by 2030.

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  • Allens insights: Getting The Deal Through: Boom in renewables

    4 August 2017

    Allens Partners Ben Farnsworth, Michael Ryan and Tim Stewart were part of the global panel analysing the boom in renewables in the Australian project finance market. In Getting the Deal Through's third annual issue focusing on the global project finance markets, Ben, Michael and Tim look at the trends over the past year and what they anticipate unfolding over the next year, including any proposed legal and regulatory changes that may give rise to new opportunities.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - System security: its impact on energy investment

    21 July 2017

    While much of the commentary on the Finkel Review has been around a clean energy target, a number of very important, but very technical, issues relating to system security were also canvassed. The Review recognised that system security characteristics should be valued, and regulated, in addition to the amount of energy actually produced. Changes in this area are likely to have the most impact on network operators and solar and wind farm generators seeking to connect to the network in locations where there is limited synchronous generation and low system strength.  

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Electricity: Design for a market in transition

    18 July 2017

    In the fifth of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at signals for new investment in the National Electricity Market. The Review's responses to this issue reject sweeping changes to the wholesale market structure, but call for more immediate and targeted measures to support the transition of the energy market. Partner Anna Collyer and Law Graduate Maddy Foote assess solutions and opportunities for investment signals in the wholesale market, and the requirement for them to promote reliable, secure and affordable electricity.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Renewables: The importance of regulatory certainty for renewables

    30 June 2017

    In the third of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at implications for the renewable energy sector. Two recommendations in particular – the Clean Energy Target (CET) and the Generator Reliability Obligation - raise a number of opportunities and issues for investment in the renewable energy sector. Partner Kate Axup and Associate Danielle Jones report.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Distributed Energy Resources: Unlocking potential and future partnerships

    23 June 2017

    In the second of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at Dr Finkel's assessment on the growth of distributed energy resources (DERs) in the Australian energy landscape and his suggestions for future incentivisation and 'orchestration'. These suggestions have raised a number of considerations and opportunities, particularly in relation to the pioneering of business and government programs and partnerships to incentivise DER. Partner Andrew Mansour, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Law Graduate Sarah Dobbie report.

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  • Client Update: Finkel Review - Gas: A revolving door or real change?

    20 June 2017

    In the first of our series analysing the Finkel Review, we look at Dr Finkel's assessment on the place of gas in the Australian energy landscape and his suggestions for the creation of 'more efficient gas markets'. These suggestions include both the familiar and the novel, but it is yet to be seen if Dr Finkel's vision of the future will be realised. Partner Igor Bogdanich (view CV) and Lawyer Darcy McLennan report.

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  • Client Update: Finkel: the solution for our energy future?

    13 June 2017

    As the saying goes, 'never let a good crisis' go to waste. The Finkel Review, commissioned after blackouts in South Australia and delivered by Australia's Chief Scientist last week, may prove to be the right report at the right time to garner support for energy and emissions policy positions that could provide investment certainty, regulatory direction and political peace for generations. Our energy experts consider the report's broader implications for Australian business: what questions should business leaders be asking of their teams in a post-Finkel world?

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  • Client Update: Victorian Government proposes reforms to reserve domestic gas production

    7 June 2017

    The Victorian Government has today proposed significant gas market reforms, primarily involving the introduction of a cap on the export of gas from Victoria, in order to facilitate the reservation of domestic gas production for domestic supply. The proposed reforms are aimed at reducing domestic gas prices, preserving jobs in the industry and ensuring the security of supply for Victorian homes and businesses. Partner Igor Bogdanich and Lawyer Darcy McLennan report.

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  • Client Update: ACCC calls for comment on electricity retail supply and pricing

    7 June 2017

    The ACCC has taken the first major step in its inquiry into electricity retail supply and pricing in the National Electricity Market by releasing an issues paper and calling for submissions by 30 June 2017. The issues paper focuses on three broad areas: the pricing, costs and profits of electricity retailers, market structure and retail competition, and retail customers' interaction with the market. Partner Jacqueline Downes and Associate David Mierendorff report.

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  • Focus: Parliament passes diverted profits tax legislation

    31 March 2017

    Legislation to implement a diverted profits tax has passed the Federal Parliament. From 1 July 2017, the tax may potentially apply to the diversion of profits offshore through arrangements between related parties. Targeted at large multinational groups, the diverted profits tax is a fusion of anti-avoidance and transfer pricing rules. Partner Toby Knight and Senior Associate Scott Lang discuss the final form of the legislation and the steps multinational groups should take to prepare for its implementation.

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  • Client Update: Review of climate change policies discussion paper

    28 March 2017

    Following the release of the terms of reference for the 2017 climate change policy review in December 2016, the Federal Government has recently released its climate change policy review discussion paper for public consultation. Partner Andrew Mansour, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Lawyer Holly Woodcroft report.

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  • Client Update: Misinterpretation of REC liability exemption leaves islanded generator high and dry

    14 March 2017

    A decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirming an assessment by the Clean Energy Regulator as to the liability of an off-grid generator under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (Cth) highlights the need for liable entities to carefully consider their reliance on the 'small systems exemption'. Partner John Greig and Senior Associate Andrea Moffatt look at the decision which demonstrates the continued complexity facing those operating in the electricity sector.

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  • Allens insights: Trends over the past year in the Australian projects and infrastructure sectors

    8 February 2017

    A substantial pipeline of both private and public infrastructure projects has attracted a variety of local and offshore project finance providers wishing to gain exposure to returns from these attractive Australian investment opportunities. Allens Partners Nick Adkins, Scott McCoy and Rob Watt look at how this is unfolding, the increase in non-bank lenders competing for projects, the various funding models at play, and the opportunities available in the near future.

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  • Client Update: Move to national regulation delayed

    14 November 2016

    As part of the Western Australian Government's electricity market review, legislation was introduced recently into Parliament for Western Australia to participate for the first time in the National Electricity Law from 1 July 2018. However, the Public Utilities Office has confirmed speculation that time has run out for those reforms to be enacted ahead of the election in March 2017. Partner Jodi Reinmuth and Lawyer Alex Ninkov give an overview of the proposed reforms and next steps.

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  • Client Update: Reforming the NWIS

    21 October 2016

    Recently, the Western Australian Government released a report on the Pilbara's electricity infrastructure. The report considers the future regulatory landscape and best practice development of the North West Interconnected System and proposes new rules governing access to the system to promote availability, security and cost of supply. Partner Jodi Reinmuth and Lawyer Alexander Ninkov look at what the report recommends.

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  • Client Update: Paris Agreement on climate change to enter into force before COP22

    6 October 2016

    Overnight, the Paris Agreement met its second and final threshold for entry into force, when the EU lodged its instruments of ratification with the UN. Partner Andrew Mansour, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Associate Ellie Mulholland take a brief look at the events this week that triggered the early entry into force of this landmark climate change agreement.

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  • Client Update: New Draft Wind Energy Planning Framework

    8 August 2016

    The New South Wales Government has released its new Wind Energy Planning Framework, with the aim of establishing a more efficient and consistent assessment and approval regime for wind energy projects and also addressing the concerns raised by stakeholders to the 2011 draft Guidelines. The 'buffer zone' focus under the 2011 draft Guidelines has been set aside in favour of a merits-based analysis, which focuses on key issues of noise and visual impact. Partner Paul Lalich, Planning Special Counsel Marcia Doheny and Lawyer Claire Macdonald consider the new Framework and its implications.

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  • Client Update: New wind farm planning code and guideline for Queensland

    19 July 2016

    The Queensland Government has announced a new wind farm planning code that shifts the responsibility for assessing wind farm developments from local governments to the State Government, and provides a consistent approach to assessing wind farms across the State. Partner Bill McCredie, Associate David Thorpe and Lawyer Kate Ah Shay look at the Queensland Government's new role and consider the planning code and supporting guideline.

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  • Special Report: Understanding the opportunities and navigating the legal frameworks of distributed ledger technology and blockchain

    17 June 2016

    Authored by a multidisciplinary team from Allens, Blockchain Reaction is designed to assist business stakeholders, decision makers and in-house counsel across a variety of sectors to understand the technology and how it is being used, as well as navigate the regulatory and legal opportunities and challenges.

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  • Focus: Predictive coding: the future of electronic document production?

    25 February 2016

    A recent decision of the English High Court may pave the way for the use of 'predictive coding' in large scale discovery and regulatory investigations in Australia. Partners Nick Rudge and Duncan Travis, Managing Associate Kate Austin and Associate Emily Giblin look at the benefits and risks of the new software.

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  • Focus: Australia has lifted certain sanctions on Iran

    18 February 2016

    In response to recent confirmation that Iran has met its international nuclear commitments, the Australian Government has lifted all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions against that country. Partner Rachel Nicolson, Managing Associate Hilary Birks and Associate Sarah Jenkins report on what has changed and the potential opportunities for Australian businesses.

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  • 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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  • Focus: COP21 and the Paris Agreement

    14 December 2015

    Over the weekend in Paris, two weeks of negotiations culminated in the adoption by all parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of a conference decision and Paris Agreement to address climate change. The combined Paris Outcome commits parties to limit global temperature rise to 'well below 2°C' with an aspirational target of a 1.5°C limit. Co-Heads of the Allens Climate Change Group, Andrew Mansour and Emily Gerrard (who attended COP21) provide initial comments on the Paris Outcome below.

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  • Report: Green Bonds: emergence of the Australian and Asian markets

    23 October 2015

    The global market for Green Bonds continues to grow steadily, driven by strong investor demand and the continual need for capital to finance 'green' projects.

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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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  • 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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  • Focus: A series of 'firsts' under the National Electricity Law

    3 March 2015

    The Federal Court has issued the first court-ordered civil penalties for breaches of the National Electricity Rules, demonstrating a willingness to apply an 'agreed pecuniary penalty' negotiated by regulators and respondents. This decision is important not just to the energy sector but also to businesses operating in other highly regulated industries. Government sector leader and Partner Paul Kenny and Associate Amelia Hanscombe report.

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