Energy sector modelling is a useful tool to help policymakers, industry and the public understand what the future energy sector would look like under a range of different scenarios, and its impact on the broader economy.
The principal electricity sector modelling used to inform the development of the Energy White Paper included modelling by SKM MMA and ROAM for the Australian Treasury in 2011 for Strong growth, low pollution1 and modelling in 2012 by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE).
The following broad trends are observable across the modelling:
- Under all three models, fossil fuels remain the dominant provider of electricity generation to 2030.
- There is an increasing share of clean energy technologies over time as the carbon price increases and emissions-intensive technologies become less competitive.
- All scenarios show a major role for carbon capture and storage by 2050 in the presence of a carbon price.
However, the detailed results vary. This is mainly due to differences in inputs and assumptions (such as demand, technology costs and fuels), as well as the different modelling frameworks used.
In addition to these models there are a number of interactive modelling tools such as CSIRO's eFuture interactive website, www.eFuture.csiro.au. This site allows users to explore alternative energy futures for Australia and see how different choices change where we can get our energy from, the price, and related carbon emissions through to 2050.
1 Treasury, 2011, Strong growth, low pollution: modelling a carbon price, Treasury, Canberra.