Australia has abundant world-class renewable energy resources and many decades worth of coal, gas and uranium, with good potential for more discoveries. Our oil reserves are more limited but could be supplemented through new discoveries and technological advances.
With around $290 billion of energy resource projects in planning or under development, we are well placed to supply our domestic energy needs and service global energy markets over the coming decade. These projects will make an enormous contribution to our economy, in particular through jobs and regional development.
However, high energy commodity prices have stimulated intense competition for investment and new supply from other producers, so there is no room for complacency. As a relatively high-cost producer, we must continue to improve our competitiveness to attract further investment and lock in a long-term pipeline of new exploration and development projects.
The private sector will develop the vast bulk of our energy resources and is well equipped to overcome many of the technical challenges associated with those developments. Government has an important role in ensuring that there are clear and supportive policy and regulatory frameworks to guide efficient development. The key policy challenges in this area include:
promoting competitiveness by streamlining and improving regulation
improving prospectivity by building our energy resources knowledge base, and continuing to provide high-quality geoscientific information
managing co-development pressures and ensuring that developments are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable, and support the transformation to a clean energy economy
improving our capacity to support development by ensuring that infrastructure keeps pace with energy and export needs and that there is a skilled and available workforce.
promoting opportunities for local businesses and Indigenous communities.
Continued economic and social expansion in the rapidly industrialising economies of Asia is fuelling growing demand for Australian energy resources. We are now a leading supplier to markets such as China, Japan and Korea, and into emerging markets such as India.
There is an impressive pipeline of energy resource investments, but around a third of that investment has yet to be finally decided. In an increasingly competitive environment, our focus must be on ensuring that committed projects go ahead and on facilitating new projects from early stages through to delivery.
Australian society increasingly demands that economic development, particularly the exploitation of our natural resources, is undertaken sustainably and with social, environmental and economic considerations equally in mind. This is a shared responsibility: government, business and the community all need to make important contributions to find lasting solutions.
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