What is the future of Australian energy exports in a carbon constrained world? - Grattan Institute

What is the future of Australian energy exports in a carbon constrained world?

For the last decade Australia’s balance of trade has been heavily reliant on coal exports. With future global demand for coal potentially softening, and the demand for renewable energy rising, what is the likely impact…


For the last decade Australia’s balance of trade has been heavily reliant on coal exports, and we have great expectations to become the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas. But things are changing: future global demand for coal looks soft, there is recent uncertainty about gas prices and Australia’s competitiveness, and demand for renewable energy is rising. This forum considered the likely impact on Australia’s future energy exports. Potential low emission technology options such as carbon capture and storage and concentrating solar thermal will also be considered, as will novel technologies including high-voltage direct-current electricity exports and energy intensive exports produced by renewable energy.


Maxine Mckew is a Vice Chancellorʼs Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Located in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education she has drawn on the expertise and substantial research of the school to inform her stories of success and challenge in Australian education. Maxine’s background is in journalism and politics. For many years she was a familiar face to ABC TV viewers and was anchor of prestigious programmes such as Lateline and 7.30 Report. Her work has been recognised by her peers and she is a recipient of both Logie and Walkely awards. When she left broadcasting and made the switch to politics, she wrote herself into the Australian history books by defeating Prime Minister John Howard in the Sydney seat of Bennelong. In government she was both parliamentary secretary for early childhood, and later for infrastructure and local government. She is a director of three not for profit boards, Per Capita, the John Cain Foundation and Playgroup Australia.


Tania Constable is the CEO of CO2CRC. Tania has had an extensive career in the Australian public service, with a particular focus in the field of resources and energy over the last 15 years. She has been instrumental in the development and implementation of policies and regulations applying to Australia’s on and offshore mineral and energy resources. Her experience includes various senior resources and energy roles in the Department of Industry. Most recently, Tania was the Head of Resources, where she had responsibility for policy and legislative advice to the Minister for Industry on oil and gas regulation, exploration and development and mining activities, across petroleum, coal, minerals and uranium. In 2013, Tania was recognised with an Australia Day Meritorious Award Public Service Medal, for outstanding public service in the development of Australia’s Liquefied Natural Gas and other resource and energy industries.

Keith Lovegrove is a Senior Consultant in Solar Thermal at IT Power Group. Keith is a leading expert in Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and has more than 20 years’ experience in leading solar thermal research – including 15 years teaching at the ANU as leader of the Solar Thermal Group. One of Keith’s major achievements has been leading the design and construction of the largest concentrating solar dish in the world (at 500m2). He has spoken extensively around the world at conferences and in the media on Concentrating Solar and related topics. He has held board positions in the ANZ Solar Energy Society, and been a key contributor to the IEA Solar PACES program. He is the editor of Concentrating Solar Power Technology – Principles, Developments and Applications, a book on CSP technology by Woodhead Publishing UK, published in 2012.

Fiona Wild is the Vice President Environment and Climate Change at BHP Billiton. Fiona joined BHP in 2010 as Senior Manager Environment and was successfully appointed to this role in February 2013. Fiona has over 15 years’ experience in multinational oil and gas and resources companies, ranging from frontline operational management to corporate strategic development across a variety of countries and businesses. Fiona began her career as a graduate with oil and gas major BP in Aberdeen, UK. Fiona worked for several years in various operational environmental management roles in both the upstream exploration and downstream refining businesses, before taking a corporate policy role at BP’s headquarters in London.