Energy Security in Australia

Energy Security in Australia

The term energy security is linked with the national security and ensures that nation has natural resources required for energy production in plenty to serve their energy requirements. For modern economies it has becomes essential to gain access to high amount of energy in order to fulfil their energy requirements. Further energy requirements for modern countries are not meet by the energy supplied to them creating a big demand supply gap for the countries.

Energy security is constituted mainly through renewable resources of energy which are efficient enough to fulfil the energy requirement of the country for sustained period of time. Further deployment of renewable resources of energy would allow a nation to reduce pressure on the non-renewable resources of the energy so that overall efficiency of the energy resources can be enhanced in addition to the economic benefits to the country. Further in current generation looking into the harmful impacts of excess usage of the non-renewable energy sources have raised the concern for the several nations as these resources would fall short for future consumption and impacts the economy of a particular country. Another harmful impact of the excess usage of non-renewable energy resources would be in terms of increasing power for some of the countries controlling non-renewable resources of energy such as petroleum.

Factors affecting energy security

There are several factors which affects the energy security in the countries around the globe which includes below mentioned:

  • Political instability: Energy producing countries especially oil countries are limited in nature which serve more than 50% requirement of the overall world energy requirements. But these countries are not having political stability which affects the overall energy security in the world as continuous energy resource can’t be ensured through these countries in view of political instability in these countries.
  • Manipulations of energy supplies: Energy supplies are manipulated by some of the dominated countries through their strong political linked. Due to these manipulations some of the countries are not able to ensure energy supplies to their country for meeting their energy requirements.
  • Energy resource competition: Energy resources are scarce in nature and are into huge demand from countries around the world as in present situation more than 90% of the countries are not able to meet their energy requirements through in house energy production and are dependent on some foreign countries for meeting their energy requirements.
  • Natural disaster: Natural disaster such as earthquake, flood and storm are another major factor affecting the energy security for any country. Many a times energy security is ruined through natural disaster as well which results into heavy loss of energy resources. Natural disaster can be considered as one of the most prominent issue for the energy security in a country and also enhance energy requirement for the country as disaster situations require higher energy to re-develop the whole system.
  • Reliance of dominant countries for supply of oil from foreign countries: Some of the politically strong countries relies heavily on the other oil producing countries and are having big demand for energy resources so as to fuel their economic growth. Due to their political power in the other countries these countries dominant and get their energy resources from the oil producing countries by providing their political support and other resources to these countries which become major concern for the energy security for less politically activated countries.

Causal loop diagram for showing findings

Figure 1 below shows the causal loop diagram along with the system variables and causal links for general applicability. The text given in the below figure provides the system variables while arrow pointing shows the causal links within the system variables. The R symbol indicates the reinforcing feedback which may cause the runaway behaviour. The figure below depicts the causal loop diagram with policy resistance where in it initiates with stored water and policy to reduce the consumption of water in household purpose. This has given birth to unexpected problem in energy security. Sewers have been designed with assumption of high water flow in them but due to less amount of water these sewers are block up. Further in order to maintain proper sewers electric driven pressurized sewers are built up.

 Energy Security in Australia

Figure 1: Showing the causal loop diagram for energy security

Hence higher electricity would be in demand so as to run the sewers for passage of water. In order to generate this higher electricity demand higher amount of water would be required which would compensate the water saved through usage into household usage. This would give rise to an ongoing loop where in efforts put in order to save water would be undercut by this.  Hence many a time policy designed are narrowly defined and do not take into consideration the cross sector feedback loops.

Energy security in context to Australia & relevant issues

In order to meet the energy requirement in Australia through renewable energy resource National Electricity Market (NEM) has been formed which would take care for overall production for electricity in order to serve the demand of electricity in eight states. In order to meet the energy security objectives in Australia it is important to develop the resilient electricity supply system in the country having some of the key characteristics as the encouragement to diversity & innovation, technology development approach in energy sector, identification of role of modularity & redundancy and to adapt dynamic system approach.

NEM is not having technological infrastructure as such but it has several compliance such as regulatory and governance structure which makes it difficult for the new entrant into the field for making innovation & diversity into the field. Further most of the capital involved into NEM has been put through public money but no new entrant get such subsidy in order to setup their infrastructure which would create a big limitation for them. Hence as shown in the figure below market players hoping to employ alternative technology are not able to compete due to non availability of subsidy to these players.

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Figure 2: Showing the CLD for alternative technology development

NEM is having entire focus on economic efficiency in order to setup the efficient system of national economy to meet power requirement for the nation. There are so many power stations which have been created in order to provide redundancy to the system thereby reliability as well. This has been done so that in case one system fail other may pick up the load but sometime it may become adverse and all system might fail eventually which would create a big problem for the whole system.

In National electricity system there is natural tension between the market mechanism and the adoption of system approach. Hence the state of system would be dependent on the market mechanism with dependence over the several external factors involved in the phenomenon. Hence a wider system approach would consider these external factors as a part of the internal system to consider the impacts on the market mechanism. It means that it is difficult to include all cost pertaining to development of NEM with national electricity market. Hence the major issue would be to ensure that the NEM would evolve to get higher resilience along with the passage of time.

CLD for Australia

Causal loop diagram for Australia has been shown in the figure below where in the technology neutrality is recognised for the energy security in Australia. Further the loop begins with the security and reliability needs for the national electricity market. Further technology neutrality has been considered but still there is resilience for technological innovation in lieu of barriers to entry for new players in electricity production market. Further this gives rise to range of generation technologies are employed for the national electricity market.

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Figure 3: Showing the causal loop diagram for Australia

Impact of carbon reduction on energy security through CLD

Carbon reduction has high impact on energy security as it would enhance the usage of more and more clean sources of energy and with this dependence on carbon resources would decrease up to high extent. This would strengthen the energy security of the country along with self dependence of the various countries in order to meet their energy requirement by themselves. Especially for Australia there is high impact of carbon reduction on energy security as country depends heavily on the carbon energy resources in order to meet their energy requirements. This reduction in carbon would be possible in case there is better development of the renewable energy resources in Australia which are efficient enough to meet the power requirements of the country with cost effective ways.

It is necessary for Australia to implement some of the key modifications in their energy sector so as to ensure advanced version of the renewable energy resources. Carbon reduction can happen in case there are high technological advances in the field of renewable energy resources in Australia and external market players would be allowed in the Australian market to enter with the subsidy or capital allotted to these market players through the public funds. Hence better competition can be developed in the Australian market which would give rise to efficient production and distribution of electricity in the market so as to enhance supply for electricity which would meet energy requirement by reducing carbon.

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