Page 136 - Australian Defence Magazine September 2018
P. 136

“The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) recently stated that Australia does not have the energy reserves it once had to lean on in times of need.”
• “Strategies to prevent and mitigate liq- uid fuel supply disruptions relate pri- marily to the regulation of safety. This is because risks associated with safety are (unlike geopolitical and industrial dis- pute) able to be identified and either re- moved or reduced to acceptable levels.”
• The WA Government recommends that individuals, businesses, government and communities assess their specific vul- nerabilities to a supply disruption and make the necessary preparations to en- sure the continuity of daily operations. Thebottomlineisthat,giventhede-
teriorating security environment in the
Asia Pacific region, we are in a strategic warning period for fuel security, we have a flawed NESA that is out of date, there are no Government-owned strategic fuel reserves and no mandated industry fuel stocks. We're a 100 per cent reliant on market forces and there is no Plan B ... apart from the helpful advice for everyone to make the “necessary preparations.”
The lack of a Systems
Design approach
The lack of an integrated, systems design of Australia’s energy system is also a ma- jor vulnerability. Australia’s energy infra- structure was not designed as an integrat- ed system; it evolved over many decades as it changed from public owned to privately owned infrastructure components, with little Government regulation and little apparent thought about how secure and resilient energy systems can be developed. The evolution of the piece parts has, in ef- fect, been left to the market.
The 2018 IEA review of Australia’s en- ergypoliciesalludedtothelackofasys- tems view when it recommended that the
Government needs to “Design an energy and climate policy framework for 2030” and highlighted that “as the energy system transformation is underway, Government action to ensure an orderly energy transi- tion becomes vital”.
Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, the Chair of the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, has identified the need to think about an integrated systems approach when he sug- gested that we should look at Australia’s National security as an ecosystem. For example, he called for the fuel supply is- sue to be elevated to a national security is- sue: “you can have the best military in the world but it’s futile if you can’t fuel it”.
Similarly, Dr Paul Barnes and Colonel Neil Greet (Retd) noted in their ASPI 2017 report on “The Challenge of Energy Resilience in Australia” that Australian energy policy tends to be stove-piped and sector-specific, which doesn’t map well to the complexity inherent in energy infra- structure systems.
They noted that the energy sector faces interconnected vulnerabilities and that, in formulating policy, it is critical that the Australian Government consider the complex interdependencies of these
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