During the drive to develop, promote and implement an emissions trading scheme, government has said very little about the specific technologies to be deployed to achieve relevant goals while maintaining a viable economy. These details, as well as strategies to ensure long term energy security, would normally be found in a national energy policy; the last of which for Australia was issued in 2004.
Some of us harbour a suspicion that the Rudd government thinks its emissions trading plans – plus the enlarged renewable energy target – make up a national energy policy. If this is true, it is a serious error of judgement and one capable of causing immense trouble if the government tries to make policy on the run to deal with the inevitable ‘unintended consequences'.
It is madness to rely on the "lucky country" approach to energy policy today. Australian governments have to ensure they have an overall plan for managing energy issues in an exceptionally difficult global environment.