Releasing its review of Australia’s energy policies on Monday, IEA chief executive Maria van der Hoeven said she had grave concerns about Australia’s ability to become the world’s dominant LNG player.
"One of the biggest challenges for Australia is to manage this surge, and prevent increasing costs due to potential workforce shortages and infrastructure bottlenecks," AAP quoted her as saying during an in-depth review of Australia's energy policy in Canberra yesterday.
"So better co-ordination between the states and within the states, possibly involving industry, could be helpful.
"Federal and state governments should take a proactive approach in order to address workforce shortages in terms of education, training and attracting overseas workforce."
The review also urged Australia to have continued access to a large pool of highly qualified labour to maintain experienced research communities to drive research into renewable energy.
She and the IEA commended the white paper for its focus on developing renewable energy, and said the introduction of a price on carbon would help remove uncertainty in the energy sector.
“But even with a carbon price, Australia will need supplementary policies, like energy-efficiency policies, to unlock low cost abatement and technology policies to help lower the long-term cost of new technologies, including renewable energy and carbon capture and storage,” van der Hoeven said.
“Commendably, Australia has developed a relatively balanced package with strong elements of each policy.”
However, the IEA repeated concerns that Australia was not doing enough to meet oil stockpiles.
Australia is obligated to stockpile the equivalent of 90 days’ oil production, but it has been unable to do so, with the IEA urging the government to rectify this situation as quickly as possible.
This article first appeared in ILN's sister publication EnergyNewsPremium.net.