Unclear future could harm industry
An energy expert says Australia’s unclear power policies could lead to an expert brain drain.
Engineers and scientists might start looking outside Australia for work if the country's renewable energy future remains uncertain, according to Kobad Bhavnagri, Australian head at research organisation at Bloomberg NEF.
“Australia may well be facing a big brain drain in new energy technologies after 2020,” Mr Bhavnagri has told the SBS.
“Because there won’t be the projects getting built and the dollars being spent that put people in jobs.
“The industry that's currently employing thousands of people and going gangbusters is probably going to come to a screeching halt,” he said.
Australia has seen record levels of investment in renewable energy, including wind and solar, in recent years. The country is now on track to beat last year's record $8.5 billion investment in the sector.
But Mr Bhavnagri says this is not enough, and that longer-term solutions are needed.
“Australia's pretty far behind because we still have electricity meters in our houses that a person has to come around and manually read on a sheet of paper,” he said.
“That's a really old school way of doing things and it doesn't allow you to run a smart power grid.”