A draft white paper released by Energy Minister Martin Ferguson on Tuesday estimated that Australia would need $240 billion investment for its gas and electricity industries over the next 20 years to ensure the country has reliable power supply.
The new investment would be on top of the more than $140 billion committed to liquefied natural gas projects alone in the last seven years.
The paper also recommended further privatisation of energy assets and removal of retail price regulation to maintain energy security and economic growth.
"We need sound regulatory frameworks and confidence from investors to ensure that the necessary investment is delivered," Mr Ferguson wrote.
He also pushed got fast track of clean energy measures, strengthening of policy framework, reinvigorating market reform and developing critical resources, especially for gas.
Besides releasing the draft white paper for public consultation, the minister also publicised the 2011 National Energy Security Assessment and a strategic framework for alternative transport fuels. The assessment said the country has a positive energy security assessment but must keep vigilant and responsive to emerging challenges because in a period of significant change, it is critical that the resilience of energy policy be improved.
Mr Ferguson also announced that due to the approval of the carbon price laws in November, the government would no longer apply emission standards for new coal power stations. Coal provides power for 80 per cent of Australia's electricity requirements.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.