Expertise in energy economics and policy at ANU is concentrated in the Crawford School of Public Policy and the Research School of Economics and draws on disciplinary strengths in economics and political science.Three main areas of research include:
Economics and policy of climate change mitigation
The Centre for Climate Economics and Policy (CCEP) anchors a network of Australian and international researchers providing insights on the economics of climate change, its implications for public policy, and the design of policies including for energy systems. The Climate and Energy Program in The Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis is an international network of scholars working in Climate and Energy and is integrated with the Climate and Energy Economics Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington. This Centre also hosts the G-Cubed model – an international macroeconomic model developed specifically for analysing climate policy scenarios. The model has been widely applied including in the 2008 Treasury Review of Australia’s climate mitigation options and is used by governments and international agencies around the world.
Associate Professor Frank Jotzo, Director of CCEP, leads a collaborative research program with top Chinese universities on China’s climate change policies and energy sector reform, funded partially by an Australian government grant. The program on market mechanisms for climate change policy brings together researchers from leading Chinese institutions and Australian universities, including Tsinghua, Fudan and Wuhan Universities, the Beijing Institute of Technology, the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales and the University of Melbourne.
Topics of joint research include options for pricing carbon in China’s power sector and their economic effects; the impacts of a carbon price on electricity sector investments; energy demand and energy mix at the provincial level; the design and performance of China’s pilot emissions trading schemes; and prospects for national emissions pricing in China. The research combines state of the art expertise in China with methodological and policy experience in Australia.
Energy and economic development
Research is also conducted on the role of energy in economic growth and development both in developing countries, including China and India, today and over the last few centuries of economic growth in the industrialised world. Research is also focussed on energy demand and the relationship between natural resource prices and sovereign bond ratings.
Research at the Crawford School also examines the political context of domestic and international energy issues. Current interests here include: the politics of energy security in Asia, particularly China and India; comparative business-government relations in the biofuels industry, with a particular focus on the EU, US and Brazil; and the democratic challenges of energy reforms including questions of effective citizen engagement for public legitimacy.