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Australians spend about $50 billion on energy each year, while energy exports earn more than $24 billion a year. Demands for energy in Australia is projected to increase by 50 per cent by 2020, and the energy industry has estimated that at least $37 billion in energy investments will be required by 2020 to meet the nation’s energy needs.
Developing Australia’s abundant low-cost energy resources is a key to our future prosperity.
Our known oil reserves are significant, but are projected to decline in the absence of new discoveries.
Renewable energy is an essential part of Australia’s low emissions energy mix and is important to Australia’s energy security. Renewable sources of energy include solar, wind, water, biomass, wood, waste, geothermal, wind, photovoltaic, and solar thermal energy.
The heat from the sun can be used to heat water or air for residential, commercial and industrial use. Firms also use energy in virtually all of their activities, whether it is processing and manufacturing materials, transporting goods, heating and cooling premises, providing telecommunication services or powering computers. One of the greatest benefits of renewable energy is its potential to provide affordable and clean sources of electricity. Ioannis Chapsos does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above. The Crimea crisis has focused our attention on the vexed question of Europe’s energy supplies. Alongside piracy and armed robbery at sea, seaborne crimes such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, oil bunkering, trafficking, and the dumping of toxic waste all disrupt sea trade lanes, affect the sustainable exploitation of natural resources, and degrade the wellbeing of local populations.
On March 17 2014, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union officially adopted the EU Strategy on the Gulf of Guinea. This contradicts the 2050 African Union’s Integrated Maritime Strategy, adopted just a couple of months ago, which envisions the establishment of a Combined Exclusive Maritime Zone of Africa and the African Union’s vision of “a common African maritime space without barriers”. The EU strategy seems to think that lessons learned from the anti-piracy efforts in the Horn of Africa can simply be exported to the Gulf of Guinea, despite the two regions' clear differences.
For example, in an effort to strictly regulate the private maritime security industry, Nigeria issues licences only to local operators, while foreign companies can operate legally only with the status of partnership.
The EU imports nearly 10% of its oil and 4% of its natural gas from the region, and the proximity of the Gulf definitely offers the potential for the EU to increase its hydrocarbon imports.
The potentially deep chill in East-West relations has put a great deal at stake and the controversial Russian intervention in the Crimean Peninsula has reminded the EU just how dependent it is on a single volatile energy provider. THE world may soon be able to buy one of the Far North's most controversial yet revolutionary inventions. The Lutec 1000 free energy machine have resurfaced after six years of steering clear of the public spotlight, having been granted patents in at least 60 countries around the world, including the US, China and India.

Engineers John Christie and Lou Brits, who have endured intense criticism after they first unveiled their invention in 2001, are now preparing to construct a prototype of their revolutionary power device they hope to market within the next two years. The dynamic duo said they felt somewhat vindicated they had been able to land patents for their device and have had the Lutec verified by an independent engineer.
The generator works as an energy amplifier, generating up to 10 times the amount of electricity it consumes.
The Lutec draws its power from a bank of batteries, with the motor turning due to powerful permanent magnets at its core being attracted and then repulsed from steel cores of fixed coils. It does not work via perpetual motion, rather it relies on natural magnetic forces and a pulsed electrical input. The results of the generator were verified by independent engineers from SGS Australia following a test earlier this year, which confirmed the energy output from the generator was indeed greater than its input.
Mr Christie said he and Mr Brits were currently working on a production prototype to suit the domestic market, which they hoped to produce locally. The engineers’ invention has drawn the ire of many people over the years, including the Australian Sceptics Society. Mr Christie said it had been a roller-coaster ride since they debuted their invention, involving occasional death threats and rumours of their untimely demise. The sector involves massive, long-lived capital items such as electricity plants, transmission lines, coal, oil and gas production facilities, pipelines, refineries, wind farms as well as a multitude of smaller facilities such as wholesale and retail distribution sites. Meeting this increased demand for energy, while moving to a low-emissions future, is a key challenge facing Australia’s future growth and living standards. It plays a strong role in reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and helping Australia stay on track to meet its Kyoto target and beyond.
Sunlight can also provide heating or be converted to electricity using photovoltaic (solar electric) panels. The energy from the wind can be harnessed by wind turbines and windmills to generate electricity and also to pump water.
Energy, in some form, is involved in most household activities, such as heating, cooling, cooking, lighting, transport or enjoying services or products that require energy in their supply. As a result, energy is a fundamental part of life in Australia and the energy sector is an essential component of the Australian Economy.
Additionally, there are reduced costs through resource savings, increased revenue through eco-efficiencies, and reduced risks and finance costs.
We use a Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives licence, so you can republish our articles for free, online or in print.
To a great extent Europe depends on Russia for its oil and gas, which gives Vladimir Putin disproportionate political leverage. At the same time, there are signs that real political action might soon reshape this fraught region.

That document shows just how significant African maritime security is at the international level – not least how it connects foreign policy challenges across apparently disparate regions and issues. One would expect that the various agreements and initiatives aimed at minimising maritime insecurity would be aligned firstly at an intra-continental and regional level, and then at the international level, instead of conflicting with each other. It is worth remembering that private maritime security companies, which have extensive experience in combating piracy in the Horn of Africa, face a completely different environment and regulatory framework in the Gulf of Guinea. It is obvious that the region doesn’t wish to follow the model that the EU is trying to enforce – and it remains to be seen how willing the EU is to fall in line with what West African countries prefer. Perhaps it is just coincidence that the same day as the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted this strategy, the same EU entity confirmed the EU’s new support of at least €6.5 billion for the Economic Partnership Agreement Development Program (PAPED) for West Africa – or perhaps not.
The Gulf of Guinea, with its vast offshore oil and gas deposits, offers an ideal alternative – provided its high levels of organised crime in general and maritime crime in particular can be dealt with first. We supply 8 per cent of the world trade for liquefied natural gas, and possess 40 per cent of the world’s low-cost uranium reserves. Australian Government support for renewable energy assists industry development, reduces barriers to the national electricity market, and provides community access to renewable energy.
Renewable energy is obtained from sources that are essentially inexhaustible, unlike fossil fuels, of which there is a finite supply and cannot be replenished.
Renewable energy also minimizes pollution and positively impacts the environment in many ways, thus companies who choose to use renewable energy enhance their reputational capital and hence are considered to be socially responsible corporate citizens. One of the biggest possible alternative suppliers is the Gulf of Guinea, which is thought to have vast untapped reserves – but which is also a world epicentre of maritime crime.
The EU’s maritime strategy is tightly focused on the gulf precisely because of the region’s crucial role in European energy security. On the one hand, this is clear evidence that development and security tend go hand in hand in general.
Energy projects can affect Australia’s air and water quality, biodiversity, noise levels and heritage, and must be sensitively managed. The sun’s energy (light, heat, ultraviolet) can also be converted into heat using solar thermal (heating) panels. Put simply, if maritime crime isn’t kept in check it will wreak havoc with severe ecomonic consequences. But equally, the strategy is perfectly timed to help the EU wean itself off energy bought from Russia.

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