Author Archives: gensimpson

Who Will Protect Householders in the Democratization of the Energy Sector?

The twenty-first century is seeing a rapid transformation of the electricity regime towards what has been called a ‘democratization’ of the electricity sector.  This transition will see end-users engaged in far more complex interactions with electricity.  End-users are no longer solely unconscious consumers of electricity, where the flick of a switch will create demand, but […]

Have we ‘forgotten’ how to make policy in Australia?

I recently read an excellent Quarterly Essay by journalist Laura Tingle entitled ‘Political Amnesia: How We Forgot How to Govern’. Tingle argued that several political processes in Australia have eroded the institutional memory of both the public service and the parliamentarian wings of government.  Successful Australian leaders chose to remove heads of department, for fear […]

Uncertainty in Science – It’s kind of a big deal

And the problem with all of these uncertainties is that most people in the general public aren’t aware of them. This means that people generally aren’t any good at analysing the validity of information available to them. And even if they could analyse the information for robustness, who knows what kinds of assumptions have underpinned the findings?

How the use of metaphors can influence the way we think about issues

ly my research has led me to think about the way the community talks about renewable energy, and the way these discussions can influence people’s perceptions of utilities, domestic solar and associated policies. My own perception is that these kinds of phrases are as damaging as they are engaging. Electricity generation is incredibly complex, and any broad-ranging scale of change to be experienced in networks is likely to filter through to low income earners in increased charges.

How can we overcome Australia’s renewable energy policy deadlock?

It has now been three months since the release of the Finkel Review Report and its recommendation for a Clean Energy Target – and the federal Government seems no closer to deciding what the renewable energy policy landscape will look like after 2020. Adam Bandt recently pointed out that Labor’s willingness to vote for anything […]

Network operators ‘push back’ on more small-scale solar. But why?

Last week the Clean Energy Regulator announced that Australia had reached a new milestone in installed small-scale renewable energy capacity – 6,000 MW – most of it small-scale PV. But can the rapid rate of small-scale solar energy adoption continue? My paper, also released last week (and available for free until October 20), suggests that […]

Why not writing journal articles might increase the quality of academic publications

In essence, my intention to publish an article about my experiences is a reflection of my arrogant belief that my experiences mean something. And perhaps this is a growing problem with the academic literature.