The second Deakins keynote lecture was given by Grant King, Managing Director of Origin Energy.
In the lecture King empasises the practical issues of reducing carbon emissions in the energy sector of the economy. Right at the outset he states that reducing carbon emissions is important because "Co2 emissions are the driver of climate change" and that the way we produce energy is central to reducing emissions.
At the moment reducing Australian emissions by 2020 by 5% on 2000 levels is still bipartisan policy. King discusses many practical issues in electricity production and concludes that meeting this limited objective will be challenging. This difficulty is largely caused by the long lead times between design of new base load plants to their first operation. These lead times are at least 5 to 6 years and often much longer.
King discussed a range of renewable technologies, particularly wind power, but barely mentions solar electricity generation.
He makes the point that the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Scheme while worthy in itself does not make much sense without a price on carbon, ie we need an ETS as well, and "the sooner the better".