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Energy Overview

Tasmania has a history of harnessing its natural advantages for the prosperity of its people. This is probably no better reflected than through the ongoing development of the State's energy infrastructure, (PDF).

With a growing recognition of the need to diversify the State's energy base to enhance security of supply the decision was made to actively seek additional power supply options. The result was a fundamental change in the structure of the State's energy industry through the attraction of unprecedented levels of investment in three major energy infrastructure projects: Basslink, the Tasmanian natural gas project and the Woolnorth wind farm.

Not only have these projects diversified the State's energy base, the benefits to Tasmania are already being realised. In particular, the addition of these sources of energy to the State's energy mix has enabled Tasmania to survive the recent persistent drought conditions without impacting on the community or economy.

They have also added an important element of competition into the energy market, with competition between energy sources broadly, and specifically, between natural gas, wind and hydroelectricity, in the electricity market.

The environment in which energy infrastructure developments are taking place is facing another signifi cant change with the recognition of the unacceptable risks posed by climate change. This recognition is becoming a powerful tool in shaping government policy, and the energy sector will play a key role in Australia's response to climate change.

Tasmania is well placed to again take advantage of its natural resources to play a leading role and exploit the opportunities that will be presented in a carbon constrained future. Tasmania already leads the country in developing its renewable energy sources. And we have various renewable resources with enormous potential.

Tasmania has world class wind resources and is already a leader in harnessing these. The potential of geothermal energy from Tasmania's buried hot granite formations is also creating interest with a number of firms investigating this potential resource. Tidal and wave energy are other renewable energy resources that Tasmania is well placed to utilise.

The challenge now is to continue to provide the appropriate frameworks and incentives to promote the efficient investment in energy infrastructure that will enable Tasmania to exploit these opportunities and continue our role as Australia's renewable energy leader.