Bet 834

Duration 20 years (02020-02039)

“Nuclear power will provide 0% (rounded to the nearest whole number) of the power in Australia’s National Electricity Market in every year to 2040.”


Holmes à Court's Argument

Nuclear power faces many obstacles in Australia, not the least that, as of 2020, is is prohibited by s140A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1998 (Cth). While the law could be changed by parliament, the political will to take on the issue is sparse and relatively weak. Further, while social license for the technology is arguably higher than during earlier eras, co-ordinating the requisite support from state and federal governments and a host community for a project would be a very significant challenge. Perhaps the most significant hurdle is the economics of nuclear power generation. Australia is blessed with such vast renewable energy sources that it is difficult to see nuclear energy competing on price. (For the purposes of this prediction, energy in the NEM includes energy generated "behind-the-meter" from solar panels, as predicted by AEMO, the energy market operator.)

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