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The election - what next?

Voting is over and the election has been won   but what next  16000646 800513237 0 0 14092851 300

The federal election has been held and Tony Abbott is the new prime minister of Australia. What does this mean for the electricity industry, for renewables and for fossil fuels?

More importantly, what does it mean for the everyday people of Australia - how will it affect them and the electricity prices they are faced with?

It's still early days and so Australia will have to wait a while before the extent of any changes are revealed.

However, some things are immediately evident. The Climate Institute reported on September 8 that a national exit poll by JWS Research revealed concerns over the economy. The research findings found that jobs were more important to voters at this point in time than the carbon tax and environmental issues.

"The single most important issue for voters was the economy and jobs, nominated by 31 per cent as their major issue, followed by cost of living at 15 per cent. Climate change (5 per cent) and the carbon tax (3 per cent), lagged significantly. Amongst coalition voters only three per cent nominated scrapping the carbon tax as their top issue," said John Connor, chief executive officer of the Climate Institute.

This shows that despite the economy being a major concern, few voters were in any hurry to get rid of carbon pricing.

The Climate Institute asserted that the new coalition government has maintained its support for a 2020 pollution reduction target range of 5 to 25 per cent, and accepts the need to effective policies to deal with climate change.

"The coalition's challenge is that they cannot demonstrate to Australians or to the international community that their policies are effective enough to meet their target commitments," said Mr Connor.

Other groups and individuals have been less optimistic. Giles Parkinson wrote for RenewEconomy on September 9 stating that "the wind energy sector is probably the biggest and most immediate loser from this election result," due to hesitation in the industry over a coalition win and another review of the large-scale renewable energy target (LRET).

Mr Parkinson also noted that the coalition may hold another review of wind farm health impacts. This is something the industry views as expensive and unnecessary, and will only serve to hold the sector back.

What will happen to the energy mix in Australia is still currently surrounded by uncertainty. In the following weeks and months more will be revealed about specific policies, so for now, keep those fingers crossed.

Posted by Charlie Moore