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Professor Deepak Sharma

Biography

Professor Deepak Sharma is currently the Director of the Center for Energy policy (CEP). He also holds the position of Associate Dean (International), in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology.

He has a Bachelor's degree in electricity engineering and Master's and Doctoral degrees in energy economics and policy. He has nearly thirty-five years of professional experience in academia, and public and private sectors.

He is actively engaged in teaching, research, and consulting on infrastructure policy themes - in national and global contexts. Such themes include energy and water market reforms; infrastructure regulation energy-water-economy-climate change interface; environmental policy analysis; institutional economics and political economy.

He is currently co-ordinating a major research project focusing on Energy-Food-Water security challenge in a global context. The general tenor his work is multidisciplinary policy oriented - underpinned by a recognition of the significance of global cultural, political and geo-strategic contexts.

He is a member of the International Association for Energy Economics, has written extensively on energy and environmental policy themes, and made numerous invited presentations at national and international fora on a range of water, and environmental policy themes..

Image of Deepak Sharma
Associate Dean (International), Associate Dean (International)
Director, Centre for Energy Policy
Associate Dean (International), Faculty of Engineering & Information Technology
BScEng (Punjab), MEng (AIT), DEng (AIT)
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 2422
Room
CB11.12.110

Research Interests

  • Energy economics and policy,
  • institutional restructuring and decision processes,
  • Energy market reforms,
  • Infrastructure regulation,
  • Environmental policy analysis,
  • Energy-economy-environmental interactions,
  • Energy-food-water security nexus,
  • Institutional economics,
  • Political economy of infrastructure.

Research supervision

Can supervise: Yes
  • Evaluation of Infrastructure Investments
  • Energy Modeling
  • Electricity Sector Planning and Restructuring
  • Energy Demand Analysis and Forecasting
  • Environmental Policy for Energy Systems
  • Regulatory Economics
  • Policy and Planning of Energy Conservation
  • Methods for Energy Analysis
  • Energy and Environmental Economics
  • Economic Evaluation

Conference Papers

Chanan, A.P., Kandasamy, J.K. & Sharma, D. 2008, 'A Role for Input-Output Analysis in Urban Water Policy Decisions in Australia', Input - Output & Environment, Saville Spain, July 2008 in Input - Output & Environment Website, ed Prof. Dr. Thijs ten Raa, IIOA, Saville, Spain, pp. 1-18.
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Discussion on water reuse and its role in sustainable water resource management in Australia has been on the agenda of policy makers and scientific community for the last three decades. Despite that, promulgation of water reuse especially in metropolitan Australia has been a rather slow process. To advance sustainable urban water management, water policy shift towards `co-management+ and `higher value use+ is critical. Input Output Analysis provides an ideal mechanism for water policy makers to prepare a case for this much needed policy shift. The paper discusses the methodology available for such an exercise, with special reference to Kogarah Local Government Area, located within the Sydney Metropolitan.
Palmer, C.G., Gothe, J., Mitchell, C.A., Riedy, C.J., Sweetapple, K., McLaughlin, S.M., Hose, G.C., Lowe, M., Goodall, H., Green, T., Sharma, D., Fane, S.A., Brew, K. & Jones, P.R. 2007, 'Finding integration pathways: developing a transdisciplinary (TD) approach for the Upper Nepean Catchment.', Australian Stream Management Conference, Albury, NSW, Australia., May 2007 in Proceedings of the 5th Australian Stream Management Conference. Australian rivers: making a difference, ed Wilson, A.L., Dehaan, R.L., Watts, R.J., Page, K.J., Bowmer, K.H., & Curtis, A., Charles Sturt University, Thurgoona, New South Wales, pp. 306-311.
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Wattana, S., Sharma, D. & Vaiyavuth, R. 2007, 'Electricity Industry Reforms in Thailand: A Historical Review', GMSARN International Conference on Sustainable Development, Pattaya, Thailand, December 2007 in GMSARN International Conference on Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities for GMS, ed NA, Greater Mekong Subregion Academic And Research Network (GMSARN), Thailand, pp. 1-9.
The Thai Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) has been undergoing reform since the early 1990s. The first stage of reform resulted in the introduction of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Small Power Producers (SPPs) programs. This was followed by, in the mid-to-late 1990s, a proposal to introduce a market-oriented reform. This reform program envisaged the separation of generation from transmission and distribution functions; introduction of competition in generation; development of new market-oriented regulatory arrangements, and the privatization of the industry. This reform, argued its proponents, will improve the efficiency of the electricity industry; lower electricity tariff; improve quality of service; draw private investment into power generation sector; reduce the government s investment burden of financing expensive electricity infrastructure and hence enhance its capacity for investing in other priority programs such as health, education and other social activities. This paper examines the veracity of these arguments. This examination is assisted by a historical review of the evolution of the Thai Electricity Supply Industry (ESI). This review reveals that the above noted arguments are unsupportable on the basis of the technological, economic, environmental, social and political realities prevalent in Thailand. This paper further emphases the need to clearly identify the real rationale for reform so that an appropriate reform pathway consonant with socio-political contexts in Thailand could be selected.
Bajaj, H.L. & Sharma, D. 2006, 'Power Sector Reforms in India', IEEE International Conference on Power Electronics, Drives and Energy Systems for Industrial Growth-2006 (PEDES-2006), Delhi, India, December 2006 in PEDES-2006 Conference Proceedings, ed N/A, IEEE, Delhi, India, pp. 1-5.
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Power sector reforms in India were initiated in the face of mounting commercial losses due to poor fiscal health of State Utilities, endemic capacity and energy shortages and increasing subsidy burden on the states. Investment in the sector was falling far short of demand in power supply. The Government of India, in 1991 embarked upon an ambitious program for reforming the sector with the prime objective of transforming the electricity industry into an efficient enterprise. This paper analyses the pre-reform era and identifies the key concerns which led to the initiation of the reform process. The paper delineates the major policy and regulatory initiatives that have been undertaken since 1991 including the provisions of the new enactment which has come into force in the form of the Electricity Act, 2003 and seek a paradigm shift. Several key elements of the reform program have been implemented by the various states, with varying degree of success, during the period 1991-2005. This paper reviews the performance of the Indian power sector in the last one and half decade since the reforms had been initiated, while undergoing restructuring. The study also examines how far the reform process during this period has been effective in realizing its set objectives and benefited the development of the power sector and the nation at large. The paper briefly discusses the issue involved in introduction of competition in the power sector primarily through development of a market for bulk power.
Challa, B., Challa, S., Chakravorty, R., Deshpande, S. & Sharma, D. 2005, 'A Novel Approach for Electrical Load Forecasting Using Distributed Sensor Networks', International Conference on Intelligent Sensing and Information Processing, Bangalore, India, December 2005 in Proceedings - Third International Conference on Intelligent Sensing and Information Processing, 2005. ICISIP 2005., ed Palaniswami M., Patnaik L. M., Venugopal K. R., Rajeev Khosla, Rajgopal Kannan, IEEE, USA, pp. 189-194.
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Electrical market often demands accurate forecasting of electrical load for planning and operation of the power infrastructure. Current models can forecast load from half hour up to 24 hours and are based on aggregate temperature for the entire day. Although these models work very well, they do not consider the intermediate real time information between time intervals to forecast load which introduce many uncertainties pertaining to factors such as climatic conditions, geographic locations etc. Furthermore, such intermediate real time information is costly and difficult to obtain. With the aid of distributed sensor networks, real time information can easily be obtained which can lead to precise planning and operation of power systems. Such information can easily improve electrical load forecasting and reduce uncertainty which can have a direct impact on the customer. We propose new and improved models for electricity load forecasting by incorporating real-time weather (temperature) information arising from the low-cost distributed sensor networks.
Mbogho, S.M., Zhu, J. & Sharma, D. 2003, 'Meeting Energy Needs - The Kenyan Scenario', Australian Universities Power Engineering Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, September 2003 in Australasian Universities Power Engineering Conference, ed Richard Duke, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, Christchurch, New Zealand, pp. 39-44.
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Sharma, D. 2003, 'Regulatory Exigencies of Electricity Reform in Australia', 26 IAEE International Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, June 2004 in New Challenges for Energy Decision Makers, ed No, IAEE, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, pp. 1-10.
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Marsh, D. & Sharma, D. 2003, 'Water Industry Reform: Some Performance Issues', Global Developments in Water Industry Performance Benchmarking, Perth, Australia, September 2033 in Global Developments in Water Industry Performance Benchmarking, ed NA, Office of Water Regulation, Western Australia, Perth, Australia, pp. 1-10.
Sharma, D. 2003, 'Australian Electricity Reform: Some Reflections', Hong Kong Energy Studies Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, August 2003 in International Conference on: +Energy Market Reform: Issues and Problems+, ed No, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong.
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Journal Articles

Wattana, S. & Sharma, D. 2011, 'Electricity Industry Reforms in Thailand: An Analysis of Productivity', International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 494-521.
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In the early 1990's the Thai government initiated a process of refrom of the electricity with the arguement that such reform would improve the performace of the industry and contribute to enhancing the overall economic prosperity. The purpose of theis papr, using analysis-based methodology, is to exame the veracity of this argeument by analysing both the technical and environmental perfoermace of the Thai electricity industry.
Newell, B., Marsh, D. & Sharma, D. 2011, 'Enhancing The Resilience Of The Australian National Electricity Market: Taking A Systems Approach In Policy Development', Ecology and Society: a journal of integrative science for resilience and sustainability, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 0-0.
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As the complexity and interconnectedness of present-day social-ecological systems become steadily more apparent, there is increasing pressure on governments, policy makers, and managers to take a systems approach to the challenges facing humanity. However, how can this be done in the face of system complexity and uncertainties? In this paper we briefly discuss practical ways that policy makers can take up the systems challenge. We focus on resilience thinking, and the use of influence diagrams, causal-loop diagrams, and system archetypes. As a case study, set in the context of the climate-energy-water nexus, we use some of these system concepts and tools to carry out an initial exploration of factors that can affect the resilience of the Australian National Electricity Market. We stress the need for the electricity sector to prepare for the impacts of global change by encouraging innovation and diversity, supporting modularity and redundancy, and embracing the need for a policy making approach that takes account of the dynamics of the wider social-ecological system. Finally, taking a longer term view, we conclude by recommending that policy makers work to reduce reliance on conventional market mechanisms, institute continuing crosssector dialogue, and promote basic education in system dynamics.
Do, T. & Sharma, D. 2011, 'Vietnam's energy sector: A review of current energy policies and strategies', Energy Policy, vol. 39, no. 10, pp. 5770-5777.
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Since the introduction of market-oriented economy in 1986, Vietnam has made noticeable socio-economic progress. In this progress, the energy sector has played a vital role. This role is likely to deepen in the years to come as Vietnam strives to achieve even higher levels in economic progress. Such deepening in the role of energy, this paper argues, will heighten concerns about the security of energy supply, and economic, environmental, social and political consequences. In order to address these issues, Vietnam has over the last decade, developed a suite of energy policies. A deeper review of these policies suggests that they are typified by economic-growth orientation, exclusive focus on a single-sector or single issue, and largely neglect the significance of cross-sectoral and cross-thematic issues arising from the interdependencies between energy, economy, and the polity at large. The existing energy policy settings are, therefore, unlikely to be able to provide a satisfactory redress to the challenges noted above. This paper provides an overview of the current energy policies with a view to identify areas where further policy effort is needed in order to facilitate a sustainable development of the Vietnamese energy sector.
Chaivongvilan, S. & Sharma, D. 2010, 'A Comprehensive Framework for Analysing Long-term Energy Scenarios for Thailand', International Energy Journal, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 193-202.
Energy is one of the most critical ingredients for economic development and prosperity of any nation. It is more so for a developing country like Thailand where energy is critically needed in order to realize the economic growth aspirations of the country. The task of providing adequate and reliable energy has however emerged as a challenging policy issue for Thailand, particularly when viewed in the context of the evolving socio-economic dynamics of the country, typified by an energy sector that is in the throes of reform, resource scarcity, energy dependence, industrial development and high economic growth. In order, therefore, to satisfy the expected energy requirements and sustain economic prosperity, effective national energy policies would be needed. A review of the existing energy policies suggests that these policies are somewhat narrow, fragmented and insular. They therefore are unlikely to be able to satisfactorily meet the energy needs of Thailand. This deficiency could however - this paper contends - be overcome by taking a fresher perspective on the nature of policy challenges and strategies to redress them. Such a perspective, this paper further argues, could be assisted by adopting a comprehensive framework that could accommodate the specificities of Thailand while integrating the technical, economic, environmental and political dimensions of the energy sector in a cohesive and consistent manner. This paper is an early attempt at developing such a framework.
Chanan, A.P., Kandasamy, J.K., Vigneswaran, S. & Sharma, D. 2009, 'A gradualist approach to address Australia's urban water challenge', Desalination, vol. 249, no. 3, pp. 1012-1016.
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There is growing consensus worldwide against the conventional centralised approach to water management, and a ++soft path++ for water management has emerged as a sustainable alternative. A ++soft path++ for water management emphasizes the optimization of end-use efficiency, small-scaled management systems, incorporates fit-for-purpose water use, and recommends the use of diverse, locally appropriate and commonly decentralised infrastructures. However, large-scale desalination plants are currently being built for almost all metropolitan centres in Australia to ensure water supply security. Unlike ++soft path++ for water management, large-scale desalination plants embody the traditional urban water supply approach. In spite of knowledge and values relating to the water cycle having shifted towards ++soft path++, the old organisational framework is believed to be hindering its adoption. Perhaps, therefore major water utilities in recent times have opted for the ideologically easier option of large-scale desalination conforming to the existing framework, instead of choosing a ++soft path++ for water management with potential for decentralised management. This paper critically reviews the urban water management direction in metropolitan Australia and puts forward a ++gradualist approach++. It incorporates a comprehensive non-potable water reuse program necessary to build the familiarity and trust in water reuse, as a first step before introducing the idea of potable reuse.
Do, T., Sharma, D. & Nguyen, N. 2009, 'Review of Existing Energy Framework for Vietnam', GMSARN International Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 13-22.
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Since introducing a market-orientation to the economy in 1986, Vietnam has made considerable socioeconomic progress. For example, over the period 1986-2007, the GDP of Vietnam has grown at approximately 7 per cent per year which is the highest growth rate in the ASEAN region. In this growth, the country++s energy sector has played a vital role. This role is likely to deepen in the years to come as Vietnam strives to achieve ever higher economic progress. Such deepening in the role of energy, this paper argues, will heighten concerns about the security of energy supply, increased CO2 emissions and pollution and other social and political challenges. In order to address these challenges, Vietnam has over the last decade, initiated several energy policies underpinned by appropriate legislation ++ called, ++institutional framework++, in the context of this paper. A deeper review of this framework suggests that it is typified by a lack of cohesiveness of policy direction and purpose, fragmented institutional structures and responsibilities, and weak public constituency on environmental issues. The existing framework is therefore unlikely to be able to provide a satisfactory redress to the challenges noted above. This paper provides some suggestions to reduce the weaknesses of the existing framework. These include: articulating the significance of the link between energy, economy and environment; developing coherence in institutional purpose and design, and raising public awareness through better communication and education.
Wattana, S., Sharma, D. & Vaiyavuth, R. 2008, 'Electricity Industry Reforms in Thailand: A Historical Review', GMSARN International Journal, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 41-52.
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The Thai Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) has been undergoing reform since the early 1990s. The first stage of reform resulted in the introduction of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Small Power Producers (SPPs) programs. This was followed by, in the mid-to-late 1990s, a proposal to introduce a market-oriented reform. This reform program envisaged the separation of generation from transmission and distribution functions; introduction of competition in generation; development of new market-oriented regulatory arrangements, and the privatization of the industry. This reform, argued its proponents, will improve the efficiency of the electricity industry; lower electricity tariffs; improve quality of service; draw private investment into power generation sector; reduce the government+s investment burden of financing expensive electricity infrastructure and hence enhance its capacity for investing in other priority programs such as health, education and other social activities. This paper examines the veracity of these arguments. This examination is assisted by a historical review of the evolution of the Thai Electricity Supply Industry (ESI). This review reveals that the above noted arguments are unsupportable on the basis of the technological, economic, environmental, social and political realities prevalent in Thailand. This paper further emphasizes the need to clearly identify the `real+ rationale for reform so that an appropriate reform pathway + consonant with socio-political contexts in Thailand + could be selected.
Rogner, H., Sharma, D. & Jalal, A.I. 2008, 'Nuclear power versus fossil-fuel power with CO2 capture and storage: A comparative analysis', International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 181-196.
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Purpose - In recognition of the urgency of the global need to reduce CO2 emissions from the electricity sector, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the cost-effectiveness of nuclear power and fossil-fuel-based power with and without the provision of carbon capture and storage in select, yet environmentally-significant, group of countries - China, India, Russia, Korea, Pakistan, Poland, Argentina, Bulgaria and Romania. Design/methodology/approach - The analyses are based on comparisons of electricity generation costs for nuclear and fossil-fuel technologies. These costs, expressed in present value terms, are estimated on the basis of life-cycle costs, employing detailed country-specific technological and economic data and assumptions. Findings - The analyses suggest that that the provision of carbon capture and storage is likely to result in a significant increase in the cost of electricity produced from fossil fuels (principally coal) in all countries represented in this paper. Such increase would completely erode the existing cost advantage enjoyed by fossil-fuel power (in relation to nuclear power) in some countries (Argentina, Bulgaria, China, and India) and considerably enhance the existing cost-advantage of nuclear power in other countries (Korea, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, and Russia). Originality/value - Notwithstanding these limitations, thefindings of this paper contribute appreciably to the emerging knowledge on this topic and provide useful foresight into the likely challenges of developing internationally acceptable policy prescriptions for mitigation CO2 emissions from the electricity sector. At a mundane, yet important, level, this paper establishes a platform on which further analyses could be built.
Chaivongvilan, S., Sharma, D. & Sandu, S. 2008, 'Energy Challenges for Thailand: An Overview', GMSARN International Journal, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 53-60.
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Thailand is one of the most dynamic countries in South-east Asia. Energy has traditionally played a vital role in its economic growth. Currently, over 50% of the energy consumption in Thailand is imported. The energy demands are expected to increase by approximately 4.5% per year over the next decade. The future economic prosperity is, therefore, dependent on the provision of adequate energy. In order to ensure such provision, effective national energy policies would be needed. This is likely to be a challenging task. This paper examines if the current energy policies are adequate to meet this challenge. The examination reveals that the current policies are not adequate. This paper further recommends the need to develop a comprehensive framework that could be used to analyse the economy-wide impacts which could provide guidance for the development of appropriate energy policies.
Vaiyavuth, R., Sharma, D. & Sandu, S. 2008, 'The Relationship between Electricity and Gas Industries in Australia', International Energy Journal, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 1-8.
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Electricity and gas industries are major industries in the Australian economy. Significant reforms were initiated in these industries in the early 1990s, with a core objective of improving their efficiencies through recourse to market competition. Further, these reforms were being undertaken separately for each industry, in total disregard of the relationship that may exist between these two industries. Several studies have alluded to the need for examining the nature of this relationship as it may provide useful insights for developing more meaningful reform program for each of these industries. This paper is an attempt in that direction. This relationship is examined both through qualitative (historical) and quantitative analyses. The qualitative analysis is supported by cross price elasticities of demand between electricity and gas, at the national and state levels. These elasticities are estimated using simultaneous demand functions for electricity and gas. While this paper focuses on Australia, its findings should be relevant for other countries that are in the process of reforming their electricity and gas industries.
Marsh, D. & Sharma, D. 2007, 'Energy-Water Nexus: An Integrated Modelling Approach', International Energy Journal, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 235-242.
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Sharma, D. 2005, 'Australian Electricity Reform: The Ownership Debate', International Energy Journal, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-12.
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A direct and indirect change in the ownership of significant segments of the electricity industry -from the public to the private arena - has been an accompaniment to the structural and regulatory reform of the Australian electricity industry, underway for much of the last decade. While the structural and regulatory aspects of reform have engendered considerable public debate, the debate on the various aspects of the change in ownership - its rationale, methods, and impacts - has however been rather narrow, largely opaque, and mostly surreptitious, confined almost exclusively to the immediate fiscal impacts of the sale of electricity assets. It lacks any substantive consideration of the historical, political, and philosophical underpinnings of this change, and the profound, variegated, and fundamental consequences that this change will inevitably induce in terms of redistributing wealth in society, recasting the balance between the market and the welfare state, reorganizing the institutions of governance, realigning economic and political interests, reinterpreting of the role of the state, and indeed a rethinking on the philosophical foundations of a civilized society. This paper provides reconnoiter of the political and philosophical connects of the change in the ownership of the Australian electricity industry and argues for the need to broaden the nature of the current debate on these issues. While the review focuses on the Australian electricity industry, the messages are relevant for other countries undertaking reform, especially developing countries as they begin to dismantle and privatize their electricity infrastructures.
Sharma, D. 2005, 'Electricity Reforms in the ASEAN: A Panoramic Discourse', Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 40, no. 50, pp. 5318-5326.
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Sharma, D., Madamba, S.E. & Chan, M. 2004, 'Electricity Industry Reforms in the Philippines', Energy Policy, vol. 32, pp. 1487-1497.
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Fathollahzadeh Aghdam, R. & Sharma, D. 2004, 'Rationale Behind Electricity Industry Reform in the ASEAN: A Review', Journal of Eghtessad-e-Energy, Energy Economics, vol. 58/59, pp. 27-32.
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Sharma, D. 2003, 'The multidimensionality of electricity reform - an Australian perspective', Energy Policy, vol. 31, no. 11, pp. 1093-1102.
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Fathollahzadeh Aghdam, R. & Sharma, D. 2003, 'Impacts of ESI Reform in Australia: A Review of Methodological Framework', Iranian Journal of Energy, vol. 8, no. 17, pp. 2-12.
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