Chris Dunstan is a Research Director at the University of Technology, Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures. Chris has over 20 years experience in energy policy, strategic management and sustainability. Chris’ current research focuses on addressing regulatory and market barriers to the development of sustainable energy.
Between 1997 and 2004, Chris led strategic planning and policy development at the Sustainable Energy Development Authority of NSW (SEDA).
Chris was instrumental in the development of:
- the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme;
- the NSW Demand Management Code of Practice for Electricity Distributors;
- disclosure of fuel sources and emissions on electricity bills;
- proposals for greenhouse gas emissions trading in the electricity sector; and
- the NSW Government's $200 million Energy Savings Fund
Chris is a Project Leader for the CSIRO Intelligent Grid Research program. Chris regularly advises Government and business clients on sustainable energy issues. His recent research clients include: City of Sydney, Sustainability Victoria, VicUrban, NSW Department of Environment Climate Change and Water, the Federal Department of Environment Water Heritage and the Arts, Country Energy, Marrickville Council, Szencorp, and the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal. He is regularly approached by the media for expert comment.
Chris has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University. He completed a Master of Economics (Social Sciences) at Sydney University in 1997.
Dunstan, C 2013, 'We're headed for an electricity war: Here's how to stop it', The Conversation, vol. 7 August.
Usher, J, Higgens, A, Ross, K, Dunstan, C & Paevere, P 2015, 'Impacts of Policy on Electric Vehicle Diffusion', Proceedings of the 37th ATRF, Australasian Transport Research Forum, ATRF, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Selection and design of appropriate government policies to support electric vehicle (EV) adoption can be aided by modelling the future impact of policy instruments relative to a given baseline estimate. This paper highlights the innovative application of a diffusion model to analyse complex impacts of EV policy instruments on future incremental EV uptake. Several versions of four key policy instruments are tested in the model: linking electric vehicle sales to Renewable Electricity Purchases (RE-EV), financial subsidies, smart charging incentives and a common cost metric to educate consumers about the lifetime costs of EVs. Market share between battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) were forecasted out to the year 2034 across all 1.5 million households in the state of Victoria, Australia. The RE-EV scenario had the strongest performance in terms of economic and societal indicators. Non-subsidy policy instruments can also support uptake of EVs, especially in the case of encouraging BEV adoption. We found feebate scenarios were more effective policies than rebates. Rebate and feebate scenarios applied within the 2014-2019 timeframe compared better than those with longer timeframes. Our analyses showed how combined policy scenarios not only further improved EV uptake but also allowed government to fund rebates through feebate income.
Dunstan, C 2004, 'Camel chiropractics: the NSW demand management code and mapping DM opportunities', ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, ACEEE, California.
Dunstan, C, Alexander, D, Morris, T, Langham, E & Jazbec, M Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2017, Demand Management Incentives Review: Creating a level playing field for network DM in the National Electricity Market, pp. 1-57.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This review assesses and quantifies the financial barriers to DM created by existing economic regulatory incentives for distribution network businesses. the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) commissioned ISF to conduct the review to support the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) in developing the new DM Incentive Scheme required by a change to the National Electricity Rules in 2015.
Dunstan, C, Sharpe, SA & Downes, J Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, Investing in Savings: Finance and cooperative approaches to electricity demand management - A scoping study for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, pp. 1-124, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Dunstan, C, Downes, J & Sharpe, SA Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2013, Restoring Power: Cutting bills & carbon emissions with Demand Management, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Usher, J, Dunstan, C, Ross, K, Christie, L & Paevere, PJ Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2012, Building the electric vehicle market in Victoria: Policy and techology scenarios, pp. 1-104, Sydney, Australia.
Dunstan, C, Usher, J, Ross, K, Christie, L & Paevere, PJ Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 2011, Supporting electric vehicle adoption in Australia: Barriers and policy solutions, pp. 1-156, Victoria, Australia.
Usher, J, Horgan, CR, Dunstan, C & Paevere, PJ Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 2011, Plugging in: A technical and institutional assessment of electric vehicles and the grid in Australia, pp. 1-90, Victoria, Australia.
Dunstan, C, Ghiotto, N & Ross, K Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2011, Report of the 2010 survey of Electricity Network Demand Management in Australia, pp. 1-44, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Dunstan, C, Ross, K & Ghiotto, N Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2011, Barriers to demand management: A survey of stakeholder perceptions, pp. 1-51, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Parkes Shire Council (PSC) is investigating the options to reduce energy use and generate local energy from renewable or low carbon sources, with the aim of delivering significant financial and environmental benefits. To this end, PSC commissioned the Institute for Sustainable Futures to produce a Distributed Energy Plan to form part of PSCs Sustainable Water and Energy Plan (SWEP). ISF undertook a high level assessment of the energy options by assigning indicative costs and comparing them with projected increases in NSW electricity prices, and assessing risks and benefits in the Parkes context. Six options were selected for further investigation in consultation with PSC. Implementing the proposed Distributed Energy Plan could provide significant economic, social and environmental benefit to both PSC and the wider Parkes community, enabling PSC to invest more in other essential community services and programs. It will directly reduce councils own emissions and costs, and increase the profile of sustainable and low carbon technologies. An important element of the plan is to ensure that the Parkes community is informed about the energy actions implemented, enabling businesses, organisations and residents to learn from the Councils experience. There may be potential in the future to facilitate community implementation of distributed energy, for example by arranging or facilitating bulk purchase cooperatives, so that residents can gain access to the same cost effective solutions as PSC itself.
Rutovitz, J, Langham, E, Ison, N & Dunstan, C Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2011, Parkes Shire Council: Distributed energy plan - information sheet, pp. 1-2, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Rutovitz, J, Harris, SM, Kuruppu, N & Dunstan, C Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2011, Drilling down: Coal seam gas - a background paper, pp. 1-83, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Langham, E, Dunstan, C, Cooper, C, Moore, DD, Mohr, SH & Ison, N Institute for Sustainable Futures 2011, Decentralised Energy Costs and Opportunities for Victoria, pp. 1-136, University of Technology, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ison, N, Usher, J, Cantley-Smith, RM, Harris, SM & Dunstan, C Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS and Monash University Faculty of Law 2011, The NEM Report Card: How well does the National Electricity Market serve Australia?, pp. 1-158, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Dunstan, C, Boronyak, LJ, Langham, E, Ison, N, Usher, J, Cooper, C & White, S Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2011, Think small: The Australian decentralised energy roadmap: Issue 1, December 2011, pp. 1-110, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This report discusses twelve reform options that would drive or support a step-change improvement in energy efficiency in Australia by 2020. The reform options are a mix of policy, structural and regulatory reform.
Dunstan, C & Langham, E Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2010, Close to home: potential benefits of decentralised energy for NSW electricity consumers, pp. 1-46, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Langham, E, Dunstan, C, Walgenwitz, G, Denvir, P, Lederwasch, AJ & Lander, J Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS and Energetics 2010, Building Our Savings: Reduced infrastructure costs from improving building energy efficiency, pp. 1-146, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Meeting Australia's energy needs sustainably will be a major challenge for the next decade. Electricity consumption is forecast to increase by over 20 percent in the next 10 years, while peak electrical demand is increasing even more rapidly, with almost 30 percent growth forecast from 2010 to 2020. Natural gas consumption is forecast to rise by almost 50 percent and gas peak demand is set to increase by around 40 percent by 2020. An unprecedented level of energy sector capital expenditure has been proposed to meet this growth in total and peak demand. Over $46 billion in electricity network infrastructure alone is planned over just the next five years. Electricity generation and gas infrastructure will add significantly to this figure. This unprecedented expenditure is resulting in dramatic increases in consumer energy tariffs
Rutovitz, J & Dunstan, C Intelligent Grid Cluster 2009, Meeting NSW electricity needs in a carbon constrained world: lowering costs and emissions with distributed energy, pp. 1-38, Sydney, Australia.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Communities in developed nations expect their governments to ensure the reliable supply of electricity. Reflecting these expectations, the NSW Government established an Inquiry into Electricity Supply in NSW in 2007, chaired by Professor Anthony Owen (the Owen Inquiry). This Inquiry was asked in particular to review the need and timing for new baseload supply. The Owen Inquiry concluded that there was a potential shortfall in baseload supply from 2013/14, and recommended that planning for new power stations should commence immediately as the lead time for a coal-fired power station could be 67 years. Since the Owen Inquiry, the projections for both electricity consumption and electricity generation have been modified significantly (Transgrid 2008), such that the findings of the Inquiry warrant substantial reconsideration. It is beyond the scope of this report to review the merits of the privatisation plan proposed by the Owen Inquiry. However, it may well prove fortuitous for NSW that the Owen Inquirys recommendations were not adopted, as this means there is an opportunity to reconsider the options for securing the states electricity future.
Dunstan, C, Abeysuriya, K & Shirley, W Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS 2008, Win, win, win: Regulating electricity distribution networks for reliability, consumers and the environment: review of the NSW D-Factor and alternative mechanisms to encourage demand management, Sydney.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Dunstan, C, Fu, J & White, S CSIRO Energy Technology & SEDA 2004, Demand side management in south east Queensland: Tapping the opportunities: a scoping study for Energex, Sydney.
Dunstan, C Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability 2004, Demand management for electricity cistributors: NSW code of practice, Sydney.
Dunstan, C Department of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability 2004, NSW Energy Demand Management Taskforce Report, Sydney.
Dunstan, C Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) 2002, Distributed energy solutions: Cost and capacity estimates for decentralised options for meeting electricity demand in NSW, Sydney.
Dunstan, C Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) 2001, Inquiry into the Role of Demand Management and Other Options in the Provision of Energy Services: Issues Paper, Sydney.
Dunstan, C Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) 1995, Review of Pricing Policies of the Waste Recycling and Processing Service of NSW, Sydney.
Dunstan, C Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) 1994, Revenue Regulation for Electricity Distributors: Questions and Answers, Sydney.
Dunstan, C 2015, 'A simple rule change can save billions for power networks and their customers', The Conversation.