Tax law, policy and energy justice: Re-thinking biofuels investment and research in Australia

Diane Kraal, Victoria Haritos, Rowena Cantley-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Tax law and policy can encourage investment in innovative research into biofuels as part of a just transition to a low carbon economy. This multi-disciplinary paper aims to re-think those fiscal levers. Biofuels such as ethanol can be categorised by the type of feedstock used for processing into the final product. Triggered by the rise in oil prices, many biofuel studies were conducted in Australia over the period 2007 to 2014. We ask whether there is a contemporary tax policy narrative to elicit from previous Australian studies on biofuel innovation, and take a qualitative research approach in our investigation. We next consider the type of fiscal support that might encourage further biofuels research. The framework of energy justice is used for analysis. Findings suggest that stability in contemporary government tax law, policy and national energy co-ordination is required for biofuel innovation. Australia needs to use a greater diversity of energy resources: the gap that this paper addresses. Globally, tax law and policy drive investment towards a sustainable energy mix.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-58
Number of pages28
JournalAustralian Tax Forum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • tax law
  • government policy
  • energy justice
  • biofuels
  • renewable energy
  • Australia

Cite this