Australia's state energy ministers have agreed to replace state energy market regulators with one national body, the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), as of July. They hope the move will pave the way for up to A$2 billion investment in the industry by removing overlap in regulation and giving greater confidence to potential investors. "This is a clear signal to potential investors that Australia will offer a streamlined regulatory process for the express purpose of encouraging more investment in energy generation," says industry minister Ian Macfarlane. He adds: "Australia will require about A$20 billion investment in new power generation over the next decade just to keep abreast of its growing energy demand. The more we can do with simpler regulation and better interaction, the more likely energy prices will stay where they are." July 1 will also see a second new body, the Australian Energy Market Commission, become operational. This will take a national approach to rule-making and development of the energy market.
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