Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (College of Business)

Schools and Centres


First Supervisor

Zahid Hasan

Second Supervisor

Mamta Chowdhury


This thesis presents four studies on renewable energy. In this thesis, we analyse the political determinants of renewable energy investment in Chapter 2, evaluate the interaction effect between government system and governance quality on renewable energy investment in Chapter 3, estimate the impact of renewable energy on electricity prices and volatility transmission across the Australian regional markets in Chapter 4 and finally investigate the bi-directional causation between environmental and financial performance in Chapter 5.

The findings from Chapter 2 show that both the left and central-orientated governments promote renewable energy investment more than the right-orientated government. Although the presidential system has a greater ability to enact environmental policies quicker, the result from Chapter 2 suggests that the parliamentarian system has a better effect on promoting renewable energy investment. The results from Chapter 3 reveal that institutional quality facilitates more renewable energy investment in the parliamentary system than the presidential system.

The findings from Chapter 4 reveal that increasing solar penetration decreases electricity prices in the regional electricity markets of Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania. However, the results further reveal that the joint negative effect of solar and wind energy on electricity prices is outweighed by the positive impact of natural gas prices.

The VAR model in Chapter 5 reveals that bi-directional causation holds between environmental and financial performance. After addressing endogeneity, the findings further suggest that the marginal cost of environmental initiatives is higher for more productive firms, and this leads to downwards bias in the panel least square estimation.

Since renewable energy is crucial to reducing the adverse effect of climate change, the findings of this study will be beneficial to policymakers in assessing their mode of governance and identifying areas to improve renewable energy investment. The findings can also be helpful for policymakers in designing appropriate regulations regarding electricity network and transmission expansion.

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