Dr James Prest

BA(Hons)(Adel.), LLB(Hons 1) (ANU),GDPL (ANU), PhD (Env. Law) (Wollong.) Barrrister and Solicitor (ACT)
Convenor, Master of Energy Change

Dr Prest is an environmental lawyer with more than 25 years' post qualification experience from positions in academia, private sector large law firms, public sector, and NGO legal practice.

Dr Prest is an environmental law specialist, focusing on energy change and solutions to climate change. He is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the ANU. His research has a strong focus on comparative environmental law, with an emphasis on renewable energy and climate change law, examining the legal and policy barriers to increased investment in renewable electricity generation. His work applies a comparative law approach to critically analyse key policy choices and legislative models in the field of domestic energy and climate law, drawing upon Australian, and international experience. His primary expertise is in national level sustainable energy law and policy for deep decarbonisation.

Dr Prest’s expertise is recognised outside of academia, particularly through his work with government, both at the State and Federal levels. In 2020 he was engaged by the energy consulting firm ITP Renewables Pty Ltd to assist with a major report to the ACT government concerning renewable gas, to write chapters on policy and incentives for renewable gas, and certification of origin of renewable gas.

In 2018-2019, he was the Legal, Regulatory and Policy Lead on pipeline injection of biomethane in Australia, a major project Commissioned by EDL Pty Ltd and the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science. This project was the first detailed examination of regulation and policy issues affecting biomethane injection into Australian gas distribution networks. This experience demonstrates his experience on regulatory aspects of renewable gas applicable to hydrogen projects.

Other recent work has covered aspects of energy storage, examining the impact of law and policy on battery storage projects, and on the use of power-to-gas strategies involving renewable gas such as biomethane and hydrogen.