Setting up a national energy policy is not rocket science, according to a leading energy chief executive.

Paul Adams, chief of gas and electricity company Jemena, says the federal failure is forcing states to go it alone, which could create more problems.

“For national businesses, these states creating different policies is making it difficult to run companies as you have to change for each state,” Mr Adams has told Fairfax.

“Everyone would like a national policy but we’re getting more fragmented as states put through their own policy, and we’ll get another rail gauge issue where the states don’t align.”

The federal government has killed off the planned National Energy Guarantee (NEG), but Victoria is charging ahead with the Victorian Renewable Energy Policy, Queensland has the Powering Queensland plan, Tasmania is aiming for a renewable energy surplus and NSW has outlined key renewable energy zones.

Mr Adams said plans for a national policy were hijacked by fringe elements.

“Around 90 per cent of Australian’s agree [on the need to address affordability and emissions] but politics is so knife-edge we now have people at both ends of the bell curve dictating policy, and it’s these fringes driving policy apart,” Mr Adams said.

“It’s pretty straightforward from my perspective, so I don’t know why they make it so hard. It’s not rocket science.

A recent Deloitte report said cities and communities are leading the charge in developing renewable energy.

“Despite the recent policy retreat on the National Energy Guarantee in Australia, the future is an increasing mix of renewables into the grid and a transition away from traditional forms of energy,” Deloitte said.

“These declining costs and the increasing reliability of wide-scale integration makes the renewable energy solution a credible alternative for consumers, communities and cities.

“Renewable Energy demand will continue despite the policy void at a domestic level in Australia.

“In Australia, where the national leadership is retreating on decarbonisation efforts, cities, communities and corporations have become the most relevant actors,” it said.