Renewable Energy - Fostering Innovation

Thu, 2015-03-05 21:33 -- adminssee
Monday, November 9, 2015 - 17:30
Mr Oliver Yates, CEO Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Ms Sarah McLeod, AGL Energy Limited and Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO Beyond Zero Emissions
Auditorium, Engineers Australia, Level 31, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Event Details: 
The transition of energy systems from traditional fossil fuels to renewable sources poses technical, financial and policy challenges. It is a transition that must be accomplished if the globe is to curb greenhouse gas emissions in order to contain global average atmospheric temperature rise to a safe level, generally accepted as being less than two degrees above the pre industrial figure. Australia, as a mid size economy and a large emitter per capita and per unit GDP has a clear responsibility to substantially reduce its emissions. The energy sector and particularly electricity generation offers great opportunities to reduce emissions by transitioning to low or no emissions technologies.
This seminar will cover aspects of fostering this transition from an investor, energy utility and community organisation perspectives.
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The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) mobilises capital investment in renewable energy, low-emission technology and energy efficiency in Australia. Since its inception, the CEFC has committed over $1.4 billion in finance to investments in clean energy projects valued at over $3.5 billion. The CEFC invests for a positive financial return, with more than 55 direct investments and 34 projects co-financed under aggregation programs. These projects help to improve energy productivity for businesses across Australia, develop local industries and generate new employment opportunities. These CEFC investments are expected to achieve abatement of 4.2 million tonnes of CO2e per annum with a positive net benefit to the taxpayer. Oliver Yates, Chief Executive Officer, will outline recent activities of the CEFC and how he sees its future role.
Oliver Yates has over 20 years of global experience in corporate advisory, financial structuring, project finance, debt structuring, equity raising and listings, with extensive experience in clean energy. At Macquarie Bank he was involved in establishing new businesses and growing operations internationally and leading the Bank's initiatives in wind, solar, biofuels, carbon credits and other renewable businesses. 
He has played key roles in clean energy, terrestrial and bio-sequestration and other solutions to the climate change challenge over many years. He established BioCarbon, a leading international project developer which invests forestry, land-use and sustainable energy service projects, as a joint venture between Global Forest Partners LP, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Macquarie Group. Mr Yates is an investor in and has held board positions on a number of innovative energy ventures. 
He participated in the South Australian Government's Green Grid study to look at unlocking renewable resources on the Eyre Peninsula and the Victorian Government study into carbon capture and storage (CCS) for the Latrobe Valley. 
Mr. Yates holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) with an Advanced Diploma in Mastering the Boardroom. 
AGL and the Nyngan Solar Power Plant. Creating the largest solar power plant in Australia. 
The challenge 
Finding, creating, building and managing new, sustainable and environmentally sound projects for the future is a complex task. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the New South Wales Government chose to partner with AGL on the Nyngan solar power plant project because of their credentials in renewable energy and ability to handle the complexities of such a large scale project from start to finish. 
The solution 
Through extensive research, we found Nyngan, in NSW, receives strong and consistent solar radiation – making it an ideal location for a solar power plant. The project site is flat, with a good buffer between the plant site and nearby residents, and significant demand for electricity from Dubbo and surrounding areas. AGL developed, owned, and managed the project, being responsible for everything from construction to connection and system maintenance. 
This included: 
  • civil work (surveying, grading, fencing and roads).  
  • Structural work (installation of posts, rails, and tables).  
  • Substation work (construction of substation and installation of transformer). 
  • Electrical work (installation of modules, inverters, transformers, and cabling). 
  • Overhead line work (construction of a new section of 132kV power line).  
  • Solar system maintenance after commercial operation starts. 
The plant produces approximately 230,000 megawatt-hours of clean renewable electricity each year (enough energy to supply approximately 33,000 NSW homes) 
Sarah McLeod is the General Manager, Gas and Renewables with AGL Energy Limited.
Sarah joined AGL six years ago as the Head of Hydro responsible for AGL Energy’s 18 Hydroelectric power stations, and was later appointed as the Project Director for integration of the Loy Yang A power station and mine following its acquisition by AGL in 2012.   Subsequent to the successful completion of this project, she held the role of Head of Operational Excellence for AGL’s Merchant Energy business before being appointed as General Manager Gas & Renewables in June this year in which she is responsible for all of AGL’s gas, solar, wind and hydro generation assets.
Prior to joining AGL, Sarah held senior operations management positions with BAE Systems and ASC Pty Ltd, responsible for the construction and maintenance of Armoured Personnel Carriers and Submarines for the Australian Defence Force, a logical transition from her time in uniform as an Army Officer.
Sarah is a qualified mechanical engineer, holds Masters Degrees in Project Management & Commercial Law, and is Lean Six Sigma qualified at Green Belt level.
Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) is a community group that has achieved prominence and recognition through its advocacy and in-depth feasibility studies on how society can move toward zero emissions. It has published several major ‘Zero carbon Australia’ reports, including:
  • Stationary Energy Plan
  • Buildings Plan
  • High Speed Rail
  • Repower Port Augusta
Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO of BZE will review the work and achievements of BZE and outline the latest plans and projects in the pipeline.
Dr Stephen Bygrave has worked on climate change for 20 years, across renewable energy, energy efficiency, transport, agriculture and forestry. He worked on the mandatory renewable energy target in the late 1990s and on international climate change issues at the OECD between 2002-04. Most recently he worked as a senior executive setting up the Clean Energy Regulator. 
His PhD, funded by Greenpeace in the mid 1990s, was on village scale renewable energy projects in the Pacific Islands.