Renewable Cities Australia Forum: emergent technologies, plans, challenges and achievements

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Friday, 05 May, 2017

Renewable Cities Australia Forum: emergent technologies, plans, challenges and achievements

With some of the world’s leading cities planning for 100% renewable energy, the Renewable Cities Australia Forum looks at how to increase clean and renewable energy uptake in Australian cities and towns.

Through the forum’s theme of ‘Plan, Innovate, Lead’, business and government experts will share their plans, achievements and challenges in moving to renewable and innovative energy systems for electricity and public transport.

Across the two-day forum, over 25 speakers will detail the latest technologies and case studies of leadership for going 100% renewable in Australia, sharing their progress and market understanding, challenges and opportunities.

Professor Ross Garnaut AO, chairman of ZEN Energy Technologies, and the Right Hon Martin Haese, Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide, will give the plenary keynote presentations. Dr Stephen Bygrave, executive director of climate change and sustainability for the ACT Government, will meanwhile be speaking on Canberra as a 100% renewable city.

Day 1 themes include:

  • Updates from Australian city and business leaders on their progress
  • The corporate world’s role in growing renewable cities
  • Case studies on planning for 100% renewable

Day 2 features the inaugural Electric Vehicle workshop, including:

  • EV Council update on the path forward for Australia
  • Planning for an EV Future
  • Case studies of industry embracing electric vehicles

Key speakers

Professor Ross Garnaut AO is well known to many Australians for his work on climate change. He’s the author of numerous influential reports to government (including The Garnaut Climate Change Review) and many books, monographs and articles on international economics, public finance and economic development. A Professorial Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Melbourne, Professor Garnaut has held distinguished high-level positions and chaired the boards of major Australian and international companies and organisations. In 2015 he became chairman of ZEN Energy Technologies, which seeks to integrate optimal combinations of renewable energy and storage to minimise the cost of supplying zero-carbon electricity to Australian users.

The Right Hon Martin Haese has been Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide since 2014. With an MBA and having lectured for MBA students, Haese has served on several boards and was chairman of the world’s largest historic motoring event (The Bay to Birdwood). He believes technology will provide solutions for many of today’s problems and opportunities and his immediate goal is for Adelaide to become a smart, green, livable and creative city, and ultimately the world’s most liveable city. South Australia plans to have more than 50% renewable energy by 2025.

Dr Stephen Bygrave has worked on climate change for more than 20 years with international organisations, academia, government, community and the non-government sectors in a myriad of roles. Before he was executive director climate change and sustainability in the ACT Government, Dr Bygrave was CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions. He has led significant Australian climate change initiatives including the mandatory renewable energy target, the carbon price and the National Framework for Energy Efficiency. A Visiting Professor at the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Dr Bygrave has also implemented renewable energy projects in the Pacific Islands and with the OECD (Paris).

“Last year’s forum enabled both speakers and attendees to share their experiences at informal sessions,” said Mary Hendriks, convenor and program manager of Renewable Cities Australia Forum. “Open discussions included the challenges and opportunities in changing to low-carbon systems and enabled new relationships with government, community and business to be formed. With the added benefit of networking drinks at the end of day one, the 2016 event was a resounding success. This year will build on that formula and we are excited with the range and depth of speakers who will present at Renewable Cities Australia Forum.”

The Renewable Cities Australia Forum will again be co-located with the Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition and will feature a new Renewable Cities Zone on the shared exhibition floor. The forum will showcase how cities and regions are transforming their energy systems, and the workshop will feature case studies of electric transport and charging infrastructure.

The event will be held at the International Convention Centre Sydney from 14–15 June 2017. Visit for more information.

Image caption: Professor Ross Garnaut AO.

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