For those readers who may not know, what is Clean Energy Week?
Clean Energy Week is the industry’s annual conference, bringing together the entire renewable energy and energy efficiency sector in one week-long event.
It combines the Clean Energy Council’s industry conference and Australia’s largest solar event, ATRAA. By running the two conference programs alongside one other as well as staging a huge trade exhibition and events for the general public, we’ve set out to create the biggest and best clean energy event in Australia.
The format is in its second year, and seems to be working well based on industry feedback. We’re expecting at least 2,000 delegates in 2012, including clean energy experts, policy makers, financiers, technology proponents and developers, and we believe it’s a great opportunity for the industry to unite, look at where we’re at and where we’re headed, as well as hopefully generate some positive media and public attention for our sector.Article continues below…
What is the ‘public events’ component you mention?
There’s no doubt the event is primarily designed by the industry, for the industry, but we wanted to use the week as an opportunity for the general public to learn more about renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, and the role they are playing and will play in Australia’s energy future.
On the last day (Friday 27 July from 9–10 am) we are hosting a public debate about the role for clean energy in Australia in 2050, which will give a range of commentators and industry representatives the chance to put their views out on the bigger picture. It will be moderated by journalist George Negus and open free to the public to attend. It’s the first time we’ve done it, and I’m really looking forward to it. It will be a fantastic way to open up the conference to those beyond the clean energy industry.
The huge clean energy trade exhibition will also be free to the public to have a look through and talk to exhibitors.
We’re also running our schools program again this year. It complements the educational resources we have developed for schools, and we will give approximately 800 local primary school children a tour around the exhibition. They also watch a fun plenary session which teaches them the difference between traditional energy sources and clean energy, as well as the different technologies. It was hugely popular in 2011.
What will be the key issues for the sector discussed at the Clean Energy Week conference?
The theme for the Clean Energy Week conference program is ‘Achieving the 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target’. Obviously it’s such an important piece of policy for our industry and with a review scheduled later this year we want to ensure the industry is united in terms of achieving the target, understanding the challenges and pushing for the removal of barriers that are inhibiting further development.
The program will explore key issues around project financing, grid, energy market and electricity contracting, resources and planning, and deliver workshops specific to the innovation and development occurring in each technology.
For example, we’ll hear analysis from experts like Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Seb Henbest and Morgan Stanley’s Emile Abdurahman, AGL Energy Managing Director and Chief Executive Michael Fraser, First Solar’s Jack Curtis, Infigen Energy’s Miles George and many more. The event will be opened by Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Greg Combet and we’ll hear from key politicians from around the country, as well as international guests. Writer and political commentator George Megalogenis will be the guest speaker at this year’s Gala Dinner.