Clean Energy Council, Energy Next, Events, Renewables, Solar, Sustainability

Energy Next: Charting Australia’s net-zero future

Australia’s clean energy industry gathered in Sydney on 18-19 July, 2023, for the annual Energy Next exhibition. Co-located under one roof with the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the events attracted the renewables sector’s innovators and thought leaders for two days of knowledge sharing and exploration of the nation’s clean energy future.

Powered by All-Energy Australia, in partnership with the Clean Energy Council, Energy Next at ICC Sydney focused on the latest renewable energy and energy management technologies and solutions from leading suppliers across solar, energy storage, electric vehicles and energy monitoring software.

In 2022, around 1500 attendees passed through the doors during the two-day event, but in 2023 this same approximate number of people visited in the first day alone, helping cement Energy Next as a premium renewables expo.

The overriding themes were collaboration, creativity and critical thinking on Australia’s path to net-zero emissions. These messages were communicated through keynote speakers and technical sessions with experts who discussed the latest issues and areas of growth for the industry across PV innovation, electric vehicles, digitisation, hydrogen, energy data, offshore wind, microgrids and storage.

Solar installers and designers attending Energy Next benefitted from the educational Solar Masterclass sessions, where technical experts presented on a range of issues relating to standards, compliance and the latest developments in the PV industry.

The bustling expo floor at Energy Next in Sydney. Photo: Gavin Dennett.

“The Solar Masterclass sessions provided a great platform to engage installers on industry requirements,” said Gary Edgar, technical services SME at the Clean Energy Council. “They provide a great platform to engage installers on industry requirements.

“Energy Next is a good base for products and new technologies for consumers to consider, and it has been a great place for the Clean Energy Council to connect with the industry.”

Energy Next also served as an urgent call for action from the clean energy industry and government to accelerate the uptake of renewables to meet Australia’s target of 43 per cent emissions reduction by 2030.

“We need to decarbonise rapidly,” said Dr Nicole Kuepper-Russell, deputy CEO of solar company 5B, during her address at the event. “We need to electrify everything and deploy at enormous scale, well beyond the Industrial Revolution.

“Australia needs 80 terawatts of power and 60 times more terawatts on the ground by 2030. However, there are major challenges: labour is becoming scarce, with an ageing population. Large-scale solar farms are in highly remote sites; materials are scarce and land is scarce. We urgently need to think creatively about how we achieve these goals.”

Energy Next returns to Sydney in July 2024.

Photo at top: Warwick Johnston from SunWiz addressing Energy Next attendees. Photo: Energy Next.

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