Australian Energy Week 2019 (AEW2019) was in the spotlight last week after representatives from across the energy value chain convened in Melbourne to discuss policy and regulatory changes, competition and technological disruption, consumer trends and evolving customer expectations.


AGL CEO & MD Brett Redman addressing AEW2019

Some key discussion points from AEW2019 included:

  • Australia’s energy markets outlook – how the energy market will evolve over the next decade, how existing infrastructure will serve us in the future, the growing role of renewables and the changing way consumers will engage with the market.
  • Consumer-centric retail – how consumers are driving the biggest changes in retail, how emerging technology is driving transformation, and how companies can use data and insights to give better service to their customers.
  • NextGen Generation – how politics and markets will shape the energy mix, how intermittency will be managed, innovative generation projects, and how renewables could power a manufacturing revolution.
  • Future Grid –integrating significantly more intermittent resources into the grid, using big data and Artificial Intelligence ‘AI’ to drive grid efficiency, and the role of networks to enable a renewable future.
  • Commercial & Industrial Energy – customer innovation and engagement, international demand response findings, and how new energy efficiency and productivity initiatives can drive demand down.

Additionally, #AEW2019 featured two forums: one focused on electrical engineering (including new technology to reduce costs and risks, and improve safety, flexibility, and stability) and one focused on energy policy (including upcoming policy and rule changes, jurisdiction conflicts, and –the impact the rapidly evolving industry is having on the market).

What did AGL have to say?

Representatives from AGL contributed to the discussion, providing perspectives on the energy sector, helping customers and communities through the energy transition, and the benefits of renewables.

Brett Redman, CEO and Managing Director, spoke on how the energy market is undergoing rapid transformation, driven by customers and renewables, and the responsibilities that service providers like AGL have to their customers.

Some highlights from Brett’s presentation included:

  • Rapid transformation due to advances in tech and evolving customer and community expectations.
  • Our industry’s shared ambition for affordable, reliable and sustainable energy for Australia.
  • The role of an energy mix supported by flexible and firming energy sources.
  • The orchestration possibilities associated with rooftop solar and batteries to provide additional system strength
  • What’s on offer for consumers to encourage growth in the virtual power plant of the future.

Read Brett’s reflections of AEW and his presentation here.

Phaedra Deckart, General Manager Supply and Origination, shared insights on large-scale projects at the Women in Energy breakfast. This session included short presentations and an interactive panel discussion.

Some highlights from Phaedra’s session included:

  • Honesty and candour – over and above the simple transparency of the past – are key to companies who operate in communities.
  • Community consultation is not about trying to change minds with facts and figures; rather, it is about building trust and working with communities to deliver projects that are good for all.
  • Societal change is so rapid that there is no longer an accepted normal; rather, we live in a bright future where people play to their strengths and complement each other’s weaknesses.
  • Growing diversity allows new thought, new thinking, and new solutions.

Clare Wilkes, Senior Manager, Government and Community Relations, answered questions on how generation projects can leave positive legacies for communities.

Some highlights from Clare’s session included:

  • Social licence is fundamentally about building trust, building communication, and building relationships.
  • AGL has a strong focus on social licence, driven by the CEO; it is one of our key strategic directions, along with growth and transformation.
  • Expectations around how organisations should operate in communities are growing; we need to connect with communities to help deliver on what is important to them.

And that’s a wrap on Australian Energy week for 2019!