2016 Speakers and Presenters
Forum is proud to announce that it has secured the attendance of acknowledged leaders in their niches of the energy sector in Australia. Each will share their specialised knowledge about resources and opportunities available on the North Coast.
We are excited about the calibre and breadth of speakers presenting at this year’s forum. The program features:
- Adam Marshall – NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy
- Dr Mark Diesendorf – distinguished renewable energy academic and author
- Giles Parkinson – North Coast journalist and publisher of RenewEconomy
- Nicky Ison – Australia’s leading community energy expert
Adam Marshall is the Member for Northern Tablelands in the NSW Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW and Renewable Energy. Having grown up of a farming property near Gunnedah, in the state’s North West, Adam is proud to have always lived and worked in country NSW. He attended Gunnedah South Public School then Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School in Tamworth. Completing school, Adam returned home to help manage his family’s farming enterprises. He became a journalist, during which time he was elected to Gunnedah Shire Council, at the age of 19, in 2004.
Adam was elected Deputy Mayor in 2007 and then, at the age of 23, Mayor in 2008, a position he held until he stepped down from local government in 2012 to move to Armidale to study at the University of New England. During his time in local government, Adam also served as Chairman of the Namoi Regional Organisation of Councils (NamoiROC), Chairman of the NSW Country Mayors Association and Senior Vice President of Local Government NSW.
At a by-election in May 2013 Adam was elected to the NSW Parliament to represent the third largest seat in the State – Northern Tablelands. During his time in Parliament, Adam has chaired several committees and inquires and served as a Temporary Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. Adam was returned at the March 2015 election as was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW and Renewable Energy this year.
Dr Mark Diesendoft
Giles Parkinson is the founder and editor of RenewEconomy, an independent website that is Australia’s leading source of news and views on the new energy economy: renewable energy technology and policy, energy efficiency and the energy market. A journalist of 30 years experience, he is a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Australian Financial Review, a former columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the founder and former editor of Climate Spectator.
Nicky Ison – Australia’s leading community energy expert
Nicky Ison is a Founding Director of the Community Power Agency, a Senior Research Consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney and Coordinator of the Coalition for Community Energy. She is an expert in the field of energy policy and community renewable energy and has worked with and visited over 50 community energy groups in Australia, Europe and the US. Nicky has a detailed understanding of the working of Australia’s energy system. Relevant projects include co-authoring the Homegrown Power Plan, lead authorship of the National Electricity Market Report Card and the National Community Energy Strategy, developing energy price projections and contributing to the Decentralised Energy Roadmap. She is the former Convenor of the Solar Citizens Steering Committee. In 2014, Nicky was recognised on the Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence List.
Concurrent Session Presenters
This year – the program includes four breakout sessions (of which every participant can attend two).
- Batteries for Business
- Low Carbon Communities
- Local Energy Systems
- Low Carbon Councils
Each of these session will have multiple presenters to give you indepth information, case studies and practical knowledge. Full details of all the presenters will be with you soon. Here are two of our presenters:
Presenting in Batteries for Business
Julien Freed & Ed Darmanin
Ed Darmanin is an Electrical Engineer with 35 years of experience in Building Services. This experience includes the design and commissioning of many complex electrical services projects involving battery based UPS and back-up power systems for large data centres and financial market dealing rooms as well as basic electrical services for all types of buildings. Since 2002, Ed has been a leader in the transformation of the signage industry through the practical applications of LED technology and technical training and support to the industry.
In 2015, Ed took delivery of his first Electric Vehicle and installed a 14kW Solar PV system with 24kWh of Battery Storage that together meet approximately 95% of his total power requirements including the charging of his electric car.
Ed’s electrical engineering services expertise together with his personal experience in the procurement and operation of his EV, Solar PV and Battery systems enables him to provide guidance and training to prospective buyers to better understand what this technology can and can’t do and how to determine what they need before approaching the market.
Julien Freed has been involved in residential and commercial lighting since 1981. He has been the principal lighting designer for 2 major electrical engineering firms for a total of eight years. Julien has always enjoyed working with technology innovations from the introduction of low voltage halogen in Australia in the early eighties, low wattage metal halide lamps through the 90’s and LED into the noughties. He sees the application of energy efficient lighting technology as an important balance between quality of light and value for money. More recently Julien came to the realisation that we are all in the industry of change and that when new technologies arrive we all have to establish a similar kind of balance. In the case of battery storage he works with his technical partners ChargeWorks to ensure that end users can find the balance they need between the capabilities of the technology and the value that it presents to their business.
With 22 years experience in the Australian renewable energy industry in engineering and project management, Kersten has worked on many landmark wind, solar, battery and diesel power system projects, from utility to commercial scale, remote area off grid/micro grid and grid connected, from Arnhem Land to Alaska to Alice Springs to Antarctica. Enesol is currently managing the rollout of more than 1,000 solar systems and other energy efficiency measures for one of NSW’s community housing providers and is helping developers, architects and councils with the design, procurement and implementation of various solar and battery power system. Kersten is also a committee member of the Bellingen Shire Electricity Alliance.
Presenting in Low Carbon Communities
Nicky Ison – as above
Alison Crook AO
Alison is an experienced company director (17 boards including IBM Aust, LendLease Corp Financial Services, St James Ethics Centre) and now chair of Enova Energy. Previous positions include: State Librarian NSW, Director General State & Regional Development (NSW), Exec. Dir. Ops Serco Asia Pacific, and DVC Monash University. Alison is also a past Australian Business Woman of the Year and Australian Business Leader (Professions). Alison and her family have a long history in the region originally from Grafton, and now in the Byron Shire.
Dr Sandra Eady
Dr Sandra Eady is an environmental scientist with CSIRO and lives in the Uralla community. Sandra’s research includes greenhouse mitigation and carbon storage opportunities from rural land use, policy design for reducing greenhouse gases from farming, and development of a national life cycle assessment database for undertaking carbon and water footprinting. Her research is being used to explore the food:energy:carbon nexus that will drive future land use; to benchmark the environmental impact of agriculture production to identify hotspots for improvement; and as a tool for regional and industry assessment of environmental impact of agriculture.
Sandra’s environmental interests extend to establishing Uralla Shire as a zero net energy region. She is the Convenor for Z-NET Uralla and has a driving passion to see her community grow and participate in the renewable energy economy.
Dr Paul Bryce
Dr Paul Bryce helped found the Institute for Sustainable Futures, at the University of Technology Sydney, became its founding Deputy Director and later an Adjunct Professor of ISF. He was also a Chief Technical Advisor to the United Nations agency UNIDO, and worked for many years in our Pacific and South East Asian region on renewable energy projects for isolated developing communities. Paul is a founding member of Bellingen Shire Electricity Alliance.
Presenting in Local Energy Systems
Tosh is Director and co-founder of Energy for the People, and The People’s Solar, two social enterprises focused on enabling the rapid transition to a clean, distributed energy market that works in the interests of people and communities. Since 2012, collectively they have managed energy projects over $15m in value, worked with ground breaking community energy projects in Tyalgum (NSW) and Newstead (VIC), and raised over $250,000 for community solar projects. Tosh has a particular interest in the role of cheap energy storage in our future market, how the energy market transition can be managed efficiently and fairly.
Mark Byrne is Energy Market Advocate at the Total Environment Centre and has been Convenor of the North Coast Energy Forum since its inception in 2010. He has been on the steering committee of the newly formed Coalition for Community Energy. He was formerly an environmental law educator at the NSW Environmental Defenders Office Northern Rivers office. TEC is currently working on two rule changes to encourage the integration of decentralised energy into the grid and is auspcing the project to establish a community energy retailer on the North Coast. He is based in Sydney but is a part time resident of Kempsey Shire.
Presenting in Low Carbon Councils
Barbara is the director of Sustainable Business Consulting and co-founder of 100% Renewables. She works with businesses and councils on carbon reduction, energy management, and mapping out the path to 100% renewable energy. She is a preferred supplier for the NSW and Federal Governments and a trusted advisor to many local Government jurisdictions. She is the author of the book ‘Energy Unlimited – Four Steps to 100% Renewable Energy’, which will come out in December this year.
Tiffany Harrison has started as “volunteer program manager” of the Zero Emissions Byron project, and is based at Byron Bay. Tiffany’s appointment is to both Byron Council and BZE. Tiffany has worked with several NGOs including Mackay Conservation Group, Wilderness Society and Save the Planet.