Speakers at The NEM Future Forum 2014


Gavin Dufty
Policy Director
St Vincent De Paul

Gavin is currently employed as the manager of policy and research at St Vincent de Paul Society, Victoria. Gavin’s has worked in the community welfare sector for over 18 years. During this time he has produced a number or reports focusing on the cost of living with a particular focus on energy. Gavin is a representative of a number of industry and government committees associated with energy policy including: Member Victorian government ministerial advisory committee on smart meters,  AGL’s national customer council, Citipower / Powercor customer consultative committee, Past member of the Australian Energy Market Commissixon, Reliability Panel, Independent assessment panel for the Australian Government's Smart Grid, Smart City program.

Chris Dunstan photo nem future forum sydney australia conference 2014 septemberChris Dunstan,
Chief Executive Officer,
Alliance to Save Energy (a2se)

Chris has worked in Australian clean energy technology and policy development since 1990.   He has worked for utilities, government departments, regulators and industry associations.
Between 1997 and 2004, Chris led strategic planning and policy development at the Sustainable Energy Development Authority of NSW (SEDA).  Chris was instrumental in the development of the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme- the world’s first Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme and Energy Efficiency (White Certificate) Trading Scheme.  He also played a key role in developing Australia’s first Demand Management Code of Practice for Electricity Networks and the NSW Government's $200 million Energy Savings Fund.

Since joining the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney in 2006, Chris’ research has focused on climate change policy and the electricity sector, including the Australian Decentralized Energy Roadmap project as part of the three-year CSIRO Intelligent Grid Research Program.
Chris also serves as the (part time) Chief Executive of the Australian Alliance to Save Energy – a not for profit organisation dedicated to building community understanding and support for energy efficiency and decentralised energy.

Mark Feather
Executive Director, Energy Sector Development Branch
Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, Victoria

Mark is Executive Director of the Energy Sector Development Branch of the Victorian Government’s Department of State Development, Business and Innovation.  This branch provides policy advice and support to the Minister for Energy and Resources on the governance and regulation of the electricity and gas sector. 

Prior to working at DSDBI, Mark was the Director of the Australian Energy Market Commissions’ wholesale, environment and transmission division. 

Mark also worked at the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) in Great Britain for a period of 10 years.  Mark held a number of positions at Ofgem, including: Director of Industry Codes and Licensing; Associate Director in Ofgem’s Networks division, as well as Ofgem’s Head of Gas Trading Arrangements.

Mark has also previously held positions in the Energy Projects Division of the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance and, before this, at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Mark holds an Honours law and an arts degree from the University of Adelaide and a Postgraduate Diploma in European Competition Law from King’s College, University of London.

Ivor Frischknecht
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Renewable Energy Agency

Mr Frischknecht's appointment as ARENA CEO commenced in August 2012.

Mr Frischknecht brings experience as Investment Director of Starfish Ventures Pty Ltd. Starfish is a venture capital firm that manages $400 million primarily on behalf of Australian superannuation funds. Mr Frischknecht's key activities included responsibility for the firm's cleantech investment activities, including for alternative energy, water and other environmental technologies.

Mr Frischknecht was previously Director of New Ventures, Idealab, a company involved in developing and investing in technology start-up companies, including renewable energy companies. Mr Frischknecht was also previously the CEO of H2onsite (a company involved in commercialisation of clean energy generation technology) and a senior executive and advisor to a range of venture capital and energy companies.
Mr Frischknecht holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Economics with Honours from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Business Administration and Public Management Certificate from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.

Hugh Gleeson
Chief Executive Officer
United Energy and Multinet Gas

Hugh Gleeson has been CEO of United Energy (UE) and Multinet Gas (MG) since 2003.

UE and Multinet are both unlisted Victorian energy distribution companies. UE distributes electricity to approximately 640,000 customers and is owned by Diversified Utility and Energy Trusts (DUET) and SGSP (Australia) Assets. MG distributes gas to approximately 660,000 customers and is wholly owned by DUET.

Hugh has over 25 years experience in the utility sector and prior to his current role held various general management positions including regulation, distribution and utility operations.
Since its formation in 2003 Hugh has been a member on the Board of the Energy Network Association, previously holding the positions of Deputy Chairman and Chairman.

Paul Graham
Chief Economist

Paul Graham is Chief Economist in the CSIRO Energy Flagship. In this role he is responsible for advice on the global and national economic context relevant for the energy sector, setting the strategic direction regarding economic and social science research, leading major national social and economic science initiatives and mentoring other projects and staff. Mr Graham has been with CSIRO for 14 years and prior to that was a senior research officer at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He has led several “forum” projects in partnership with a huge range of Australia’s leading energy, resource and transport companies, major NGOs and key federal and state government departments. He has also been a key contributor to each of the modelling teams assembled for the various state and federal carbon policy processes.

John Grimes
Chief Executive
Australian Solar Council

Since 2008 John has been the Chief Executive of the Australian Solar Council, a not for profit organisation dedicated to ‘solar for a suitable future’. In this role he has grown the profile and influence of the organisation, as it has become the national voice of solar.

Headquartered in Canberra the Australian Solar Council has active chapters across Australia, as it advocates for solar issues.

Keith Orchison
Coolibah Pty Ltd

Keith Orchison has been engaged in the Australian energy industry for 33 years, of which he spent 24 as chief executive of national industry associations representing the upstream petroleum and electricity supply sectors.

He was a founder of the Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, which he chaired in 2000. From 2003 to 2007 he served on  the Critical Infrastructure Advisory Council set up by the Howard government and was chairman of its energy committee. He was also chairman of CSIRO's energy technology advisory committee in the late 1990s and was deputy chairman and the overseeing manager of the Australian Electricity Supply Industry Research Board through most of the 1990s. In 2011-12 he was a member of the Federal Government's energy white paper reference group.

Keith was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2004 and was awarded the 2012 Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal by AusIMM for communication services to the resources sector. He also is a holder of the APPEA Gold Medal (now the Reg Sprigg Medal), awarded in 1994 for services to the petroleum industry.

Keith has been principal of consultancy Coolibah Pty Ltd since retiring from ESAA at the end of 2003 and has numerous clients for his communications services across the spectrum of energy stakeholders.
He edited the "Powering Australia" yearbook from 2007 to 2012. He is a commentator on energy issues for "Business Spectator" electronic newspaper and has a new column in "Gas Today" magazine.
His "This is Power" blog and monthly newsletter on the Coolibah website are widely read in the energy industry. In late 2012, in partnership with media company ArmstrongQ, he launched the "OnPower" website and yearbook to provide a new media focus on eastern Australia's electricity supply business.

Clare Petre
NSW Energy & Water Ombudsman

Clare Petre was appointed Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW in 1998.

Prior to this appointment, Clare was the Senior Assistant Commonwealth Ombudsman. Clare has extensive experience in the community sector, with government, and the media. She has worked with community legal centres, as a reporter with ABC TV’s 4 Corners and The Investigators, and in the health system.

Clare has served on a range of NSW and Commonwealth government advisory bodies, and on the boards of community groups, including ACOSS.
Clare has a Bachelor of Social Studies and Diploma of Criminology (Sydney University) and a Masters in Social Administration (London School of Economics).

John Pierce
Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)

Commissioner Pierce was appointed AEMC Chairman in June 2010. His commitment to industry and regulatory reform has underpinned his contribution to national energy reform through a number of senior roles including his tenure as Secretary of the Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism which followed 12 years of service as Secretary of the New South Wales (NSW) Treasury. He was a key adviser to Government and Chairman of the NSW Treasury Corporation. Prior to his time at NSW Treasury he was Pacific Power Chief Economist. John holds a BEc, Hon. (UNSW). He was a Visiting Scholar at Boston University during 2004-2005 working with Professor L. Kotlikoff on the economic and fiscal implications of an ageing population and with R. D. Behr from the Kennedy School of Government on public sector performance management.

Charles Popple
Executive Advisor - Industry Development
AusNet Services

Charles has extensive electricity industry experience, particularly in strategy and technical planning, related to networks and electricity market development and reform. He played a significant role in the Victorian ESI reform, in particular the creation and implementation of the transmission system arrangements and following disaggregation in 1994 held a number of General Management roles in the sector. He consulted internationally on energy market reform during a period as a Consultant with Ernst and Young from 1998 to 2001. He joined SP AusNet in 2001, and from 2008 to 2013 was General Manager, Networks Strategy and Development responsible for all the engineering, planning and regulation aspects of the business, managing the Division with 250 professional staff involved in these activities.  He now fills an Executive Advisory role considering longer term regulatory reform to ensure compatibility with the rapidly evolving sector.

Alistair Sproul
Program Leader
CRC for Low Carbon Living

Alistair Sproul is an Associate Professor within the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW and is Program Leader (Integrated Building Systems) with the CRC for Low Carbon Living .  A. Prof Sproul has worked in the area of photovoltaic research and R&D since 1985 in a range of positions with various companies (BP Solar, Pacific Solar) and research institutions (UNSW, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Freiburg, Germany).  Since 2001 he has been with the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW. His current research interests are in the area of PV/energy systems for low energy buildings and highly efficient water pumping systems. 

In the area of energy efficient water systems A. Prof Sproul and his research students have been investigating energy saving opportunities for typical household applications such as rain water pumps, irrigation systems, swimming pool filtration systems and solar thermal heating system for swimming pools.  Typically energy savings of the order of 80 – 90% have been experimentally demonstrated.

In the area of PV systems and buildings current work is focussed on developing suitable hybrid PV and thermal collectors that can be integrated into residential and commercial buildings to deliver net zero energy buildings.  Initial computer modelling and experimental results indicate that highly efficient residential and low rise commercial buildings can be designed in such a way that their entire energy supply over a year can be supplied from renewable energy systems (PV and solar thermal) integrated into the roof tops of the buildings.  In addition the avoidance of large scale heating and cooling systems means that the cost of such buildings is probably very similar to existing buildings however with zero energy running costs.

Tony Wood
Program Director – Energy
Grattan Institute

Tony Wood has more than 30years’ experience in the fertiliser, chemical, transport and energy industries. He was an executive at Origin Energy, and it precursor Boral Energy, from 1994 until 2008. Tony is the Program Director, Energy at the Grattan Institute, an independent think-tank focused on Australian public policy. He is also with the Clinton Foundation in the role of Director of the Clean Energy Program, where he leads their activities on accelerating the deployment of low emission energy technologies in the Asia-Pacific Region and coordinates their international partnership with the Global CCS Institute. Tony is on the Executive Board of the Committee for Melbourne and he was seconded to the Garnaut Climate Change Review in 2008.

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