We participated in Energy Week recently, an annual program of events hosted by the Australian Institute of Energy (AIE) Perth branch and Energy Policy WA.
The conference provided a great platform for BG&E Resources to engage with our client organisations, government and industry. Topics covered included the status and trends in energy policy and regulation, primary fuel supply and demand, technology changes, markets and disruption, emissions, and consumer issues. According to Bindi Shah, Principal Consultant – ESG, “As we ramp up our services to support our clients in their energy transition and journey to net zero, this event presented us with opportunities to connect and network with key decision-makers and better understand the challenges ahead. We look forward to working with our clients to develop low-carbon solutions for a nature positive future.”
AIE Energy Awards Dinner
We attended the gala dinner evening, a highlight of the AIE Conference, where finalists and winners of the 2023 WA Awards were announced.
The Hon. Bill Johnston, WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy, Hydrogen Industry and Industrial Relations delivered an insightful and entertaining keynote address alongside the Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, Basil Zempilas.
Industry Breakfast Event
The final day of the AIE Conference featured an industry breakfast event, which was organised by the Women in Energy – Perth Young Energy Professionals (YEP) Forum Committees. Kate Hartness, our Director of ESG, moderated the panel discussion, which brought together members of industry, government, financiers and our clients to discuss the decarbonisation activities of large-scale electricity consumers, with a particular focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets and the increasing importance of having a robust Social License to Operate (SLO).
A big thank you to the panellists for their insightful contributions:
- Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Director – International Energy Agency (IEA)
- Annabel Keogh, Head of Strategy, Policy and Social Value – Synergy
- Jo Garland, Partner – HFW
- Anna Hearne, Climate Opportunities Manager – Wesfarmers Chemicals
Together, they explored the following themes:
- Climate legislative instruments that create positive change
- Decarbonisation initiatives from government and industry
- Improving the speed-to-market for clean energy projects
- Australia’s reduction in fossil fuels
- The critical importance of early stakeholder engagement
- Transition vs transformation
- Investment in renewable energy Systems
- Embracing First Nations’ rich cultural connection to Country and experience in environmental stewardship.
Bindi Shah provides the following commentary on the conference, “There is a lot to unpack from the conference, but the key theme is that ‘we need transmission to transition’, and it’s all about the five S – Speed, Scale, Skills, Supply Chain and having a Social Licence to Operate (SLO).
- We are trying to achieve a once in a generation change in a decade!
- The Safeguard Mechanism is causing real change and making the top 215 (30%) emitters think about decarbonisation. It only covers Scope 1 emissions however is production adjusted. Offsets (ACCUs) may not be enough and drive the rate of change we are looking for.
- The SWIS and NWIS requires network augmentation to accommodate new renewable projects. Alan Finkel mentioned transmission lines can cost $2.1M/km! Greenfield projects will need to collaborate with competing companies and communities to create shared value and maintain their SLO.
- There is consensus that we need better education for consumers to understand the energy market and the role proponents play.
- We need to do more to consult with our First Nations peoples and create pathways beyond the traditional royalties. The Aboriginal Clean Energy Partnership (winner at the Awards) is a fantastic example where Traditional Owners are the controlling shareholders, rather than being passive stakeholders. Early engagement is essential. We also need to address the energy poverty issue in remote communities (Ruby Heard).
- We should use peaking facilities without remorse and offset emissions to make up for it. Gas will be essential for firming.
- Environmental stewardship is an essential ingredient and is seen as red tape in getting projects off the ground. Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) disclosures and metrics measure progress and is the commercial imperative to be better and do better.
- ESG is the key ingredient to secure funding from financiers and lenders.”