MAFC Alumni Events 2017 (Sydney & Melbourne)
18 December 2017
In recent weeks, we held MAFC Alumni Events both in Sydney and Melbourne where our alumni, academic staff and guest speakers, Professor Tom Smith, an environmental finance expert at Macquarie University, and Mr. Julian Turecek, Head of Assets at Energy Australia, Honorary Fellow and MAFC alumnus joined together for an evening of conversation. Our speakers provided their own unique perspectives on the transformation of energy: what does the investment climate look like for investments in renewables and clean technology?
Smith stated that opportunities are now around clean technology due to the enormous amount of R&D expenditures by governments and businesses, also the large number of clean tech patents. Since Paris Agreement in 2015, the whole lot of this paper are starting to commercialise them. Paris Accord could generate the world $19 trillion dollars worth of wealth, and this will drive GDP and wealth for decades to come.
"Clean Energy is approaching a tipping point. No rational decision maker will build another coal-fired power station anywhere in the world. Renewables are by far the cheaper alternative."
Smith also presented that "The coal-fired power stations aren't going anywhere, even the most optimistic projection has the most 66% of clean tech by 2050. There will be coal-fired power stations through to 2100."
Coming from a industry point of view, Turecek provided his insight as the energy debate now is even more topical than ever before. "Energy went into a period between 2008 and about a few years ago we were an oversupplied market, and the prices were really low. No one on the generation side was making any money, the customers were really loving it. And within about 2 years, that flipped to the exact opposite and caused the energy debate."
"There will be a massive renewable spilt, only solar and wind. It used to be mainly about wind, but now solar comes down so much faster than wind that we are getting a lot of solar investments now as well as wind. That is what replacing all the loss of coal-fired power stations."
"Now it is probably the most pressing issue on how you build a modern grid when almost everything you propose to build next is renewable. So obviously you need renewables plus storage to make it work. This is not just happening here in Australia but globally."
Presentation Recording: What does the investment climate look like for investments in renewables and clean technology? (Speakers: Professor Tom Smith & Mr Julian Turecek)
MAFC Alumni Event, Sydney, 16th November 2017 (Photography by Nick James Fraser)
MAFC Alumni Event, Melbourne, 7th December 2017 (Photography by James Thomas)