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Charging ahead with clean energy

Sustainability, the energy ecosystem and the missing link

The science and economics tells us sustainable energy alternatives make sense. So, what’s the missing link in the path to a clean and prosperous future? Hear from leading scientists, a City of Sydney Councillor and the NSW Minister for Energy and Environment.

Targets, safeguards and the future: these concepts feel abstract and far away. But the reality is, we have the technology solutions at hand, to drive the direction of where we're heading.

We know why we need a sustainable future, and this discussion brings together a spectrum of perspectives, to show how this is achievable.

  • Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, offers perspective into the economic impacts and benefits of investing in alternative energy sources. 
  • Professor Anita Ho-Baillie, John Hooke Chair of Nanoscience and a world leader in perovskite solar energy cells, shares insights into solar photovoltaic research and its potential to produce cost-effective ways of energy generation. The research that Professor Ho-Baillie is leading at the University was also awarded 2.5 million federal funding
  • Professor Thomas Maschmeyer presents a case study on gelated zinc bromide batteries. An Australian breakthrough, this technology is scalable, affordable and safe.
  • Linda Scott, President of Local Government NSW (LGNSW) and City of Sydney Councillor, will talk about sustainability at a local level and community engagement.
  • Dr Tanya Fiedler from the University of Sydney Business School moderates this discussion. Dr Fiedler played a key role in the development of the University's Sustainability Strategy.

How to tune in

This virtual event is hosted via Zoom and open to all. Register to get an email confirmation with details on how you can tune in on the day. 

This public conversation will be recorded and later made available on the Sydney Ideas podcast, along with a transcript. You can sign up for an email alert or check back this page later. 

The speakers

Anita Ho-Baillie is the John Hooke Chair of Nanoscience at the University of Sydney. She completed her Bachelor of Engineering degree on a Co-op scholarship and her PhD at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2005. Anita has worked at British Aerospace, Alcatel Australia, Pacific Solar and Solar Sailor. She is also an Adjunct Professor at UNSW.

Her research interest is to engineer materials and devices at nanoscale for integrating solar cells onto all kinds of surfaces generating clean energy. A highly cited researcher, she has been identified as one of the leaders in advancing perovskite solar cells. She is well known in the media for her building integrated photovoltaics research and her achievements in setting solar cell energy efficiency world records in various categories placing her research at the forefront internationally.

Matt Kean is the Minister for Energy and Environment and Member for Hornsby. As a keen promoter of innovative technology and its power to improve the economy, Matt is committed to highlighting the ways innovative technology and thinking can improve quality of life, as well as the NSW economy.

In 2011, Matt became the youngest member of the NSW Legislative Assembly when he was elected Member for Hornsby. Within a year, he was elected to chair the NSW Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the Office of the Valuer General. Under his stewardship, the committee recommended radical changes to the system of land valuation in NSW to make it fairer for home owners.

In 2017 Matt was elevated to the NSW Cabinet as the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation. Matt has always seen himself as a champion of the little guy and this role gives him an opportunity to put this passion into practice in his electorate and across the state. As minister, he is responsible for a diverse range of issues with a portfolio that includes consumer protection, workplace safety, and innovation.

Thomas Maschmeyer is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Sydney, serves as Founding Director of the Laboratory of Advanced Catalysis for Sustainability (School of Chemistry), and is Executive Chairman of Gelion Technologies. For three years until March 2017 he also served as Founding Director of the University’s new $150m Australian Institute of Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST, now “Sydney Nano”).

In 2019 he received an honorary doctorate from the Universities of Ca’Foscari Venice and Trieste in recognition of his scientific and societal contributions in chemistry. He is founder of Gelion Technologies (2015), a new high-performance battery university spin-out and co-founder of the low carbon/renewables Licella Holdings Ltd (2007). Licella currently operates three joint ventures (in Canada, Centree – with Canfor Pulp; in Europe, Mura – with Armstrong Energy; and in Australia, iQRenew – with Stop Waste) and is valued at $232m based on the latest equity raise. He is the Principle Technology Advisor of all these entities. 

He has received many awards, most recently, the Contribution to Economic Development Award from the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (2019); the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science (2018); and the RACI R.K. Murphy Medal for Industrial Chemistry (2018).

Linda Scott (B.Sc. (Psych.), GAICD, JP) is a City of Sydney Councillor, first elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2016. She is also the elected President of Local Government NSW and a committed advocate for the public good.

Linda is a strong advocate for local government, and works to ensure councils across NSW are given the tools and support to invest in the areas that matter to their communities. Linda is currently a Board member of the NSW Environmental Trust, the NSW Public Service Medal Committee and the Australian Local Government Association. 

A strong supporter for reforming the Australian Labor Party, Linda won Labor's first ever community preselection, where over 4,000 people elected her to the Labor's candidate for Lord Mayor of Sydney in the 2012 NSW Local Government Elections. Linda is also the Deputy Chair of Labor's Sustainable Communities Committee.

Tanya Fiedler is a lecturer in the Discipline of Accounting. Tanya completed her PhD at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Tanya's research is deeply interdisciplinary, her interests concerned with the ways in which engineering, actuarial science and climate science integrate into work practices, business strategy and accounting.

Prior to her academic career, Tanya worked as a consultant for Energetics, a specialist climate, carbon and energy consultancy.

Event image: Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

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