mother and daughter look out at windmills during sunset

Achieving a coherent energy transition

This workshop of researchers, policymakers, and NGO and business representatives will explore ways to transition to renewable energy while enhancing community wellbeing.

This event was held at the University of Sydney on 28 September 2023.

Australia’s transition to renewable energy has the potential to enhance community wellbeing, not least by reducing the impacts of fossil fuel pollution, creating jobs in renewable industries and making energy more affordable. However, tensions could arise if, for example, affected groups are excluded from decision-making or communities experience adverse impacts from the rollout of renewable energy infrastructure.

This hybrid workshop of researchers, policymakers and NGO and business representatives aims to explore synergies and tensions across policy objectives arising from the expansion of renewables and the transition from fossil fuels in Australia, and to identify ways of shaping a more coherent approach to this area.

The event will offer an important opportunity to share and discuss findings from new research and map out areas for action. While developments in New South Wales will be a major focus for discussion, we will also explore insights from other Australian jurisdictions. The workshop will build on recent projects on the energy transition conducted by the University of Sydney and the University of Canberra.

This workshop is co-hosted by the University of Canberra and the Sydney Environment Institute, with co-funding from both institutions and the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, via the nine-country research project, Policy coherence between the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030, coordinated by the Stockholm Environment Institute and Linköping University.

Attendance will be invitation only and discussion will take place under the Chatham House rule.

Indicative workshop schedule

• 9am Introductory session: workshop overview & participant introductions

David Schlosberg, University of Sydney

Jonathan Pickering, University of Canberra

Susan Park, University of Sydney

• 9:30am Panel: Coherence and equity in energy transitions: emerging research findings

Zoha Shawoo, Stockholm Environment Institute

Gareth Edwards, University of Sydney

Susan Park, University of Sydney

• 11:15 Panel: Advancing coherence in Australia’s overall policy settings for the energy transition

Dan Cass, Rewiring Australia

Mark Apthorpe, Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate

Jonathan Pickering, University of Canberra

12:30 Lunch

• 13:15 Panel: Engagement of communities in decision-making on renewable energy

Katie Moore, University of Sydney

Asha Ramzan, Sydney Community Forum

Neville Mattick, RE-Alliance

Rosemary Hadaway, Mudgee District Environment Group

14:45 Afternoon tea

• 15:15 Panel: Sharing the benefits of renewable energy infrastructure in regional communities

Anita Talberg, Clean Energy Council

Martine Holberton, Tilt Renewables

Richard Ivey, Dubbo Regional Council

Kristy Walters, Community Power Agency

• 16:45-17:15 Concluding reflections: identifying ways forward (including policy brief and other outputs)

Jonathan Pickering, University of Canberra

• 17:30-18:30 Post-workshop drinks

Panel sessions will generally run for 75-90 minutes. Panellists will be asked to prepare brief, informal presentations of around 5 minutes to maximise time for discussion.

Header image: Shutterstock