The ARENA Advisory Panel provides advice to support the development and selection of projects and initiatives for funding by ARENA.
The panel’s roles include assessing program funding applications and providing expert specialist advice as required.
Dr Paul Ebert (Chair): Senior Principal - New Energy, Advisian
Dr Ebert has managed a number of products from research to commercialisation, including solar, wind and bioenergy projects operating on commercial utility systems. He has provided input into a range of renewable energy and related projects in and outside Australia, including technical, management, planning, construction, operation and policy.
Dr Ebert has expertise in remote and regional renewable energy supply, responsible for development, design, commissioning and operation of six utility scale off-grid power systems in Australia. His renewable energy technology expertise is in the areas of solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind and enabling technologies such as storage, as well as the operation of these within energy markets and electricity networks.
Mr Geoff Andrews: Founder, Genesis Now
Geoff is a mechanical engineer, and has specialised in energy efficiency since 1985.
He is the founder and MD of Genesis Now (1991), which has completed over 2,500 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in most industry sectors. He has won industry awards including national energy efficiency champion, and is recognised as a leader and innovator in energy efficiency.
Geoff also co-founded six clean-tech companies, is an early stage investor in renewable energy companies, and is an active member of the Melbourne Angel Investor group, and a member of the investment screening team, specialising in clean-tech and start-ups.
Dr Paul Bannister: Director, Innovation and Sustainability, Energy Action
Professor Michael Brear: Director, Melbourne Energy Institute
Mr Tom Cawley: Managing Director, Balance Energy
Mr Cawley has technical energy experience from well or mine, through processing and transmission, to generation, with an extensive knowledge of energy use in the resources and industrial sectors.
He also has a strong exposure to renewables including the design and construction of a pilot biodiesel plant, detailed peer review of a solar flagship CST plant and multiple analyses of renewable options in the industrial and resources sectors.
Mr Cawley’s commercial experience includes the purchase and re-development of a gas turbine cogen plant, founding and leading a specialised energy efficiency engineering business for 13 years and recently, the successful founding and funding of a start-up with an efficiency focus. Mr Cawley’s capabilities in the emerging energy sector are underlined by his election to the well-contested board of the Energy Efficiency Council of Australia three times.
Mr Cawley also has significant firsthand experience of innovation within the energy sector, with several new technologies and solutions delivered by his company as well as the new start-up.
Mr Craig Chambers: Executive General Manager Strategy Portfolio and Innovation, Energy Queensland
Craig has responsibility for Energy Queensland's Strategy, Portfolio and Innovation. In this
role, he is accountable for business strategy, innovation, risk and compliance, regulation and
pricing, as well as customer and stakeholder engagement across the portfolio.
Craig has over 20 years’ experience in the electricity and gas industry in Australia, Asia and
the USA. Before joining Energy Queensland, Craig held a number of senior management
roles in the energy sector. Most recently he was responsible for AECOM’s Power business
line in Australia which included providing business strategy, group leadership and support to
its key transmission & distribution, power generation, industrial and government energy
sector clients. This involved providing companies with advice on strategy, policy, regulatory
compliance, due diligence, project development, technical design and construction delivery.
Mr Stephen Drew: Consultant, SRD Consulting
Stephen Drew has 37 years of practical chemical engineering experience in the renewable energy sector. Stephen helped to pioneer pinch analysis and process integration to make energy savings, predominantly on large dairy sites in New Zealand, Australia and in the United States. For most of his career, he has worked in senior roles in New Zealand’s renewable electricity industry. He has demonstrated the value in using electro-technologies in industrial applications, provided specialist services to distribution networks and more recently built a 200 MW portfolio in instantaneous reserves for a demand response aggregator. His project teams have been recognised for their innovation in the use of a novel thermal energy storage and the aggregation of very fast interruptible loads. He has participated on a New Zealand Advisory Group considering new wholesale market design, contributed to the Smart Grid Forum and is a member of the global Energy Centre for IChemE. He is an enthusiastic owner of one of the first Electric Vehicles (EV) in Wellington.
Mr Peter Eben: Director, Seed Advisory
Peter is a Director and co-founder of Seed Advisory having established it in 2008. Peter has over 23 years’ experience including 18 years in the energy sector. His work focus within the energy industry has included advisory and direct energy retail and wholesale experience in executive management positions at EnergyAustralia, AGL, Pulse Energy, United Energy and IKON Energy.
Peter’s experience in the energy industry covers risk management, policy and regulatory development, retail marketing, strategy, wholesale trading, analysis and corporate development. He has worked with start up, small, medium and large companies covering the entire energy value chain including corporate consumers, retailers, networks, wholesale market participants, market operators, regulators, governments and investors. He has a detailed understanding of the Australian energy and renewable energy sectors covering the National Electricity Market, the Northern Territory Market and the West Australian market. Peter is also an actuary with strong quantitative and risk management skills.
Mr Lyndon Frearson: General Manager Business Development and Strategy, Ekistica
Mr Frearson has significant expertise in developing and commercialising renewable energy technologies. His experience includes prefeasibility through to construction management of renewable energy generation projects.
Notably he was involved in the first MW scale PV plant in Australia. He has previously worked to develop innovative approaches to automation and manufacturing during his seven years at Ford.
Mr Frearson has expertise in project finance assessment, off grid and edge of grid energy projects and markets with technical expertise in solar PV, solar thermal and enabling technologies.
Dr Cameron Huddleston-Holmes: Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Energy Flagship
Dr Huddlestone-Holmes is a geologist in CSIRO’s Energy Flagship. He has 20 years of experience as a geologist in the resources and research sector including working within industry, academia and the CSIRO. He led CSIRO’s geothermal energy research program from 2009 to 2014, working with researchers and the geothermal industry to identify research priorities and establish research programs to support the development of geothermal energy technologies and methods.
Dr Huddlestone-Holmes’ current research focuses on geological characterisation of geological resources including gas, coal and geothermal and understanding the implications of these characteristics on resource extraction.
Mr Roger Horwood: Associate, Roger Energetics
Ms Katherine Howard: Partner, Corporate Finance – Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Katherine is the leading financial advisor in the renewable energy sector in Australia. Katherine is an Advisory Panel Member for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, reviewing all renewable energy projects seeking grant funding. She has also been appointed to the Northern Territory Government Renewable Energy Expert Panel. Katherine has a broad range of transaction experience in corporate finance and has advised on mergers, divestments and acquisitions, debt and equity financing of transactions, specifically in the energy and infrastructure sector. In recent years Katherine has arranged over $20 billion of debt and $5 billion of equity financing.
Ms Kellie Larsen: Energy Project Director, Integrated Global Partners
Ms Larsen has over 18 years’ experience in the Energy industry across a wide variety of roles. She has strong fuels, petrochemicals and gas supply chain experience, with a deep commercial knowledge of the Australian and regional fuels industry. She has a comprehensive business skill set with strong commercial and business acumen developed through Strategy, Supply, Trading, Oil refining and Integrated Business Planning roles.
Ms Larsen has deep insights into the fuel supply chain economics and understands the challenges faced by the biofuels industry in Australia.
Ms Kim Lawrence: Director at KML Advisory Pty Ltd and Luminous Energy
Mr Keith Lovegrove: Head of Solar Thermal – ITPower
Dr Lovegrove is the Head – Solar Thermal for the UK based renewable energy consulting company ITPower. He has 28 years of experience in Solar Thermal Energy combined with 15 years of teaching experience in Energy Systems and Systems Engineering.
He was previously the leader of the Solar Thermal Group at the Australian National University. In that role he was the lead inventor and team leader of the 500m2 Generation II Big Dish solar concentrator, recognized with a Light Weight Structures Association of Australia, 2009 design award.
Dr Lovegrove has authored or co-authored more than 160 publications including 2 patents and 7 books, chapters and major public reports. He was the primary editor of the 2012 book “Concentrating Solar Power Technology” by Woodhead publishing UK. In 2012, he was a Member of the Australian Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, Expert Working Group on Climate Energy and Water Links.
Mr Robert McMillan: Director, Farrier Swier Consulting
Robert is an experienced economist, and commercial and regulatory advisor with expertise in regulatory policy and practice in Australia’s electricity and gas sectors. He is expert in energy grid access regulation, having designed rules and incentive schemes, managed price reviews, and advised on regulatory, contestability and tariff strategy. He has a master of regulatory economics from Australian National University.
Over the past 15 years Robert has applied his knowledge of policy, regulation and commercial strategy to advise clients across Australia and Asia. He is recognised for his considered approach to solving commercial and policy problems, adapting and applying regulatory regimes, and engaging customers and stakeholders in regulatory decisions. In recent years, he has applied himself to the regulatory and pricing reforms needed to facilitate network transformation, and to helping clients assess commercialisation of distributed energy services and embedded multi-utility solutions.
Emeritus Professor Graham Morrison: Managing Director, Thermal Design
Emeritus Professor Morrison has more than 35 years’ experience with the design and commercialisation of solar thermal energy systems. Professor Morrison established the solar thermal energy department at the University of New South Wales and was Director of Solar Thermal Energy Research at UNSW until 2005.
After leaving UNSW he has been involved in the design and commercialisation of large scale solar thermal power systems.
He was involved with the design and construction of the first large scale high temperature solar thermal energy system connected to a conventional power station; at Liddell in the Hunter Valley NSW. He has been Australian representative on the International Standards Organisation and International Energy Agency solar thermal energy committees.
Professor Morrison has extensive design expertise in the area of industrial thermal energy systems as well as modelling and simulation of solar thermal energy processes. In addition, he has extensive commercial development experience in enabling high temperature solar thermal energy projects.
Mr John O’Brien: Managing Director, Australian Cleantech
John O’Brien is the founder of Australian CleanTech, a research and advisory firm that assists companies, investors and governments to drive cleantech industry growth in Australia and across Asia. With engineering degrees from Oxford University and Trinity College, Dublin and an MBA from Adelaide University, John has specialised in building connections between people, technology, finance and government to create better ways of living that are also financially viable. John is also an experienced director having served on the boards of public, private and not-for-profit companies.
Australian CleanTech manages the Australian CleanTech Cluster, the Australian CleanTech Network and the Australian Technologies Competition that finds and mentors Australia’s best emerging technology companies.
In 2015, John launched the global VISIONS 2100 Project at the COP21 Conference in Paris. The project seeks to recalibrate environmental communications to engage more effectively with the wider community.
Mr John O’Brien: Market Leader, GHD
John has worked for over 35 years as a professional engineer and businessman holding executive‐ level roles in both the public and private sector for utilities and advisory firms. John’s specific roles have included participation in Australian and international energy market, projects and operations.
Over the last 15 years John has founded a number of highly successful consulting businesses providing strategic advice on both energy market and electricity infrastructure to major utility and resources companies. CopperString, the largest single electricity network project in Australia, was founded by John and was designed to open up the sustainable resources corridor between Townsville and Mt Isa.
John also has investments in a number of significant energy and resources related project developments, and has played an active role in the economic development planning for northern Queensland. John travels extensively to provide strategic advice, business input and thought leadership across Australia and internationally.
Mr Phil O’Neil: Senior Associate, Advisian
Phil O’Neil is a Senior Associate in New Energy for the WorleyParsons advisory business, Advisian. New Energy covers renewable and de-centralised energy, hybrids and new disruptive technologies such as energy storage, as well as aspects of associated policy, regulation and commercial models. This business focusses particularly on the commercial and technical components of project and product development, delivery and operations, and covers a large range of technologies and clients, including utilities, investors, private interests and Governments.
Phil has particular strength in energy productivity, having worked with industrial customers to improve efficiency for more than 12 years. During this time he has helped a number of the largest energy users in Australia and has also undertaken projects in many other countries including New Zealand, China, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE.
Phil has also worked extensively on techno-economic assessments and transport fuels, including recent studies to consider the cost of electricity generation and liquid fuels production in Australia as well as the Green Hydrogen economy in South Australia and alternative fuels in Kuwait.
Mr Chris Parratt: Managing Director, Sonnen Australia
Dr Graeme Pearman OAM
Mr Jeff Renaud: Vice President and Managing Director - Asia, EnerNOC
Professor Vladimir Strezov: Professor Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University
Professor Strezov is a Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University. He holds a PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Newcastle.
He has 20 years of experience in research and development of advanced energy technologies, specialising in biomass research and industrial sustainability science.
He serves as a consultant for the Australian mining and energy resource industries in the fields of applied clean energy, biomass technology, biofuel production, waste to energy conversion and industrial ecology. Professor Strezov is a Fellow of Engineers Australia.
Mr Blair Walter: Renewable Energy Leader, Aurecon
Mr Walter is a mechanical engineer with 20 years’ experience in the energy advisory sector incorporating a range of technical and commercial projects in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, South America, Africa and Europe. His primary focus is renewable energy and his experience includes site identification, development staging and strategy, resource and energy analysis, procurement, contracting, and finance due diligence for wind, solar and hydro projects.
Mr Walter is based in Aurecon’s Wellington office and is Renewable Energy Leader for Aurecon. Prior to joining Aurecon, he worked for PB Power in Wellington and Brisbane from 1995 to 2000, and for Mott MacDonald in Brighton and Glasgow from 2000 to 2005.
Dr Muriel Watt: Head of Energy Policy and PV, ITP Renewables
Dr Watt is the Head of Energy Policy and PV for renewable energy engineering company ITP Renewables, and part-time Senior Lecturer, School of PV and Renewable Energy Engineering, UNSW Australia.
For the last 10 years she has been Chair of the Australian PV Institute (APVI) and the Australian representative on the IEA PV Power Systems Program (PVPS). She is currently the PVPS Alternate representative and a member of the Solar Flagship Education Infrastructure Fund Strategic Advisory Board.
Past appointments include Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, Director of the Policy Group for the Australian CRC for Renewable Energy and a member of the Australian Solar Institute Technical Advisory Committee.
Dr Watt has extensive experience in renewable energy technology, policy, education and deployment and has worked collaboratively with stakeholders from industry, government, academia and the community.
Dr Stephen White: Program Leader for the Energy for Buildings Stream, CSIRO
Dr White leads the “Energy for Buildings” Stream in CSIRO and is a Program Leader in the Low-Carbon-Living Cooperative Research Centre. He chairs the AIRAH Solar Cooling Special Technical Group, the ASBEC Sustainable Housing Task Group, and is a subtask leader in the International Energy Agency Task48 “Quality Assurance and Support Measures for Solar Cooling”.
He has played a lead role in a number of award winning solar cooling showcase installations, and in the world first AS5389 Technical Standard for Solar Heating and Cooling. He has significant technology commercialization experience, including lead roles in three start-up companies. He also oversees the NatHERS software tools that underpin current house energy efficiency regulation.
Dr Alex Wonhas: Managing Director, Energy and Resources, Aurecon
Dr Alex Wonhas has recently joined Aurecon, a global engineering firm, as its Global Managing Director for Energy, Resources and Manufacturing. Alex brings deep strategic and innovation expertise in the energy and resources sectors in Australia and globally. Prior to Aurecon, Alex was Executive Director for Environment, Energy & Resources at CSIRO. At CSIRO, Alex has initiated the Future Grid Forum and the Network Transformation Roadmap together with the Energy Networks Association (ENA). Both processes used deep stakeholder engagement across the whole Australian power sector grounded in technical and economic realities to shape the future of network businesses in Australia. Alex has also overseen the development and commercialisation of a number of transformative energy technologies ranging from grid-scale battery storage (eg http://www.ecoult.com ) to digital energy optimisation approaches (eg https://buildingiq.com; ASX:BIQ). Alex is a sought after adviser to government on energy matters. For example, Alex was a key member of federal government’s expert panel of the 2012 and 2015 Energy White Papers and he was appointed to the Low Emissions Technology Roundtable, convened by the Minerals Council of Australia. Prior to CSIRO, Alex was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he led numerous projects for major Australian and international energy and resource companies. He is also one of the co-authors of McKinsey’s Australian Carbon Abatement Cost Curve.
Dr John Wright AM: Principal, Wright Energy Consulting
Dr Wright has over 40 years’ research and industrial experience in the development, commercialisation and implementation of energy and minerals technologies. He was previously the Chief of CSIRO Energy Technology, and Director of the CSIRO Flagship program, Energy Transformed.
Dr Wright has served on a wide range of renewable energy boards and committees, including the Renewable Energy Development Program (REDP), the interim Board of the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) the Victorian Government’s New Energy Jobs Fund Expert Panel and several International Energy Agency (IEA) committees and Implementing Agreements.
In 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to science and engineering, particularly to renewable energy technology, and to professional organisations.
Michael Zammit: Director, Integrated Management Services (IMS) and Manager, Commercial and Industrial Demand Response (AGL)
Michael has an extensive utilities background, spanning over 30 years working for and with utilities as a professional engineer, marketer, manager and consultant. He has also worked for information technology companies, as a consultant, marketer and business development manager, providing products and services to utilities and telecommunications companies.
He was appointed as Managing Director of Energy Response, Australia and New Zealand’s most successful Demand Response (DR) Aggregator, in 2004 and led the company from commercial inception through to its acquisition by EnerNOC Inc, the world’s largest DR Aggregator in 2011 for $34million. He has also helped start DR aggregation companies in Poland and India.
His achievements include:
- The introduction of a successful commercial DR aggregation model in Australia and New Zealand
- Consulting to utilities and commercial parties in Poland, India and several countries in Asia promoting the development of DR aggregation
- Membership of the Market Advisory Committee (MAC) in the West Australia Market and membership of the ARENA Assessment Panel
- Managing the first smart meter trial in Victoria involving electricity, gas and water metering, and chaired the Measurement and Metering Innovation Conference from 2003 to 2010.
- Investigation of DR, energy efficiency and power factor correction potential of small to medium sized commercial consumers for a network company in Queensland
- Development of a commercial model for a company that is now national solar panel installer in Australia.
He is currently assisting AGL develop a Commercial and Industrial DR capability. Michael holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering Degree (Power) and Bachelor of Business Administration Degree both from Monash University.