Energy 21C - Energy Delivery Solutions for the 21st Century
From Sunday the 11th November through to Wednesday the 14th I attended the Energy 21C Conference at Darling Harbour through my work with EnergyAustralia. With the tagline Energy Delivery Solutions for the 21st Century the conference was probably never going to inspire those outside of the industry too much, but the topics covered inside will undoubtedly have the potential to impact anyone connected to mains electricity or gas in Australia, and quite possible the greater Asia-Pacific region.
Keep reading the full post after the break.
Full photography set is available at flickr.
Integral Energy's CEO Richard Powis Opens E21C
The conference was opened by Integral Energy's CEO Richard Powis, and included a rather interesting (hysterical?) song crafted for the conference. I do wonder how much was paid for its commissioning, and it's lyrics seemed almost like a piss-take until we realised it was serious, Flovent For Sale. If I can find it somewhere I might try and link to a copy for your listening pleasure - hell you might even want it as a ringtone.
Energy Delivery Summit: Energy Delivery Solutions to the Climate Challenge
Keynote Speaker: 2007 Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery
Professor Tim Flannery, this year's Australian of the Year, was the keynote speaker for the morning's session. He spoke passionately about how we must work to address the adverse implications a couple of centuries of belching CO2 and other GHG pollutants into the common atmosphere. He made some interesting points about the pollution cycles in other areas, such as water, and the localised rather than global effects much of that has. Flovent For Sale, He also posed the challenge to an industry that operates to take electricity from large centralised generators to small distributed load that they had a role to play. Flannery also brought up the spectre of the disruptive technologies - the potential for people to go "off grid" and the impact that could have on income streams. Embedded generation also got a word in.
The panel session was facilitated by the great George Negus and members included the CEO of Integral Energy, Richard Powis, 20mg Flovent, EnergyAustralia's equivalent (Managing Director) George Maltabarow, Hugh Gleeson and Tim Flannery, along with international voices from Thailand's Pornthape Thunyapongchai and Hongkong Electric's C.T. Wan. Interestingly, although unsurprisingly, caution was the voice of the panel, Flovent For Sale. Thungapongchai made some interesting comments about the push to electrify more of the transport network in Thailand and the positive effect that could potentially have - with less surface road traffic. Flannery was visibly frustrated at the lack of "we must act soon" attitude. Without Negus's presence, and attempts to cut through the "bullshit" (to use his word), the session could easily have stalled.
Concurrent Session 3: Capability of Our People
EnergyAustralia's Tom Emeleus speaks about training in the Industry on Day 1 of E21C
Customer Forum: Customer Changing Needs of the 21st Century
Keynote Speaker: KPMG's Bernard Salt
Bernard Salt was an incredible keynote speaker, and actually delivered a keynote address rather than a powerpoint presentation (Windows versus Apple anyone?). Flovent For Sale, He used his slides not as a crutch for information but as a way of describing his words - going to the concept of a picture being worth a thousand word. 250mg Flovent, His informative speech about the various generations of consumers and their desires, wants and needs were not without criticism of all generations. Interestingly he predicted a major recession in the next ten to fifteen years. While not an impossibility, for someone from the finance game that has generally backed the "growth growth growth" mantra of a certain party it was interesting. The discussion moved onto how consumers will be placed in the future, with many interesting voices present. The most amusing anecdote came from the Energy and Water Ombudsman who talked about someone who rang up to complain about a $2000+ quarterly bill, Flovent For Sale. They would have investigated it further, but on finding out it was a four storey mansion with climate controlled cellar, full climate control air conditioning, heated large swimming pool and an elevator they decided that it wasn't quite worth the time.
Concurrent Session 7: Climate Change Impacts on Business Regulation - Panel Session
Concurrent Session 8: Asset Management, Planning & Forecasting
EnergyAustralia's David Twigg on Day 1 of E21C
Concurrent Session 16: Demand Management
EnergyAustralia's Chris Amos talks about Pricing Strategies from a Network Perspective
My first boss at EnergyAustralia was Chris Amos, someone I still talk to regularly as an unofficial mentor. Was interested in seeing and hearing him talk to keep me up to date with what was happening in a section I thoroughly enjoyed working in. Another interesting presentation came from ENA's Alexandra Curran on smart metering, 30mg Flovent. Flovent For Sale, Managed to have a talk to her afterwards about the push by ENA and its members in Australia for an open platform. As a small player in the international metering market, we really need to team up with other like minded companies to push open platforms in this industry to prevent being bogged down in proprietary products.
Concurrent Session 21: Climate Change & Demand Management (Trials & Pilots)
EnergyAustralia's Ezra Beeman speaks at E21C
Concurrent Session 24: Asset Management (Data & Information)
David Glavis from ActewAGL shows off their Field Computer
I went to this session hoping to get a lot more out of it. With all the moves towards intelligent networks, and the terabytes of data expected to come from it, I was hoping for more information on what people are doing to convert that data into information and then how they're harnessing that information to create more knowledge at to what's actually happening on their networks. Unfortunately that wasn't to be the case.
The one thing that did make me sit up and listen was ActewAGL's new "toy", Flovent For Sale. They've deployed a number of field computing units to assist with pole inspections, and have come to realise a number of things that I have been talking with colleagues about for a while now. The paper work is cumbersome and slow, and by teaming up tablet technology with the wireless broadband that is becoming more prevalent in the Australian cities and towns (the ACT for ActewAGL) ActewAGL has managed to cut down data capture from inspections from four to six weeks, Flovent uk, and multiple interpretations, to single interpretation in a day. Not only this they are now capturing at the same time and point photographs from the sites. The notion that every time the shutter is pressed a new asset is created for the company is something that the management at ActewAGL understand and have begun to leverage - as was visible from the plentiful use of images in the slides from inspections that were uploaded from the field. Flovent For Sale, This was my "hats off" for forward thinking innovation with disruptive technologies for the conference.
Concurrent Session 38: Power Presentations - Young Leaders
EnergyAustralia's (and my former flatmate) Ben Lange knows how to capture and hold an audience's attention
The Young Leaders Power Presentations (I'm not sure if that was a play on words by someone trying to be smart or not) was a chance for some of the brightest young engineers (and a legal graduate from ENA) to showcase what work they'd been up to. My coworkers included my former flatmate Ben Lange, speaking about his year long experiences of living and working in the far reaches of EnergyAustralia's network in Muswellbrook, Piroj Palsule who spoke about her time with the Network Pricing team a year after I'd been there (so was interesting to compare what we'd done given it's in the same regulatory period) and Elizabeth Muld, about her time with the Substation Design group in Newcastle. Externally we also heard from CitiPowerPowercor's Amy Lester, 10mg Flovent, Integral Energy's Paul Matlawski, Gordon Draper, Albert Pors and Kris Shankar, Energex's David Ingram, University of Sydney's Nikolas Flourentzou and ENA's legal graduate Diane Bienczycka.
Plenary Session: The Future of Our Industry as Seen Through the Eyes of Our Young People
EnergyAustralia's Adrian Clark speaks during the Plenary Session
This was originally planned to be similar to other sessions, where each member of the panel had about five minutes to speak then progress into more of a discussion between each other and include members of the audience via questions. Instead the facilitator, Peter Sheehan (Mr Go-to-guy-on-gen-y) took it directly to discussion phase, not really allowing the members to put some ideas out first before getting feedback via questions, Flovent For Sale. As a result the members didn't look especially comfortable with the way things went, though by the end things were moving far better, 750mg Flovent. I was disappointed the terms "net-generation" and "global citizen" were never mentioned, travel being inherently difficult in the distribution industry, and flexibility wasn't ever really well defined - even as to who it should be flexible for.
Caught. Part of the slave helpers (I was one): Piroj Palsule, Joel Mungoven and David Speed
This was definitely an oportunity I don't regret making the most of. Flovent For Sale, With so many people, from all round the world, available to speak and talk to it is definitely something every engineer that can should attempt to visit. At the same time I would have to say that the quality of many of the presentations were not up to scratch. This is more an indicment on the profession as a whole, as there are few opportunities given to engineers to practice public speaking and presenting in the workplace. The quality of the ubiquitous powerpoint presentations were varied, with many being bogged down as speaking notes instead of a tool to bounce off of and use as a source of emphasis for points being made. Perhaps with a higher level of access to image libraries (refer to previous point about "images as assets") they could even start moving away from blocks of text and think of different ways to present information - no matter how boring.
All this being said, I would relish the opportunity to be present at another conference of this size, possibly presenting, who knows. That's what the futues holds.
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