Global Speakers


The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change

Minister for Solar Homes

Topic: Keynote by Energy Minister: Latest Developments and Future of Microgrids in Australia

Lily D’Ambrosio is a member of the Australian Labor Party and has represented the electorate of Mill Park in the Victorian Legislative Assembly since 2002. In 2016 she became Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Suburban Development, and on the recent return of the Andrews Labor Government she was appointed Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes.

Minister D’Ambrosio is a leader in action on climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency in Australia. She oversaw the passage of the Climate Change Act, Victoria’s landmark climate legislation which saw it become the first Australian state to legislate in line with the Paris Agreement for net zero emissions by 2050. The Minister has also overseen an overhaul of the Environmental Protection Act 1970, refocussing the regulatory body to focus on the prevention of harm to human and environmental health.

She remains the only woman responsible for energy across the nine national and sub-national governments in Australia, and is a leading advocate for a modernised Australian energy system that facilitates a smooth transition into a clean, reliable and affordable energy future.

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Stephan Alberth

Group Vice President - Digital Transformation Energy Lead

ABB’s Power Grids Australia

Stephan joined ABB in 2016 as Group Vice President working in the areas of microgrids, grid edge technologies and organizational transformation. In 2019 he began his current role as Digital Transformation – Smart Energy Lead as part of ABB’s global Digital team, working together with global customers and partners to support and align digital transformation projects.

Prior to joining ABB, Stephan spent almost 10 years consulting for McKinsey & Co and Partners in Performance where he helped customers tackle risk, strategy and operational challenges in a range of industries. This included multiple projects in the areas of energy cost and CO2 emission reductions for Industrial and Commercial clients such as steelmakers, mining companies and retail.

Stephan has a PhD in Business Management from Cambridge University’s Judge Business School and a Bachelor of Physics from UNSW, Australia.



Juergen Zimmermann

Business Development and Technology Manager Grid Edge Solutions

ABB’s Power Grids Australia

Juergen has been involved in the development and construction of microgrids since 1991 and currently heads up Business Development and Technology for ABB’s Grid Edge & Microgrid Solutions Business in Australia and New Zealand. In his role, Juergen is responsible for developing new projects and innovative solutions for off grid as well as grid connected microgrids including the use of grid forming inverters for stabilizing large power systems.

A real supporter of clean energy in his personal and professional life, Juergen has spent his career looking at how small and large economies can safely and economically integrate rrenewable energy into their power systems. Juergen was instrumental in developing high penetration wind/diesel systems in Mawson/Antarctica and solar/diesel systems in Marble Bar and Nullagine, WA. Having developed technology and expertise for the off grid systems with high penetration renewables and low inertia over 30 years Juergen and the Microgrids team and now applying this knowledge to large scale grid connected Microgrids such as the ESCRI 30MW Battery System in South Australia or for Oil & Gas with Woodside in Western Australia.



Oscar Wilke

Business Development, Energy – APAC Sales


Topic: Case Study: South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant

Oscar Wilkie is Business Development Manager for Tesla Energy team, where he designs, models, and develops marquee renewable energy programs to support Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

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Scott Oster

Director Projects, Clean Energy Transition

Department for Energy and Mining

Topic: Case Study: South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant

Scott Oster is the Director of Projects in the Clean Energy Transition division of the Department for Energy and Mining, where he oversees the development and implementation of significant large scale renewable energy projects for the state, including South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant and the Home Battery Scheme.



Krystal Skinner


New Energy

Topic: Co-creating the energy solutions of tomorrow with our customers today

Krystal Skinner is the Manager, Innovation and Growth at Synergy, WA’s largest Gentailer.  Krystal leads multi-disciplinary teams to develop new products and services that meet the changing needs of Synergy’s 1 million plus customers, with current areas of focus including renewable energy, battery storage, smart appliances and virtual power plant solutions. Krystal has worked at Synergy for more than 10 years across strategic marketing and retail functions and is passionate about ensuring the industry adopts a customer centric approach in its energy transition.

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Prof. Gary Rosengarten

Head of Energy



Professor Gary Rosengarten heads RMIT’s energy initiative, [email protected], is the group leader for the Laboratory for Innovative Fluid Thermal Systems (LIFTS), and is an adjunct Professor at UNSW.

Prior to joining RMIT University in 2012, he spent 6 years at UNSW running the solar energy and heat transfer group, and being head of the thermal fluids research area. He also has 2 years experience in consulting for sustainable building design, and 3 years at CSIRO. He has first class honours degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Physics from Monash University, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of NSW. He won the inaugural American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Solar Energy Division Graduate Student. In the last 6 years he has been awarded over $6million in funding from ARENA for various solar thermal, and more recently hydrogen storage projects. He has worked closely with all of Australia’s major solar thermal companies, and has approximately 200 refereed papers in fields ranging from Solar Energy to Biotechnology.



Associate Professor (Energy Practice) Ariel Liebman

Director | Deputy Director

Monash Grid Innovation Hub | Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute (MEMSI)

Topic: Operationalizing VPP: Using AI and Analytics to Better Predict Demand and Supply Generation from DERs

As Director of the Monash Grid Innovation Hub and Associate Professor at Monash’s Faculty of Information Technology, Ariel leads Monash’s Digital Energy initiatives. He brings together researchers from across disciplines such as AI and Electrical Engineering to help integrate new and energy technologies into the system. Ariel is also feputy Director of the Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute (MEMSI), whose mission is to bring together Monash researchers together to help tack grand challenges in the energy and climate space together with Industry and Government.

Ariel has been an architect of the 6 mil. Monash Grid Innovation Hub, and is lead researcher in the 3 mil. Monash’s Smart Energy City supported by Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The Microgrid located at Monash’s Clayton campus is being purposefully built to demonstrate how a 100% renewable electricity system can operate reliably, and the value it can provide to customers and the broader energy network. The currently established infrastructure includes 2MW of solar panels, 20 buildings (mechanical load shedding), electric vehicle charging stations and 1 MWh of energy storage. All components of the infrastructure will act as independent competitive entities in the Monash Transactive Energy Market.

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Ed Chan


Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)

Topic: Facilitating the efficient integration of distribution energy resources in the National Electricity Market

Ed Chan is a Director at the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and currently leads the AEMC’s program on distributed energy resources integration. Ed has previously worked on a range of issues relating to economic regulation of networks and smart meter roll outs.  Prior to joining the AEMC in 2016, Ed held a variety of roles with companies in bulk water supply, electricity network and energy retail.  Ed holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics (Honours) and a Master of Commerce from the University of Sydney.



James Eggleston

Senior Analyst

Power Ledge

Topic: Blockchain Energy Trading: How Blockchain Enables Australia’s First Peer-to-Peer Power MicroGrid Trading Kick-off

James Eggleston is a Senior Analyst within the Business Development team at Power Ledger, a Federally funded Doctoral Researcher at the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, Executive Committee Member at the Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA) and Councillor at the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF). At Power Ledger, James works on project implementation of blockchain applications for renewable electricity trading, asset management and distribution market optimization. At CUSP Institute James’ research is focused on blockchain applications within smart cities and the underpinning utility sectors. At the CCWA and ACF James brings to the board expertise in strategic planning for the electricity sector, smart cities and infrastructure for influencing Australian Federal Government Policy.

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Alan Pears

Senior Industry Fellow


Topic: The Role of the International Energy Agency’s ‘First Fuel’ (Energy Efficiency) in Distributed Energy Solutions and Emerging Energy Markets

Alan Pears AM is a Senior Industry Fellow at RMIT and a Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Climate and Energy College. He has worked on clean energy for over four decades, across all sectors and in policy and program development, site-level energy projects, education and strategic advice. Alan writes in specialist media including Renew magazine, the conversation and renew economy. His main focus is energy efficiency and energy productivity improvement.



Violette Mouchaileh

Executive General Manager - Emerging Markets & Services

Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)

Topic: AEMO: VPP Demonstrations to Maximise Value for All Energy Consumers

Violette joined AEMO in February 2009 and held various roles across gas and electricity wholesale and retail matters, including metering. She is currently leading AEMO’s Distributed Energy Resources program and heads the organisation’s Market Enhancement team, with responsibility for putting forward proposals for market design changes, and implementing changes to market frameworks which arise from external or AEMO processes. Projects currently in progress include leading the implementation of Power of Choice reforms, AEMO/ARENA DR Pilot, designing a strategic reserve framework, and supporting the COAG Energy Council’s Gas Market Reform Group to implement gas market reforms.
Violette has 15 years’ experience in the Australian energy industry holding various positions in Commonwealth government departments and regulatory bodies. Her experience includes economic regulation, energy policy development, development of regulatory frameworks, market development and design, and market change implementation including implementing major reforms such as establishment of the gas Short Term Trading Market.

Violette has a Bachelor of Economics and Commerce with Honours.



Dr Anand I. Bhatt

Research Scientist, Advanced Energy Storage Technologies


Topic: Developing a Performance Standard for Battery Energy Storage Systems – Challenges and the Future for Australia and Global Market

Anand Bhatt leads the Advanced Energy Storage Technologies (AEST) research team at CSIRO. The AEST team investigates the integration of battery and energy storage systems with renewables generation technologies as well as developing next generation energy storage technologies. One major AEST focus is in understanding how energy storage can be integrated into the Australian electricity grid and allowing increased penetration of solar PV generation whilst maintaining grid stability. AEST is also developing energy storage evaluation methods (validated by testing) to identify lifetime and performance of energy storage technologies in Australian conditions.



Alan Rai

Senior Economist – Strategy & Economic Analysis

Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)

Topic: The Role of Microgrids in Australia’s Future Energy System

Alan Rai is a Senior Economist in the Strategy and Economic Analysis team at the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), a Senior Fellow at Macquarie University Business School, and an Industry Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney Business School. In his four years at the AEMC, Alan has led work on emissions reductions strategies for the NEM, as well as projects relating to stand-alone power systems and retail and wholesale electricity markets. Prior to the AEMC, Alan was a Senior Economist in CSIRO’s Energy division, where he was part of the Future Grid Forum team. He was also an Assistant Professor of Finance at Macquarie University, and started his career at the Reserve Bank of Australia where he spent 7 years covering Australian and international debt and equity markets. Alan holds a PhD in Economics from the University of New South Wales, and a Bachelor of Commerce and Economics (1st Class Honours) from Macquarie University.

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Scott Ferraro

Program Director, Net Zero Initiative, Buildings and Property Division

Monash University

Topic: Monash University’s Case Study: How Microgrid Enables Monash to Run Entirely Off Renewables

Scott Ferraro is a leader in net zero emission strategy development and implementation, with a deep understanding of the opportunities to reduce emissions across the energy, transport and buildings sectors. Currently as Program Director of Monash University’s Net Zero Initiative, Scott and his team are focused on transitioning Monash’s Australian operations to net zero emissions by 2030. Monash’s Clayton campus will incorporate a sustainable microgrid and provide a centre of excellence for microgrid and Distributed Energy Resources (DER) projects across Australia and the region. The project aims to find solutions to the challenges of an energy sector transitioning to a high penetration of distributed renewables, while also increasing reliability and providing fair and affordable energy to customers.

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Jason Crusan

Vice President, Technology

Woodside Energy Ltd.

Topic: The Future of Hydrogen as Renewable Energy Storage in Australia

As Vice President Technology, Jason Crusan is responsible for identifying, developing and maturing technologies that increase production, reduce costs, and enable Woodside’s people to work even more safely and efficiently.

Jason holds Bachelor degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics, and a Masters degree in Computing Information Systems. Jason has more than 20 years’ experience in leveraging industry, academia and government partnerships to accelerate technology advancements across multiple industries.

Before joining Woodside in 2019, Jason worked for United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration, primarily in human spaceflight. Jason most recently served as the Director of the agency’s Advanced Exploration Systems. In this role, Jason led many partnerships with the commercial industry, including the first flights to the International Space Station of human rated expandable habitats, additive manufacturing printers, and integrated 3D printers and recyclers.

Jason has also served as the Chief Technologist for space operations, and successfully directed various technical and strategic initiatives as program or project manager.

Jason was the founding Director of the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation, formed to advance the utilisation of open innovation methodologies across the U.S. Government.



Andrew Blaver

General Manager Consumer Energy

Horizon Power

Topic: Renewable Energy Innovations – coordination and management of distributed energy resources to enable higher penetration of renewables in Microgrids

Andrew has over 25 years of experience in the construction, communications and electricity industries in Australia, South East Asia and North America.

As General Manager Customer Experience for Horizon Power, Andrew Blaver is working for a vertically integrated electricity business at the forefront of the transformation to a higher distributed energy future and is guiding the development of the new business, and customer engagement, model that this future requires.

Andrew was awarded Western Australia’s 2019 Energy Professional of the Year. The award recognises outstanding leadership, enthusiasm and innovation in the WA energy sector.



Dr Bin Lu

Research Fellow

The Australian National University

Topic: The Road Towards 100% Renewable Energy

Bin Lu is a Research Fellow at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in Renewable Energy and a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degrees in Electrical Engineering. He was previously a Senior Electrical Engineer with a decade of work experience in electrical systems design and providing consulting services to government and industry. His research interests include energy market modelling, renewable energy resource assessment, Geographic Information System application development, electrical system design and power system analysis. Bin Lu was awarded the 2018 Eureka Prize for Environmental Research with Professor Andrew Blakers and Dr Matthew Stocks at the Australian National University 100% Renewable Energy Team.



Alan Reid

Head of Business Relation

Reposit Power

Topic: The First VPP in Australia, Moulding Virtual Power Plants: Reposit Power in Canberra

Alan is the Head of Business Relations at Reposit Power. Working closely with Reposit’s key business partners, his role is to maximise ongoing value for Reposit’s customers from the delivery of aggregated VPP services to market.

Alan has over a decade of experience in the energy sector in both technical and governance capacities having held senior roles within both energy distribution and retailing businesses. Alan holds an Honours degree in Engineering and a Masters degree in Business Administration as well as qualifications in governance and risk.

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John Mennega

Group CEO & Director

Air Future Group

Topic: Air to Energy: Compressed Air Energy Storage Batteries for MicroGrids / VPPs  – A Revolutionary Approach

John is CEO of Air Future Group. He has an MBA, BE (Elect) and Grad Dip Eng (Industrial) and Grad Dip Applied Finance & Investment. Air Future Group is focused on commercialising renewable energy, clean transport, and distributed energy storage. The company is in licensed partnership with European based MDI, a world leader in compressed air battery clean vehicles and storage. Air Future Group commercialises the technology, which MDI does not do, whereas MDI performs research and development and industrialisation. Air Future Group has exclusivity for commercialisation for Australasia, including distributed manufacture, plus global scope in conjunction with MDI. The company is based in Sydney, Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand.

John’s earlier background includes head roles in corporate services for AMP Capital and a similar role for Colonial Bank, followed by private boutique investment banking and corporate advisory assisting middle market and earlier stage businesses achieve their operating goals.


Pierluigi Mancarella

Chair Professor of Electrical Power Systems, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Power and Energy Systems Group

Topic: Flexibility and grid services from an integrated electricity-hydrogen Virtual Power Plant

Pierluigi Mancarella is Chair Professor of Electrical Power Systems at The University of Melbourne (Australia) and part-time Professor of Smart Energy Systems at The University of Manchester (UK). He received his MSc and PhD in Power Systems from the Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and then worked as a post-doc at Imperial College London (UK). Pierluigi has also held visiting positions at NREL (US), Tsinghua University (China), Ecole Centrale de Lille (France), and Universidad de Chile. His research interests include techno-economic modelling of integrated energy systems, energy planning under uncertainty, and reliability and resilience of future networks. He has been involved in/led around 50 research projects worldwide and is author of several books and of over 250 research publications. He is an Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Power systems, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, and of the IEEE Systems Journal and the convenor of the CIGRE Working Group C6/C2.34 on “Flexibility from DER”. He is an IEEE Power and Energy Society Distinguished Lecturer, holds the 2017 veski Innovation Fellowship by the Victorian Government for his project on urban-scale virtual power plants, and is a recipient of an international Newton Prize 2018 for his work on power system resilience in Chile. Pierluigi led the Melbourne Energy Institute’s power system security assessment studies in support of the “Finkel Review” and is currently collaborating with AEMO, AEMC and AER in various projects on low-carbon system operation and planning, future energy market design, and power system resilience to high-impact low-probability events.


Benjamin Weise

Lead Developer, ANU Battery Storage and Grid Integration

The Australian National University

Topic: The Impact of VPP Design on Grid and System Operation

Ben is the lead developer and CTO of the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at the Australian National University, where we design and implement the building blocks for the future electricity system. This involves industry-focussed projects that provide co-ordination and visibility of distributed energy assets in the role of Distributed Systems Operator, to work on data analytics, modelling and forecasting, to the design and implementation of optimisation and control strategies.

With previous experience at Reposit Power, Ben has built technologies that turn distributed assets into virtual power plants, with a focus on control and optimisation systems that enable market participation and network services.

Prior to his work in the energy industry, Ben has worked on large data and analytics projects in both the Government and tech industry.



Adel Foda

Head of Science


Topic: Case Study – CitiPower and Powercor using Smarter Electrical Grids through Cloud-powered Advanced Analytics: From Data Silos to Data Lake

Adel is a data scientist with an ability to connect research to commercial outcomes. He has led the development of a range of machine learning solutions on text, images, video and audio data for Silverpond’s clients across industries as diverse as retail, medicine, media and utilities.



Peter McTaggart

Manager, AI & Data Analytics | Digital Innovation – Network Strategy, Programs & Change

CitiPower, Powercor & United Energy

Topic: Case Study – CitiPower and Powercor making Smarter Networks using Smart Meters and Advanced Analytics

Peter McTaggart’s  current role is  Manager, AI and Data Analytics within the Digital Innovation group at Citipower/Powercor. Here his focus is on leading a team leveraging the broad range of network, AMI  devices and data to deliver insights, support data driven decision making to deliver value to the distribution business. He has over many  years of digital technology experience: leading teams, project delivery, digital product development, strategy and innovation. Peter has held roles across a broad range of industries including Utilities, Digital Communications, Postal Services, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Defence and Information Technology Consulting.


Simon Richardson


Byron Shire Council

Topic: Case study – The Zero Emissions Byron project



Darren Gladman

Director, Smart Energy

Clean Energy Council

Topic: The Policy Framework to Enable Development of a Hydrogen Industry

Clean Energy Council