Speakers

Chris Alexander

Director, Advocacy and Communications
Energy Consumers Australia

Chris is a public and industry professional specialising in energy and has eight years’ experience working in Australia and the United Kingdom. Chris has qualifications in Economics, Law, and Government Management.

Before returning to Australia to join ECA, Chris was Head of Energy Regulation with Citizens Advice/Consumer Futures and a member of the senior management team in the energy division. Chris brings to ECA his highly developed communication, analytical and stakeholder management skills.

His proven track record developing innovative solutions to complex commercial and public policy challenges is a great advantage for ECA and consumers within the energy sector.  

 

Ali AsgharAli Asghar

Senior Associate
Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Ali Asghar is a Senior Associate at Bloomberg New Energy Finance in the Sydney office. Ali covers the changing power and advanced transportation markets in Australia. He joined Bloomberg in 2016 after several years of experience working as an energy analyst in the Middle East at Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil and gas company. Ali holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering.

 

Paul BloxhamPaul Bloxham

Chief Economist
HSBC

Paul Bloxham is HSBC’s Chief Economist for Australia, New Zealand and Global Commodities. He is chief spokesperson for HSBC on forecasts and trends for the Australian and New Zealand economies and their interaction with global financial markets and international economies. Paul is also a key spokesperson on HSBC’s unique view on global commodity markets and works closely with HSBC’s global equities team in this regard. Paul is a critical member of the HSBC Global Research team, working with 350 analysts, economists and strategists in 24 countries.

Paul has published a number of papers, including on housing and household finances, asset prices and monetary policy and global commodity market trends. Paul is a regular commentator on local and international business television and a frequent contributor of opinion editorials to the Australian newspapers. Paul is also a member of the Australian National University's Shadow Reserve Bank Board and is an adjunct professor at Curtin University. Prior to joining HSBC in 2010, Paul Bloxham spent 12 years as an economist within the Reserve Bank of Australia's Economic Analysis Department, where he headed up the overseas economies and financial conditions sections, as well as working on domestic forecasting and prices. He holds a Master's degree in public financial policy from the London School of Economics.

 

Tim Buckley

Director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia
Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Sydney

Tim Buckley, Director Energy Finance Studies Australasia at IEEFA has over 25 years financial markets experience, mainly in Australia, but also with time covering global and Asian equity markets. Tim provides financial analysis in the seaborne coal and electricity sectors for IEEFA, studying renewable energy, energy efficiency across Australia, China, Japan and India, and the resulting risk of stranded fossil fuel assets in Australia.

Tim has published numerous financial papers, including “Remote Prospects: A Financial Analysis of Adani’s coal gamble in Australia’s Galilee Basin” in November 2013, “Peak Thermal Coal Demand by 2016” in conjunction with the Carbon Tracker Initiative in September 2014, “Energy Markets in Transition” in January 2015 and “Indian Electricity Sector Transformation” in August 2015.
Tim was co-founder of Arkx Investment Management, an investor in global listed clean energy companies (2009-2013) that invested in the opportunities of energy market transitions. Westpac Banking Group was a cornerstone investor and client.

From 1998 to 2007 Tim held the position of Managing Director at Citigroup, and was Head of Australasian Equity Research from 2001.

 

Dr Ray Challen

Deputy Director General
Department of Finance – Public Utilities Office

Ray Challen is Deputy Director General in the Department of Finance with responsibility for the Public Utilities Office.  Since 2014, Ray has overseen a program of wide ranging reforms to the regulatory and market arrangements that apply to the electricity system in the south west of Western Australia.

Prior to joining the Western Australian public sector in 2012, Ray led an economics and policy advisory group in PricewaterhouseCoopers.  He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Western Australia.

 

Rachel Cooke

U.S Consul General, Perth

Rachel Cooke assumed the position of U.S. Consul General in Perth on August 11, 2016 with responsibilities for Western Australia.

A career Foreign Service Officer, Rachel most recently served as the Deputy Director of the Department of State office that oversees bilateral policy between the U.S. and six southeast Asian nations.  Prior to that she spent five years working on Afghanistan issues, focusing primarily on education development and media engagement, and leading joint civilian-military training.  Rachel has also served in Malaysia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, where she was Acting Public Affairs Officer during both the 2005 and 2010 revolutions.  

Prior to joining the Foreign Service Rachel worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and for NASA.  She was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand teaching fish farming.  Rachel has a B.S. in Marine Biology, and Master's degrees in Environmental Management and Public Policy from Indiana University.  Having grown up on the beach in New Jersey, she is delighted to have the opportunity to serve in Australia and check out the surf (as is her husband Martin).

 

Nicky CusworthNicky Cusworth

Chair
Economic Regulation Authority

Nicky Cusworth was appointed Chair of the Economic Regulation Authority in July 2016. The Authority regulates monopoly infrastructure such as railways and Western Power’s electricity network, licences utility providers, and monitors compliance with consumer protection codes. It also undertakes enquiries into economic and social policy issues.

Nicky has held senior positions in the public service, as Deputy Director General at the Department of State Development and Director of Macro-Economic Policy at the Department of Treasury and Finance. Before that, she spent 15 years as Chief Economist at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia.

Nicky migrated to Western Australia in 1989 and became an Australian citizen in 1991. She has a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University.

 

Pete Di Bona

General Manager
Domestic Gas Marketing

Pete Di Bona is currently GM for Domestic Gas Marketing with responsibility to manage Chevron’s domestic gas business in Western Australia, a role he has held since returning to Australia six years ago.  Over his career with Chevron he has held positions both locally and overseas in LNG and Gas Trading, Business Development, Project Economics and Exploration.  He is currently a member on the WA Gas Advisory Board (GAB), a recent graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors and holds a PhD in Earth Science from Flinders University of South Australia.

 

Stephen Dow

Senior Lecturer in Energy Law
University of Dundee Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy

Stephen Dow, LLB (Hons), LLM, DipLP, is Senior Lecturer in Energy Law. A qualified solicitor, following a period in private practice he took a Masters degree at the Centre, working on post-privatisation regulation of energy industries, before being appointed to the Centre in 1994.

In addition to working on legal aspects of stranded investment in the energy sector, his research interests include oil and gas law. He is the Co-Director of the Centre's successful United Kingdom Oil and Gas Law seminar. He has an interest in financing of energy projects, and teaches the Centre's course on Transnational Natural Resource and Energy Finance, particularly as projects are built in transition and developing economies. He is co-director of the Centre's Energy Finance seminar.

Stephen Dow is responsible for three other courses offered by the Centre, Downstream Energy Law and Policy; United Kingdom Oil and Gas Law; and European Community Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy, a course supported by the Jean Monnet Project of the European Commission. He is the ERASMUS programme coordinator for the Centre.

 

Louis Kent

Chair – AIE Perth Branch
Senior Manager, Energetics

Louis is the Chair of the Perth Branch of the Australian Institute of Energy and a Senior Manager with energy and carbon consultancy Energetics. He is an energy scientist and economist who helps large and small mining and resources companies identify and seize energy savings and productivity improvement opportunities. His work includes technical and economic assessments of strategic energy management frameworks, energy efficiency projects and renewable energy options for mining, industrial, commercial and government clients. Over his career, Louis has worked on a diverse range of projects, including the development of demand management analysis tools for energy utilities, identifying and evaluating productivity opportunities for mining companies, and forecasting commodity demand in the ‘2 degree world’: the global objective set under the Paris Climate Agreement. Louis is also a volunteer director of a cooperative, aiming to develop a community-owned wind farm on Rous Head at Fremantle Port.

 

Tim Langmead

Director, External Relations

Tim Langmead is the Director – External Relations, Fortescue Metals Group Limited.

Tim Langmead was appointed Director External Relations at Fortescue Metals Group Limited in January 2014, having previously served as Group Manager Corporate Affairs from January 2013.

Prior to joining Fortescue, Tim held external relations leadership roles in the oil and gas industry based in Perth for five years. He has almost 25 years’ experience in public affairs. Tim began his career as a journalist in regional Queensland in the early ‘90s, subsequently serving as a Ministerial adviser in Canberra over a period spanning nine years.

Tim is an elected member of the Council of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Energy Law from the University of Western Australia and is passionate about ensuring the natural resources of regional Australia continue to sustainably provide economic opportunity.

 

Dr Steve Lennon

Managing Director
Shanduvan (Pty) Ltd

Steve is a qualified scientist and engineer, with a primary degree in Chemistry and a Master's and Doctorate degree in materials engineering. He is an experienced company director, having held board positions on state and private companies and not-for-profit organisations in South Africa, Switzerland, Australia and the USA. His independent, non-executive experience has been strongly supported by a rich executive career of more than 30 years in Eskom, which is South Africa’s state owned power company. He is recognised as an international expert in energy and technological innovation, with specialist knowledge in sustainability, climate change, energy planning, policy and strategy and both non-renewable and renewable energy sources and networks. He is widely recognised for his expertise in the energy arena and he has held numerous international leadership roles in this area. He has received several lifetime achievement awards and was a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which won the Nobel Peace prize together with Al Gore in 2007. For several years, he was Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Innovation – an advisory body to South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology, as well as Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce’s Energy and Environment Commission. In the latter role, he engaged extensively with the United Nations as the voice of International Business. He was a member of the Coal Industry Advisory Board of the International Energy Agency for more than 10 years and is a reviewer for the IEA’s Annual World Energy Outlook publication.

Steve was appointed as President of the United Nations Association of Australia in Western Australia in October 2016.

 

Seán Mc GoldrickSeán McGoldrick

Executive Manager Asset Management
Western Power

Seán joined Western Power in June 2015, bringing a rich international perspective from 27 years in the electricity sector.

His career spans operations, management, development and research on power systems and utilities around the world and he has provided consultancy services to utilities, governments and regulators throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Seán holds a PhD (Molecular Physics), Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics) and Bachelor of Engineering from Trinity College at the University of Dublin.

He has also held positons at Executive Director and Board level in utilities in North America, the British Isles and Europe.

Asset Management is accountable for managing overall asset lifecycles, asset performance management strategies, engineering and design and safety, environment, quality and training.

 

Mark McGranaghan

Vice President of Power Delivery & Utilization
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Mark McGranaghan is Vice President of the Distribution and Energy Utilization Sector for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). He leads the teams responsible for EPRI’s research involving technologies, systems, and practices for the power distribution system and customer systems, as well as the related information, communication and cyber security infrastructure and systems.

Mark has been with EPRI since 2003 and has had a strong influence on EPRI’s research in the areas of power quality, advanced distribution systems, and the smart grid. He has worked closely with government and industry research organizations, both in the United States and around the world.

Prior to joining EPRI, Mark was with Electrotek Concepts (1998-2003) and McGraw-Edison/Cooper Power.

Mark has BSEE and MSEE degrees from the University of Toledo and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught seminars and workshops around the world and is very active in standards development and industry activities. He is an IEEE Fellow.

 

Murray MeatonMurray Meaton AM

Director
Economic Consulting Services
Vice Chair
WA Branch Australian Institute of Energy

Murray Meaton is Manager of Economic Consulting Services. He established the company in 1997 following over 25 years of State and Federal government experience.

Murray worked in government for the Department of Agriculture, Treasury, the Commonwealth DPIE, Industries Assistance Commission and CSIRO. He finished as Director, Economic Policy with the Department of Minerals and Energy.

Murray has now completed more than 800 consulting assignments for a wide range of clients. He is a member of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy Economics Committee and the Energy Committee, WA Vice Chair and national Board member of the Australian Institute of Energy and a Director of his Rotary Club.

Murray is an experienced facilitator and public speaker and a Churchill Fellow. In 2014, Murray was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his contribution to the energy sector. 

 

Tennant Reed

Principal National Adviser – Public Policy
The Australian Industry Group

Tennant Reed is Principal National Adviser – Public Policy at the Australian Industry Group.  For the last eight years he has worked heavily on climate and energy issues, advising Ai Group’s Leaders’ Group on Energy and Climate Policy, coordinating the Australian Climate Roundtable and developing reports on natural gas supply, energy prices and energy efficiency.  He also works on a range of issues related to manufacturing and innovation.  Previously he was an adviser in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, working on fiscal policy, stimulus and infrastructure.  Tennant lives in Melbourne.

 

Paul StevensProfessor Paul Stevens

Distinguished Fellow
Chatham House

Professor Paul Stevens is a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House, educated as an economist and as a specialist on the Middle East at Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Between 1973-1979, he was teaching economics at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and from straight after 1979-93 at the University of Surrey. From 1993 and 2008, he was Professor of Petroleum Policy and Economics at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, Scotland, a chair created by BP.  He is also Professor Emeritus at the University of Dundee, Visiting Professor at University College London (Australia) and Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. He has published extensively on energy economics, international petroleum, economic development issues and the political economy of the Gulf.  He also works as a consultant for many companies and governments. In March 2009 he was presented with the OPEC Award in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of oil and energy research.

 

Geoff WhiteGeoff White

Project Director – Retail Strategy
Horizon Power

Geoff White has spent the last 20 years designing and delivering business transformation programs to enable step-change in WA electricity businesses. 

At Horizon Power since 2009, Geoff developed and ran the business transformation program that replaced all of Horizon Power's information systems, which enabled the organisation to take control of its business, rather than relying on the systems of its larger cousins, Western Power and Synergy.

In 2013, Geoff took on customer services (including metering) just as a strategic review began demanding massive cost savings.  The customer services team have been able to reduce Horizon Power's costs significantly while increasing customer satisfaction to 87%.  With the successful rollout of advanced metering infrastructure across Horizon Power's service area, Geoff is now responsible for small-use customer strategy, which will put customers in control as Horizon Power enables customer choice in an AMI-enabled microgrid future. 

 

Tony Wood

Energy Program Director
The Grattan Institute

Tony has deep experience in the energy sector. Prior to joining Grattan Institute in 2011, he worked at Origin Energy for 11 years, and was an adviser to the first Garnaut climate change review.
He is also program director of Clean Energy Projects at the Clinton Foundation. He has widespread relationships within the energy sector.

 

Ben WyattHon Ben Wyatt MLA

Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Energy; Aboriginal Affairs

Ben Wyatt is Australia’s first Indigenous Australian treasurer and was appointed in March 2017.

Mr Wyatt also holds the position as Minister for Finance, Energy and Aboriginal Affairs.

Mr Wyatt’s priority as a leader of the state is to focus on his Ministerial portfolio, his obligation to his constituents and to make a difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the state and the nation. Mr Wyatt is deeply committed to the principles of closing the gap in Australia.

Elected to the Legislative Assembly in a by election, held in March 2006, Mr Wyatt was fast-tracked to fill the vacancy created when the Hon Dr Geoff Gallop resigned.

Prior to his appointment as a senior Minister in the current Government, Mr Wyatt held the positions of Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Federal State Relations, Aboriginal Affairs, Native Title and Government Accountability.

Mr Wyatt holds a Master's Degree with distinction from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia. He has also served on the National Board of Indigenous Business Australia as an officer in the Australian Army following his graduation from the Royal Military College, Duntroon.

In 2001, Mr Wyatt was awarded Young Australian of the Year in the Town of Victoria Park. Other accolades include a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship from the Rotary Club of Victoria Park for 2001 to 2002 and receiving the Australian Defence Medal in 2008.

Mr Wyatt’s career began in Western Australia as a barrister and solicitor when he served as counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

 

Audrey Zibelman

Chief Executive Officer

Audrey joined AEMO as Chief Operating Officer on 20 March 2017. Audrey has extensive international experience in the public, private and not-for profit energy sectors, most recently having held the position of Chair of the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC), where she was responsible for overseeing the regulation and safety of New York’s electricity, gas, telephone, cable, water and steam utilities. Prior to joining NYPSC, Audrey Zibelman was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of GO15 member organisation PJM, a system operator organisation responsible for operating the power grid and wholesale power market which serves 14 states across the eastern United States. Audrey Zibelman is also a Founder and past President and Chief Executive Officer of Viridity Energy, Inc., which she formed after more than 25 years of electricity utility industry leadership experience in both the public and private sectors.