Energy & Sustainability Questions

Date : Thursday, 12 November 2009
Venue : Monash University Conference Centre
30 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
Time : 3:00pm

For this afternoon seminar AFAS Victoria invited five speakers to address various questions relating to the topical subject of Energy & Sustainability.

The seminar was attended by a cross-section of the AFAS membership and a welcome number of invitees from academia and industry.


  • Prof Kerry Pratt
    Monash Sustainability Institute
    Energy: State of the ArtWhat are the Alternatives?
  • Dr Selena Ng
    Nuclear EnergyDoes It Fit?
  • Dr John Andrews
    RMIT University
    Solar EnergyWhat Use is It?
  • Julien Gaschignard
    HydroTas, Victoria
    The Australian and French Wind Energy MarketsHow do They Compare?
  • Chris Tehan
    Evans & Peck
    An Energy User's PerspectiveHow is Transport addressing Sustainability?

Peter Tolé introduces Julien Gaschignard

Outline of Presentations

In his opening presentation, Prof Kerry Pratt commenced with an overview of the current energy supply and demand situation in Australia and of the options available for achieving more eco-friendly energy generation.  He went on to discuss a number of these options in more detail, encompassing carbon-capture, prospective improvements to coal-fired generators, direct-carbon fuel cell technology, geothermal energy and wave power.

In the following presentation, Dr Selena Ng addressed the possibility of introducing nuclear power generation into the future mix of energy sources for Australia.  She argued that nuclear-energy technology was now well established, with significant improvements having been achieved over the years in safety, efficiency and waste reduction.

In discussing the prospects for harnessing solar energy, Dr John Andrews reviewed a range of options for solar energy generation, encompassing both established technologies and some still in course of research and development.  Of particular interest was his discussion of the Hydrogen Energy Cycle, which he proposed as a means of harnessing solar energy to deliver base-load power.

Julien Gaschignard introduced a French flavour into the proceedings with his Comparison of the Australian and French Wind Energy Markets.  This encompassed a comparison of the overall energy generation mixes in the two countries and of the respective carbon footprints, a review of the relative growth in wind-power generation, and an examination of the respective market drivers.

The final presentation by Chris Tehan looked at some prospective improvements achievable by reducing energy demand, in particular in relation to transport.  This encompassed a discussion of the environmental impact of travel, of the factors contributing to this impact, and of options for reducing it.

The overall message from the presenters was that a movement to a more sustainable, eco-friendly future was achievable, provided only that there was a general commitment to doing so.

More Details

Members wishing to download a PDF copy of the presentations on Energy Alternatives, Solar Energy, Wind Power or Transport, may do so by logging in to the Members' Zone and clicking on the link to the Document Archive.

Non-members wishing to obtain a copy of any of the aforementioned presentations should direct their request by e-mail to the webmaster.