ACT Government/ANU annual Solar Oration 2018: Can we make a 100% renewable electricity system?

ACT Government/ANU annual Solar Oration 2018: Can we make a 100% renewable electricity system?

Date & time: 4.15–6.45pm 29 November 2018, AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
Location: Copland Lecture Theatre, 25a Kingsley Street, ANU.
Speakers: Ivor Frischknecht, Shane Rattenbury, and Andrew Blakers

For decades we have been trying to reduce the cost of generating renewable electricity. We have now succeeded in making wind and solar photovoltaics by far the cheapest form of new generation. However, as the percentage of renewables in the system increases, we need to think about a range of issues beyond the cost generation, such as how to make it reliable.

New technologies are forced to comply with standards and rules designed for a centralized, fossil-based system. This can be done, but it is not straightforward. Beyond the challenges of electricity are the other two thirds of energy use, for heating and transport. These will over time also need to transition to renewables and here the costs and impediments are greater but there are some clear paths forward.

Registration via Eventbrite is essential.

The Solar Oration will follow the ANU Energy Update and will be in the same lecture theatre (Copland). Register for the ANU Energy Update here.


5.15pm Finger food and drinks served in the foyer.

6.00pm Welcome, Professor Andrew Blakers, Research School of Engineering, ANU.

6.02pm Shane Rattenbury, ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability will provide an update on Canberra's path to 100% renewable electricity and zero emissions.

6.10pm Ivor Frischknecht, former CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), delivers the Solar Oration.

7.10pm Q&A.

7.40pm Close.

Please note we suggest using public transport, taxi, cycling, walking or allowing plenty of time to find a park.

View ANU visitor parking map.

About Ivor Frischknecht

Ivor Frischknecht was inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the six years August 2012 to August 2018. Ivor is widely acknowledged as an expert and innovator in the rapidly evolving energy industry. He led ARENA’s efforts to accelerate the commercialisation and integration of renewable energy into Australia’s energy system as well as playing a leading role in transforming the electricity sector.

ARENA, with funding of $2 billion, manages a diverse portfolio of projects across the innovation chain, from early research to utility scale deployment. ARENA’s work supported almost 300 renewable energy projects under Ivor’s leadership, unlocking $2.4 billion in other investment. It has delivered and fast-tracked renewable energy development in Australia, including large-scale solar which has now become commercially viable without subsidy.

Ivor brought decades of private sector experience to ARENA, particularly involving smart investment in clean technology start-ups and growth companies. Before joining ARENA, Ivor was responsible for clean tech investments at venture capital firm, Starfish Ventures, which managed $400 million primarily on behalf of Australian superannuation funds. Before that he was CEO and investor in the clean tech sector in Silicon Valley, California. Ivor has degrees in law and economics from the University of Sydney, and an MBA and Public Management Certificate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

The ANU Solar Oration is generously sponsored by the ACT Government.


Sarah Wilson

Telephone: 02 6125 0946