It is going to be a quantum leap from the old supply and distribution systems that have sustained energy transmission and distribution for thirty or forty years. Planning for future transmission and distribution of energy will require much more than building bigger and more widespread infrastructure, according to an industry leader.

Mike Griffin, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Power Institute, said that replacing ageing infrastructure and legacy systems had to be associated with smart technologies and new engineering skills to cope with the demands of national regulation and customer expectations.

Creating Intense Competition

“In the new national regulatory regime, customers will compare the performance of one network against another, thereby creating intense competition in energy delivery performance and reliability,” Mr Griffin said.

“Customers are now a lot more informed about energy costs, service delivery and environmental considerations.”

“New infrastructure must come with intelligent systems and effective communications strategies to help customers manage energy usage in a sustainable manner.”

Sustainable Energy Use

“This includes smart metering for sustainable energy use in very hot weather and times of peak demand, and technology that allows energy breakdowns to be isolated and restored as quickly, simply and automatically as possible.”

“A big thing for national energy networks to consider are the different climates across the country and the infrastructure and smart systems required to cope with the extremes.” reliability of supply.”

“Another major challenge will be reliability of supply to particular customers, including hospitals, essential industry sectors and shopping centres.”

“In the past energy regulators looked at overall measures of reliability. As we transition to a national regulatory regime, regulators will be applying acceptable standards of reliability across different sectors.”

Engineers To Make Things Happen

“In addressing the challenge, we urgently need an influx of new engineers to make things happen effectively and efficiently.”

Energy Delivery – Solutions for the 21st Century will be the theme of Energy 21C, the 9th international energy transmission and distribution conference and exhibition, to be held in Sydney from November 11 to 14, 2007. Hosted by Energy Australia and Integral Energy, Energy 21C is the premier electricity and gas transmission and distribution conference in the southern hemisphere.

More than 2,000 delegates are expected to attend the four-day Energy 21C conference to explore a range of issues including:

  • Asset management and forecasts of future demand and infrastructure needs;
  • Business and regulation against the spectre of climate change;
  • Demand management and advanced metering infrastructure;
  • Customer expectations and solutions;
  • Energy delivery capability with a particular focus on the development and sustainability of professional and technical skills and capacity;
  • Technical regulation and standardisation; and
  • Gas network management.

Energy Networks May Respond

Energy 21C will provide expert insights into how energy networks may respond to the drivers of change in the energy industry over the next decade.

Organisers have dedicated an opening summit and a principal stream of the conference to the climate change challenge.

Climate change authority, internationally acclaimed scientist, author and Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery, will be one of the keynote speakers and a person who will shape the strategic planning of energy networks. Professor Flannery is the author of the best selling book, The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing The Climate And What It Means For Life On Earth.

Gas distribution, which forms an important part of the energy system, will also be a key feature of the Energy 21C conference and exhibition.

Mr Griffin, who is on the organising committee of Energy 21C, said the primary aim of the conference was to keep people in the industry, and those who rely on it, abreast of latest issues in energy transmission and distribution, and to enhance professional development opportunities.

For more information, visit Energy 21C or contact the Conference Managers, Waldron smith Management, by telephone (03) 9645 6311 or e-mail

Media contact: Mike Griffin-Chief Executive, Mobile 0419643795