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The Great Australian Battery Race

  • The Cluster Level 17, 31 Queen Street Melbourne Australia

With the end of coal nigh, there is still much work to be done on making the shift to renewable energy – namely around storage. Power providers, governments and researchers are scrambling to find a solution to our energy woes with much of the focus being placed on batteries.

The Victorian government is currently developing a 20 megawatt battery storage facility and has requested expressions of interest from battery storage firms capable of supplying grid-scale systems. Whilst, thanks to Mr Musk, Tesla is the name we continually hear put forward for such solutions, who are the local players running the race to secure our energy future?

In this event we will be discussing:

  • What new battery technologies are in development in Australia? How do they compare?
  • What are the areas of focus for batteries - grid storage, household storage, vehicles, personal electronic devices
  • The role of Australian industry & the research sector - is commercialisation generating successful outcomes in battery development?
  • Australian opportunities and projects requiring battery solutions

Ticket price includes drinks, light refreshments and a copy of the event report.

Panellists

Valentin Muenzel - Cofounder & CEO, Relectrify
Relectrify is a Melbourne-based company creating uniquely capable, affordable, and sustainable battery storage. The company’s advanced control technology gives used batteries from electric cars a second life as energy storage in solar homes, businesses and the power grid. The company is an alumni of the Melbourne Accelerator Program, and has been recognised as a leading innovator by Tech23 Australia, Falling Walls Germany, and the Environment Bureau Hong Kong.

Valentin has worked on battery projects with IBM Research, the CSIRO, PennState University under ARPA-E support, and BMW Germany where he worked on prototype electric vehicle battery packs. Valentin's experience in technology commercialisation includes consulting projects with hardware / energy companies ranging from startups to listed corporations. He holds undergraduate engineering degrees from the University of Southampton, UK, and a PhD from the University of Melbourne.

John Wood - CEO, Ecoult

John is the Chief Executive Officer of Ecoult. He joined the energy storage community in 2008 having previously launched technologies globally in Security, Identity, Payment Technology, and Telecommunications. As a technology CEO for more than 20 years, John has had the good fortune to have worked with excellent individuals and led excellent teams that have created businesses and numerous successful products and solutions from the ground up that are used and trusted by many of the world’s largest enterprises and governments, either directly or under license by many of the largest global technology enterprises.

John is now leading the Ecoult effort to commercialise UltraBattery® storage solutions.

Dr Andrew Basile - Post Doctoral Fellow at Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University 

Andrew is a 2015 Endeavour Fellow and is currently working as an electrochemist with the Institute for Frontier Materials and BatTRI-Hub, which are based within Deakin University.

Since completion of his doctoral candidature at RMIT University, Andrew has worked with several  research groups and companies, including University of Warwick, CSIRO and BHP Billiton. His PhD thesis covered the topic of novel electrolytes for lithium metal battery technologies. These materials classed as ‘ionic liquids’ show potential as safer and greener electrolytes. The knowledge gained during that research has led to publication in scientific journals such as Nature Communications, and has led to utilising these novel electrolytes towards rising technologies ‘beyond lithium’ such as the low temperature sodium-ion rechargeable battery. 

Kane Thornton - Chief Executive, Clean Energy Council

Kane is Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council, the peak body for the renewable energy and energy efficiency industry in Australia.

Kane has more than a decade's experience in energy policy and leadership in the development of the renewable energy industry. Kane has advocated for and helped design the policies that have been critical to the renewable energy industry's growth, and continues to be an active political advocate, public presenter and media spokesperson.

His previous roles include senior manager and advisor for Hydro Tasmania – Australia's largest generator of renewable energy – and executive officer of Renewable Energy Generators Australia.

Kane has broad international management experience having previously worked in technology, living and working in Asia. He has held a range of advisory and board roles with government and non-government organisations in the climate change and energy sector, and is a non-executive director of Sustainability Victoria.

Kane is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has a Masters in Social Science and Bachelor of Information Technology.

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