Expertise

SEN’s mission is to promote and model practical, affordable strategies for the adoption of renewable energy toward a sustainable global future. Numerous active members have 30+ years’ experience each in their profession, including electricity generation and transmission, renewable energy, economics and natural resource management.

Chairperson, Ian Porter, a Mechanical Engineer, has 40 years of experience in the oil, gas, nuclear and conventional power industries, in roles ranging from R&D, project management and business development. Over the last 20 years, he has concentrated on energy technology commercialisation with current and future activities focused on renewable energy. Vice-Chair Shahan Jerejian is a mechanical engineer who has more than 10 years consulting experience in the petroleum industry.

SEN’s Integrated Renewable Energy Network (SIREN) software was developed by experienced (40 years plus) Software Developer Angus King. The open-source SIREN software combines NASA weather data, Geographical Information System data and the US Department of Energy technology models to calculate detailed renewable generation capacity at any location in the world. SIREN also determines transmission network requirements to support the distribution of newly-generated electricity.

The quantity and costing component of the SIREN software was developed by Ben Rose, who has 15 years professional experience in Natural Resource Management in the Department of Agriculture, as well as experience in energy and carbon emissions analysis and secondary science teaching. The Powerbalance software that he developed can calculate balanced, costed renewable energy scenarios using SIREN hourly energy data for any grid scenario.

SIREN’s development was assisted by Oil and Gas Systems Engineer, Len Bunn, who cofounded and ran a consulting company with up to 300 employees for 10 years.

The technical capacity of SEN’s work is provided by SEN’s Technical team, led by Mechanical Engineer and WA Volunteer of the Year (2016/17), Steve Gates, consultant, with 35 years’ experience, including offshore oil and gas, defence, manufacturing and agricultural projects. The team includes Power  and Renewable Energy Engineers, several of whom are highly experienced ex-Western Power/Verve Energy, plus Agriculture and Carbon Accounting professionals. 

The documentation of SEN’s work was validated by various members, including business professional, Amanda Berry; mathematician Sam Begg; and agricultural research scientist Adjunct Professor Chris Johansen.

SEN’s work draws on a range of graduate students and professionals in sustainable energy and environmental science. One of these is economist Barry Ladbrook, who has advised senior Government and industry decision makers on carbon and energy policy and strategy for over a decade.

The outcomes of SEN’s work are made accessible to the broader community by Adjunct Associate Professor Rob Phillips, scientist and science educator with 30+ years’ professional experience. These findings are shared with the community by Graphic Designer, Alastair Leith, and trainer and volunteer management expert Gilda Davies.

SEN is committed to complete transparency of its modelling. The SIREN Toolbox, modelled scenarios, ‘Clean Energy WA’ report and briefing notes are open source and downloadable from the SEN website [link to http://www.sen.asn.au/modelling_overview]. The information is regularly updated as new scenarios are modelled. As SEN envisages SIREN being used widely throughout the world to facilitate design of renewable electricity grids, interested groups can apply for training in the use of the model.

As an organisation, SEN brings together an unparalleled mix of multidisciplinary talent which has provided independent advice to political parties, unions, utilities and government.