SEN Presents -15 October 2018 Richard Harris

Richard Harris of the WA Independent Power Association (WAIPA) provided a highly relevant presentation about the current energy market, and the challenges ahead. He spoke of the need for a Renewable Energy Target, the need for a national approach, and for emissions reduction. 

A copy of his presentation can be obtained by contacting the Events Team [email protected].


SEN Presents Electric Vehicles holding their own

3 September 2018

The Electric Targa South West Tour was launched in May this year, which was Australia's first dedicated tarmac Electric Vehicle category for Road Registered users. Florian Popp and other local enthusiasts discussed their drive experience on closed, Rally stage roads in the pristine South West Forrests. THhe results were impressive. Following the presentation, we had the opportunity to inspect 2 Tesla EVs, 

A key message of the night is that the advent of electric cars, requires considered and pragmatic technical action by our state government and utilities, and SEN is an important conduit for such like minded industry partners.

Paul Wilkes and The Climate Reality Project

SEN Presents 11 June 

We were very fortunate to have a presentation by eminent scientist Dr Paul Wilkes who is a "Climate Reality Leader" after training by Al Gore in Denver, Colorado. Paul gave a talk with an updated international perspective after participating in The Climate Reality Project. He covered the global issues such as greenhouse gases, temperatures and sea level rise, technical issues, opportunities such as job creation and economic benefits, the role of electric vehicles and provided local and international examples.  

A brief overview of the key learnings from Al Gore 'The Truth in 10' is available at this link. 


SEN Presents 30 April Laurie Corro on Why Microgrids are important

Holding a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering, a Master of Engineering Science and a  Graduate Diploma Technology Management (Deakin) Laurie Curro came to speak to our April SEN Presents at short notice. With more than 35 years’ experience working in the Power Transmission and Distribution industry, with particular interest in distribution and power system planning, distribution design, distribution reliability power quality, system operations and maintenance and smart grid planning, Laurie provided some fascinating insights into the work at Horizon Power.

As General Manager Power System Services, Laurie presented a fascinating overview of why Microgrids are important and spoke about 2 innovative projects underway in regional WA:

- The Onslow Distributed Energy resource Project

- Trials in Carnarvon leading up to Onslow. 

Laurie held our attention to the end, and was generous in his responses to audience questions.

A great night!

SEN Presents 19 March Life Cycle Analysis

Andrew D Moore (MSc BAppSc BSc) is a passionate sustainability scientist and founder of Life Cycle Logic. Andrew uses carbon footprinting and life cycle assessment (LCA) as some of the tools to see the big picture of where we are and where we are headed to get us on the path to a more sustainable future.

Andrew has experience across a wide range of industries including agriculture, building and construction, mining, tourism, energy, renewables and the startup sector. Andrew presented insights into some fascinating and sometimes unexpected outcomes of what happens when a thorough and comprehensive analysis of all the contributors to the lifecycle of a product, are considered. Andrew’s findings present a perspective based on consideration of all available measures of energy inputs.

Andrew is indeed an inspiring and engaging speaker.

Here is a link to his website . Andrew will soon be adding video of his presentation.

SEN Presents 5 Feb Power Ledger

James Eggleston of Power Ledger 

James Eggleston spoke about P2P trading. This class of Platform Application gives retailers the ability to empower consumers (or in an unregulated environment, the consumers themselves) to simply trade electricity with one another and receive payment in real-time from an automated reconciliation and settlement system. He also spoke of the many other benefits such as being able to select a clean energy source, trade with neighbours, receive more money for excess power, benefit from transparency of trades on a blockchain and very low-cost settlement costs all leading to lower power bills and improved returns for investments in distributed renewables.

See below a link to James' presentation from the event.


SEN Presents - December 2017 – Vanadium Flow Batteries

Vincent Algar is Managing Director of Australian Vanadium Ltd and its subsidiary VSUN Energy Pty Ltd. VSUN Energy's main objective is to advance the understanding and adoption of vanadium energy storage. During Vincent's time with the company he has become a global expert on vanadium in energy storage and has a wealth of knowledge about the energy market and vanadium's uses within it.

Vincent’s presentation focused on the technical performance of vanadium flow batteries, the differences between vanadium and lithium in energy storage and the particular scenarios that the technology is best suited to.  Included was an overview of the largest battery in the world, which is currently under construction in China, and case studies of installed systems in Australia and around the world.

SEN Presents – October 2017 – disruptive nature of electric vehicles

Guest speaker was Leo Kerr who is vice president of Trillion Trees (formerly Men of the Trees WA) and has been involved in the not for profit sector for almost 30 years. In 2008 he had a Mitsubishi Mirage converted to electric and in 2009 established the community information website

Leo gave a fascinating and comprehensive overview on the disruptive nature of Electric Vehicles and the transformation of the global fleet. He spoke of reasons for change, EVs in Australia and the impact that electrification and autonomous technology will bring about in our immediate to near future.

SEN Presents – September 2017 – Numen Energy Enlightenment

Russell Wilson, Director Catalyst and, Co-Founder and Director of Ecocentric Energy.

Ecocentric have partnered with CSIRO and developed Numen, which is a Latin word for the spirit, or energy that lives in a place or object.

High Quality Energy Data, is proving to be of increasing value to everyone. Using a combination of cutting-edge hardware, data smarts, and beautiful user-centric interfaces, Numen is helping businesses understand where their energy is being used, conserved and wasted. Numen learns the energy usage patterns of a business, to predict faults for pre-emptive maintenance and efficiency. The entire equipment portfolio is connected with other data sets, like weather and Building Management Systems.

With Numen it is possible to see  energy usage at the building level, or drill right down for detailed data and insights into the operation of each and every business device in real-time, anywhere in the world. Numen’s detailed energy data highlights inefficiencies and helps streamline business to save money and ultimately reduce  carbon footprint. 


SEN Presents – July 2017 -competitive and environmentally friendly renewable technologies

Antony Piccinini has been a part of the utility scale renewable energy industry for the past 17 years.  During this time, he has helped develop multiple wind, wind /diesel, solar and bioenergy projects, operating across WA, interstate and overseas markets. 

Antony is the CEO of Renergi (, a WA based bioenergy technology company, which is developing a suite of technologies spun out of Curtin University.  These technologies encompass biomass pyrolysis, gasification and refining.  Antony  outlined how these technologies resolve the current impediments to utilising our significant biomass resources for utility scale power generation to help deliver a sustainable future more broadly.

SEN Presents - June 2017 - the rise and rise of battery storage

Senec Australia's MD, Ian Parkinson, has a long-term vision that sees households, businesses and whole communities empowered to take back energy control from the corporate petrochem companies.  Ian is determined to make Senec a key part of the energy market in Australia and New Zealand.

In his presentation, Ian said that most homes won't be able to get completely off the grid mostly due to our excessively high consumption of power.  A 10kw battery system is around $16,500 installed and prices are unlikely to come down any time soon because demand outstrips supply.  This is not only because of the demand from the housing industry but extremely high demand from the world-wide auto industry.  An example is that Norway will soon be a 100% electric vehicle country. 

Ian also brought an actual battery for us to view. Even though the price is currently high, demand is strong.

SEN Presents - May 2017 - a celebration of Volunteer involvement

SEN is a 100% volunteer-run organisation.  Thanks to a grant from Volunteering WA (and Lotterywest) we celebrated National Volunteer Week with a special party with lots of nice food and a presentation of gift baskets to volunteers who have gone above and beyond the call of duty working with Politicians to provide information about Renewable Energy Policy, advancing the technical capabilities (through SIREN - see, and general assistance progressing the adoption of renewable energy in WA.

The various Team Leaders gave an update of the extensive work they have been doing and expect to do during the coming year.

SEN Presents - March 2017 - A renewable energy electricity system – what will it look like?

Our speaker, Professor Bill Grace, generated quite a bit of excitement and discussion around the implications of the growth of rooftop solar and storage. Bill offered several scenarios based on very low technology costs resulting in a high uptake of ‘behind the meter’ household and commercial solar PV and battery storage. Under these assumptions, utility-scale renewables might play a less important role as we transition to 100% renewables. Bill presented scenarios for a 100% renewable transition by 2030, 2040 and 2050.  The 2030 scenario shows a relatively quick transition from fossil fuel generation with a mix of domestic and utility-scale renewables. However, in the models presented, private solar generation and storage would eclipse large scale renewables by 2050 because of their rapidly falling costs. This could impact the economics for investors in utility-scale renewables. 

While these scenarios paint a different picture to SEN's own modelling, the similarities highlight the need for Government to provide leadership in the transition to renewables. Government intervention is needed to ensure an optimal mix of technologies on the grid, and plan appropriately for grid security and reliability.  To see Professor Bill Grace’s presentation  click here


SEN Presents - December 2016 - Cut emissions by half by end of term of Government

Our December 2016 SEN Presents was a call to WA Politicians that WA can “Cut emissions by half by end of term of Government”.  Our experts, Angus King and Ben Rose, showed that 85% reduction in emissions is feasible by 2030 and how the SWIS can close all coal and replace it with wind and solar PV with no increase in cost of electricity!


Click here to see the presentation

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SEN Presents - October 2016 - Zero Carbon Australia Renewable Energy Superpower Report

Zero Carbon Australia Renewable Energy Superpower Report - Thursday 27 October at UWA

We were pleased to present something different this month!  

The topic was Zero Carbon Australia Renewable Energy Superpower Report and it is the Perth Launch by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE).

SEN Presents - September 2016 - SEN AGM and Professor Ray Wills

SEN AGM and Presentation by Professor Ray Wills was held on Monday 12 September 2016

Professor Ray Wills gave us an amazing preview into the adoption of smarter technologies  ̶  including cleantech, automation, robotics and 3D printing  ̶  in homes, businesses and industry in every city, and connected through social media and smart devices including wearables, is changing the world and the way we interact with family, friends and customers, and much faster than (almost) anyone imagined.

He showed us how quickly will we respond, and change how we live and work in the cities we live in and what this means for future business growth and rapidly changing community expectations.  Our renewed, smart cities will be looking amazing by 2040! We hope to have a link to his presentation soon.  To see Professor Wills'presentation: click here

SEN Presents - August 2016 - The latest in concentrating solar power (CSP)

Our August 1st  SEN Presents revisited large scale solar.

Daniel Thompson, Director of Development, Australia, SolarReserve, gave us an excellent presentation on the latest in concentrating solar power (CSP), its present deployment and future prospects.

He discussed: About SolarReserve, a leading global developer of utility-scale solar power projects; CSP technology; The operating CSP facility at Crescent Dunes, Tonopah, Nevada, USA; The Aurora project – a SolarReserve proposal for CSP at Port Augusta, South Australia; International developments and the progression down the cost curve.

You can read the edited presentation on CSP here. It has great explanations, diagrams and photos.

SEN Presents - June 2016 - Kimberley Tides and HVDC Transmission

SEN Presents June 2016 – The Potential of Tidal Power in the Kimberley

Our June 20th SEN Presents explored a largely forgotten resource in Australia, tidal power. The tides of the Kimberley, together with HVDC transmission lines, could potentially supply all of Australia’s electricity needs.

Ivan Quail, SEN Committee member, presented the findings of his study on possibilities of harnessing tidal power from the Kimberley. His study was based on a 1962 report by John Lewis, now in his nineties and present as a special guest at this meeting, which explored in detail the prospects for harnessing tidal energy along the Kimberley coastline. However, this report and subsequent submissions to government on the topic have essentially been ignored so far. Ivan showed that there were bays and inlets all along the Kimberley coast where tidal differences could be up to 14 m. Thus there would be plenty of scope for installing tidal fences or barrages to effectively capture tidal energy. New HVDC transmission line technology could effectively transfer this electricity across the entire country. Costs of establishing tidal energy facilities would only involve initial capital costs and limited subsequent maintenance, making it only one third of the cost of nuclear energy, for example. However, detailed planning and costings are yet to be done. Nevertheless, this presentation served as a reminder that a potentially viable renewable energy resource, additional to solar, wind, wave and geothermal, is available in WA and awaiting detailed official consideration.

Also, after Ivan’s presentation, Eamonn Darcy of Sun Brilliance Group gave an update on the recently held 3rd International Workshop on NILM (Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring = electricity disaggregation = energy efficiency through appliance specific feedback). He explained the latest developments in software permitting monitoring of changes in the voltage and current going into a facility, without attaching meters to individual appliances, and deducing what appliances are used in the facility as well as their individual energy consumption. This simplifies fault detection and therefore permits timely fault remediation. This is a rapidly evolving field with good prospects for increasing energy use efficiency, in both industry and households.

SEN Presents - May 2016 - Battery Storage - where are we and where to from here?

This SEN Presents on 2nd May attracted our biggest audience ever, of about 125, due to widespread public interest in this rapidly emerging technology. Rooftop solar PV is in the process of disrupting traditional centralized electricity distribution systems and addition of battery storage systems threatens further such disruption.

Our first speaker, Masoud Abshar of Magellan Power, provided background on battery storage, for residential, commercial and industrial purposes. His company has been supplying high reliability DC and AC power systems and associated equipment to industry since 1992, including energy storage devices. More recently, they have moved into residential energy storage systems. However, he pointed out that we are only at the base of a potential adoption curve for home energy storage, as there are several factors that would determine the extent of adoption, such as costs and future policies affecting the existing grid. He also pointed out that development of appropriate software to manage efficient use of an energy storage system was crucial.

Then, Craig Donohue of Clean NRG, gave practical insight into the logistics and economics of installing battery systems at residential and commercial level. He stated that simply replacing a grid connection with energy storage was at present not economic, although of course new energy storage options are a boon for those off-grid. He emphasized the need to fully understand the customer’s needs and expectations before recommending a particular energy storage system. He then described the procedure for installing fit-for-purpose energy storage systems.

Steve Wins WA Volunteer of the Year Award 2016

Steve wins WA Volunteer of the Year Award

We are very proud to announce that Steve Gates, one of SEN's founders, former Chairman and current Technical Team Leader, won the WA Volunteer of the Year Award at a gala dinner at the Hyatt Hotel on 11 May. This is an amazing honour for Steve's work in sustainable energy and engineering. Read more here or here on our FB