The Developing Northern Australia Conference will be held at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 June 2017.

Ms Ruth Elvin, Senior Manager of Programs, Desert Knowledge Australia joins us this year to talk about “Spinning the reserve: creating a hub for the future of Northern Australia’s energy development”.

Ruth Elvin

Developing Northern Australia requires understanding the complex challenges of supplying affordable and accessible energy to its remote towns, communities, industrial sites and sprawling pastoral interests.

The use of fossil fuels alone is increasingly untenable, both environmentally and financially, particularly in remote areas where the cost of fuel transport alone is eye watering. Integrating renewables is, by contrast, increasingly viable with rapid escalation in the capacity of technology such as battery storage coupled with decreasing prices.

A considerable reserve of knowledge exists about the options for remote area power supplies, particularly in solar energy. But the knowledge is diffused, spread across industries, institutes, and jurisdictions, and is limited by inappropriate regulatory and financial regimes.

Desert Knowledge Australia is establishing an Energy Hub in Alice Springs that will focus on solutions to Northern Australia’s remote energy challenges. Building on the strength of existing technology and knowledge, showcasing new technology and developing appropriate financial, regulatory and education/training frameworks, the Hub will provide a much needed knowledge powerhouse for Northern Australia’s remote energy needs.