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[Episode #71] – Australia at the Cutting Edge

Since we last covered Australia one year ago in Episode 39, a lot has changed…it has deployed the largest utility-scale battery system in the world, made numerous technical upgrades to prevent future outages, and placed some incredible leaders in key agencies where they are working hard to accelerate the country’s energy transition. It is also actively investing in new energy technologies that aren’t even commercial yet, to see how they can perform. In short, Australia is breaking new trail on multiple fronts in energy transition, and demonstrating some truly interesting findings to the rest of the world, for how a grid might function self-sufficiently, at scale, with significant shares of variable renewable power and large battery storage systems.

Our guide to the current state of affairs today is Ivor Frischknecht, a subscriber to this show and the CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). A widely acknowledged expert and innovator in the energy industry, with deep knowledge of the grid’s needs in Australia, and a far-reaching vision for what it can become, he’s one of the top experts on the energy transition Down Under, and can explain it all in a very accessible way.


Ivor Frischknecht is the CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Ivor is a widely acknowledged expert and innovator in the energy industry, who leads ARENA’s efforts to accelerate the commercialization and integration of renewable energy into Australia’s energy system, as well as playing a leading role in transforming the electricity sector. Before joining ARENA, Ivor was responsible for clean tech investments at venture capital firm, Starfish Ventures, which manages $400 million primarily on behalf of Australian pension funds, and as CEO and investor in cleantech in Silicon Valley, California.

On Twitter (ARENA): @arena_aus

On the Web:  Ivor Frischknecht’s LinkedIn profile

Recording date: April 17, 2018

Air date: June 13, 2018

Geek rating: 6