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Energy sector congress wins show Sydney’s power

Sydney will showcase its strengths as future powerhouse for renewable energies when it hosts two major global meetings on innovation in the energy sector.

The International Conference on Photovoltaic Science and Engineering (PVSEC) in 2021 and the International Meeting on Lithium Batteries (IMLB) the following year will attract 2,600 delegates between them, injecting an estimated A$8.1 million into the NSW economy.

The conference wins follow the recent visit from the Secretary General of the World Energy Council and Energy Dialogues to the state, as well as the launch of the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s $55 million Emerging Energy Program in August. The latter aims at commercialising large-scale projects that use dispatchable technology including solar, batteries and pumped hydro.

NSW has the largest renewable energy and sustainability sector in Australia. Backed by Government and private sector initiatives, this includes the country’s three largest solar plants plus an additional five plants in the pipeline.

NSW Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon. Don Harwin MP, says: “NSW is leading Australia in future-proofing our energy system to ensure we have the transmission and capacity to support emerging opportunities in our transition to a more diverse energy future.

“Global meetings like these play a vital role in bringing together global expertise to discuss the latest breakthroughs from around the world including those from Australia, forge new international collaborations, and problem-solve for the future.”

The conferences were won through strategic bidding by Business Events Sydney (BESydney), in partnership with the University of NSW (UNSW) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

“I congratulate BESydney, UNSW and CSIRO for their combined efforts in securing these important forums, helping NSW to consolidate its status as a world-leader in modern energy,” Harwin adds.

PVSEC 2021 is returning to Sydney after a 30-year hiatus. Associate Professor Bram Hoex, Deputy Head of School (Research) and Director, International Strategy at UNSW and PVSEC Bid Leader, says: “Australia, and in particular UNSW, has been world-leading in solar energy research as well as education for over four decades. We are thrilled that we can showcase our research as well as our unique research facilities, which includes Australia’s only research pilot line for industrial silicon solar cells, the Solar Industrial Research Facility (SIRF), to the international solar energy community.”

The following year, IMLB will take place in Australia for the first time, attracting some 1,800 delegates to discuss lithium battery science and technology, as well as current and future applications in transportation (including electric and hybrid vehicles), commercial, aerospace, biomedical, and other promising sectors.

Hosting IMLB 2022 aligns with the NSW Government Advanced Manufacturing priority, providing an opportunity to profile the burgeoning Australian lithium industry and strong research groups at the UNSW, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney and CSIRO.

“This prestigious event provides Australia with a platform to show off our battery community’s home-grown capabilities and demonstrate our importance in the global lithium value chain,” said Dr Adam Best, IMLB 2022 Conference Chair and Principal Research Scientist and battery specialist at CSIRO. “Australia is home to the world’s largest lithium battery and as a resource-based nation, produces 30 per cent of the world’s lithium. The local community are trailblazers when it comes to their development of electrolytes based on ionic liquids – a technology used for making the lithium batteries that power laptops, mobile phones and make electric vehicles safer and more efficient.”

Both meetings will be held at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), pictured.