Planning for a Safe Future at NZ Wind Energy Conference

March 31, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Planning for a Safe Future at NZ Wind Energy

The fundamentals of the electricity sector
have remained the same for around 100 years. However, in the
same way the Boeing 747 created a new pattern of
international travel, new electricity technology is about to
create unpredictable upheaval within the electricity sector.
One part of smoothing the transition is the introduction of
more wind generation onto electricity systems. One hundred
wind turbines are currently being installed globally every
working day.

The New Zealand Wind Energy Conference,
Australasia’s premier conference for the wind energy
industry, will focus on looking forward and supporting the
electricity sector through this upheaval, with the theme
Wind: A Safe Future.

“There are trillions of dollars of
risk and opportunity globally with this level of change,”
said Eric Pyle, Chief Executive of the NZ Wind Energy
Association that runs the conference.

“The signs of
change include the rapid growth of rooftop solar, grid scale
battery storage products able to push thermal generation off
electricity systems, financially distressed utility
companies in Europe, and demand response markets. That
doesn’t even take into account the way wind is going
gang-busters around the world.”

Addressing the oncoming
change at the NZ Wind Energy Conference will be keynote speakers:
• Michael T
Eckhart, Global Head of Environmental Finance at Citi
Corporate and Investment Banking, who will speak about
‘Global Investment in Renewable Energy’.
• Dr Jenny
Riesz, from the Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets
at the University of New South Wales who will present
‘Wind as the New Base Load’.
• Tom McDaniel, Global
Manager Zero Harm and Human Performance for Siemens, who
will examine ‘Enhancing Safety, Quality, and Reliability,
while Achieving Measurable Results’.
• Chris Karamea
Insley, from the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group, who
will discuss ‘Renewable Energy, Climate Change and Maori
• Manuela Huso, from the US Geological
Survey who will examine ‘The Impact of Wind Energy on
• Kobad Bhavnagri, Head of Australia at
Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who will speak about ‘Change
on its way – the future of the global energy

“There is an investment and strategy theme to
this year’s conference,” said Mr Pyle. “We’re
focusing on innovation and the future, and these keynote
speakers are the perfect people to do that.”

Eckhart has a depth of experience that’s unparalleled and
accessing his range of knowledge will provide benefits for
delegates that will pay off in the near and long term. Mike
will talk about what Citi, the investment banking giant,
calls the ‘age of renewables’. He’s going to talk
about how wind and solar are now competitive even in the US
which has lower gas prices and less wind than New Zealand
does,” said Mr Pyle.

“Dr Jenny Riesz has some
fantastic research around getting electricity markets to
100% renewable and Kobad Bhavnagri has some of the best
statistics available on renewable energy. We also have Chris
Insley discussing how important sustainability is for Iwi
and their commitment to renewable energy.”

“When you
add Tom McDaniel’s world-leading work on practical health
and safety and Manuela Huso’s research into keeping
wildlife safe at wind farms, it becomes clear that this NZ
Wind Energy Conference is really all about creating a safe
future – strategically, financially, environmentally and
for our workers.”

In addition to the keynote speakers,
streamed sessions will address innovation in the wind sector
worldwide. Specialist sessions on finance and policy for
renewable energy, health and safety for heavy industry, and
Australasian wind and wildlife, will feature.

conference will also examine established themes of
technological innovation and optimisation, operations and
maintenance, new markets for wind development, and engaging

“The aim is to explore fulfilling the wind
energy industry’s potential while growing the local
renewables sector to 90% of generation by 2025,” said Mr

As part of the conference, a 40 metre long Siemens
wind turbine blade will be parked outside Te Papa. The blade
is the size of four buses parked nose to tail and will
feature in a competition to post the best
#selfiewithwindblade on Twitter.

The conference is
accompanied by a trade exhibition, which attracts major
turbine suppliers, generators, consultants and service and
equipment suppliers.

NZ Wind Energy

Wind: A Safe Future
April 2014
Te Papa,


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