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Hunter refocuses on new energy at annual symposium


The topics of hydrogen and offshore wind are set to be front and centre at the Hunter New Energy Symposium this month.

The second edition of the conference, scheduled for Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 February at Newcastle City Hall, is timely as the region’s reputation as a hub for both traditional and innovative power sources continue to grow.

Representatives from industry, government, research and capital markets will gather at the NewH2 and HunterNet-hosted event, creating a collaborative platform for driving the Hunter’s clean energy transition.

Co-lead of NewH2 Hunter Hydrogen Technology Cluster Boris Novak.

Co-lead of NewH2 Hunter Hydrogen Technology Cluster Boris Novak said this year’s symposium would also welcome a delegation facilitated by the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

“From the University of Newcastle, Port of Newcastle and our small, medium and large businesses, to our collaborative networks like HunterNet, Business Hunter and the Committee for the Hunter, there is an abundance of information to share,” he stated.

“We have enormous talent, expertise and knowledge in the Hunter… and we know how to work together to make innovation and change happen.

“The symposium has expanded to showcase significant new energy projects, investments and initiatives.

“And, there is still a strong hydrogen component given its importance in the sector including a session supported by Florence Lindhaus, head of Hydrogen, Cluster Manager – Energy & Head of Melbourne Office, German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

“The event will share insights about industry growth in the new energy economy from a regional and international perspective.

“These perceptions are invaluable in understanding successes and challenges to consider on our transitional journey.”

Delegates can experience new hydrogen technology first-hand, with the symposium exhibition featuring a hydrogen-powered bus, the first of its kind being trialled in cities across the NSW.

They’ll be able to see the new technology in person, with short tours of key Newcastle sites.

Mr Novak said the Hunter New Energy Symposium program had been structured to build on the inaugural 2023 event.

“Progress of policy, projects, investment and innovation will all be featured over the two says,” he added.

“With the transition being akin to a achieving an industrial revolution within a decade, it will be interesting to see and hear about the changes that have occurred across the sector in the past 12 months and understand what the priorities are to achieve this once-in-a-generation change.

“The Port of Newcastle has again given its support as platinum sponsor.

“As this transition happens, change will be occurring at pace and one of the areas we focussed at the 2023 symposium was supporting new jobs and workforce development including the need to develop micro-credentials and short courses.

“We are pleased to announce that all HNES2024 delegates will have the opportunity to complete a free online Hydrogen Safety Awareness course, the first in a series of short courses for clean energy, newly-developed by Laureate Professor Behdad Moghtaderi from the School of Engineering at the University of Newcastle.”

Program highlights

The Hunter New Energy Outlook

  • Connecting the New Energy Economy: Craig Carmody, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Newcastle
  • The Hunter’s Place in the New Energy World: Tony Wood, Energy and Climate Change Program Director, Grattan Institute

Project Showcase – Hydrogen

  • Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub – Partnerships for Success: Origin/Orica
  • Transitioning Existing Assets to Future Energy Hubs – The Opportunity for the Hunter: Michelle Kiejda, Technical Director – Environment and Closure Planning, GHD
  • Hunter Energy Hub – An Integrated Model for Hydrogen and Energy Industries: Seth Pathiyil, Head of Hunter Energy Hub, AGL Macquarie

Projects Showcase – Offshore Wind

  • The Star of the South Offshore Wind Journey: Erin Coldham, Chief Development Officer, Star of the South
  • Scaling up offshore wind in practice – Equinor’s North Sea experience: Thomas Hansen, Senior Director, Offshore Wind, Australia, Equinor
  • Presentation from Kiseok Kim, Development Director – Offshore Wind, EDF Renewables Australia
  • Presentation from BlueFloat Energy


  • The Hunter Region: Energy Manufacturing Powerhouse: Rod Henderson, Managing Director and CEO, Ampcontrol
  • The Battery Renaissance is Now!: Brian Craighead, CEO, Energy Renaissance
  • Leveraging opportunities in the new energy economy: Professor Alan Broadfoot, Executive Director, Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) at the University of Newcastle

Limited tickets are still available, visit the Hunter New Energy Symposium website.

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