Our Board

steve

Steve Blume

President

President, Smart Energy Council; Director, Global Solar Council; Treasurer, New Zealand & Pacific Solar & Storage Council; Director, Australian Institute of Energy; and CEO, NoCarbon Pty Ltd.

Steve is a former political adviser, private & public sector senior executive, and policy creator. Steve works pro bono on advocacy and policy for those not-for-profit peak bodies.

Steve is available for short-term engagements on smart energy, solar & energy storage and grid transformation pathways to fully distributed energy networks.

In his leadership roles with national and international peak bodies, Steve works to amplify the voice of the smart energy, energy storage and solar industries offering solutions for a 100% clean energy future for Australia and the world.

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Geoff Bragg

Secretary

Geoff has lived with off-grid solar since the early 90's and has been working in the industry since 2002, holding accreditation for both on and off-grid design and installation.

Geoff is a consultant designer/installation supervisor for New England Solar Power (NSW).

He is currently managing several small commercial PV projects (40 to 100 kWp) and has been presented short courses in New Zealand on PV basics.

“Farming the Sun” is a community project he is involved in. Geoff is NSW Chairman of SEIA.

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Samantha Craft

Sam Craft is a Director at NRG Solar with experience in operations management developing and implementing key strategic initiatives to strengthen and encourage professional and valuable customer service.

Sam completed her Bachelor of Law and Legal Practice in 2014 before joining the Renewable Energy Industry. She works across every aspect of NRG Solar, providing the business with critical insight to the legislation and regulation of the solar industry.

Dedicated to her work, Sam strives to ensure that NRG Solar is operating by its core values in every business decision, demonstrating that NRG Solar is a responsible and sustainable leader in the industry. She is continuously facilitating training for team members, as well as focusing on areas of personal development as she recently completed a Diploma of Management and Leadership.

Sam is a passionate advocate for renewables, and has a particular interest in seeing the industry work together to create a better world through collaboration, hence a vocal support for Solar Cutters.

Sam can be relied upon to give balanced support within the solar industry including technical information, strategy planning, network requirements and customer service.

simonholmesacourt 800

Simon Holmes à Court

Simon Holmes à Court is one of Australia’s leading energy commentators and analysts. He is a senior adviser to the Climate and Energy College at the Energy Transition Hub at Melbourne University - a joint project between ANU, Melbourne, a number of academics around Australia and three major German universities. Simon was also the founding Director of Hepburn Wind and Embark.

Simon writes regularly for the Guardian and Renew Economy and has appeared on ABC’s The Drum and The Business — and is also fairly prolific on twitter.

Simon is passionate about Australia’s energy transition — the shift from coal-dominated to renewables-dominated generation — and passionate about breaking down barriers, especially misinformation.

"I have enjoyed watching the Smart Energy Council purposefully and confidently engage in the national conversation around energy and it is a privilege to serve as a director of this most important player in the transformation of Australian energy sector."

Ria OHahir

Ria O'Hehir

Ria is the CEO of Greenbank Environmental, one of Australia's largest independent environmental traders. She has played a key role in facilitating the renewable energy transition with extensive leadership experience, helping a range of stakeholders - from wind and solar farms to installers and carbon farmers – bring their environmental units and renewable energy certificates to market.

Ria also works with major energy companies and financial institutions to help them meet their obligations under federal and state environmental schemes, including voluntary procurement requirements.

During Ria’s 17 years dealing with Australian environmental products, she has gained the knowledge and expertise to help clients navigate complex energy markets and carbon schemes. Ria and Greenbank are focused on continuing to use their market-leading knowledge to deliver positive outcomes for local and international clients while supporting the renewable energy transition.

Barbara Eliston

Barbara Elliston

Based in New Zealand, Barbara Elliston is a director of Elliston Power Consultants, Infratec Limited and Easy Warm. A qualified electrical engineer, Barbara’s background includes corporate governance, strategic development, transmission engineering, product development and start-ups in renewable energy, both solar thermal and solar photovoltaics.

Previous roles in “big-energy” electricity networks include directorships with Genesis Energy and Transpower, and in power management with Comalco NZ. Through these associations, Barbara’s experience over 30 years in the electricity sector encompass generation, transmission and distribution, power purchase, and now solar in homes. The entrepreneur is currently commercialising Hot PV™, a solar hot water product directly using solar PV to heat water, aiding stretched electrical networks and avoiding fuel supply to remote locations.

Oliver Yates

Oliver Yates is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and is currently Executive Director of UPC Renewables.

No-one in Australia knows more about renewable energy financing than Oliver Yates.

He has over 20 years of global experience in corporate advisory, financial structuring, project finance, debt structuring, equity raising and listings, with extensive experience in clean energy, including extensive experience at Macquarie Bank, where he was involved in establishing new businesses and growing operations internationally and leading the Bank’s initiatives in wind, solar, biofuels, carbon credits and other renewable businesses.

Andrew Dickson

Andrew Dickson

Andrew Dickson has been a renewable energy project developer since 2004, initially with Wind Prospect and currently with CWP Global. 

He has developed wind farms (including the Snowtown Wind Farm in South Australia), solar thermal (including Solar Dawn in Queensland, which was successful in the Commonwealth's Solar Flagships program in 2011), solar PV, microgrids, hydrogen and ammonia projects. 

He is currently developing "Power to X" (large scale hydrogen and ammonia) projects for CWP Global, with projects in Western Australia, Africa and South America, including the Asian Renewable Energy Hub in the Pilbara. 

Andrew is passionate about the potential for green hydrogen and ammonia energy to dramatically increase renewable energy adoption and to decarbonise hard to abate sectors. He Chairs the Ammonia Energy Association's Australia Committee and is also a member of the AEA's global Strategy Committee.

He led CWP Renewables' Community Investment Scheme at the Sapphire Wind Farm, which was the first such investment scheme for the general public into a utility scale renewable energy project in Australia.

Andrew has a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronic) degree from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Science and Technology Commercialisation degree from the University of Adelaide. 

Taryn Lane

Taryn Lane

Taryn lives in Central Victoria and is the part-time manager of Australia's first community-owned cooperative wind farm Hepburn Wind, working there for over a decade. The wind farm has pioneered the community energy movement in Australia and has been recognised with national and global awards for its unique approach. Hepburn Wind delivers a range of partnership programs under the collaborative banner of Hepburn Z-NET with their council and community such as solar and battery bulk buy, energy audits, EV bulk buy, EV charging infrastructure, to reach zero-net emissions by 2030.

In addition, Taryn works for UNSW on an Australian Research Council funded project ‘Just Climate Transitions in Regional Victoria’, which is focused on how social justice frameworks can stimulate community-led climate transitions. Taryn runs her own small consulting practice which undertakes research and advisory engagement work for the renewables sector. 

Taryn is a founding director of RE-Alliance, a founding director of the Coalition for Community Energy and a 2017 Winston Churchill Trust Fellow

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