The Future of Electricity:- Implications for the Hunter Region

The science and technology of electricity generation and supply is changing at lightning speed. Newcastle is at the centre of these changes.  Coal mining and coal-fired electricity generation is a major local employer.  But many experts are saying that the rapid developments in emerging energy technologies means the end of the thermal coal industry is now inevitable:- it is just a question of when.

On Wednesday 14th April The Newcastle Institute is hosting a free public webinar with a panel discussion focussing on these rapid changes, and looking at how they will affect the region. The webinar will be presented live and free on our Facebook page and members will also be sent an invitation to take part interactively via Zoom. Three panellists will present perspectives from emerging science, high-level policy, and ‘on the ground’ in Newcastle

Dr Jessica Allen is an electrochemist and chemical engineer at the University of Newcastle as an Australian Research Council early career research fellow.  She is involved in world-leading research including solar hydrogen technologies, direct carbon fuel cells, and carbon-negative technologies.  She will provide an insight into the ‘geeky’ side of emerging energy technology.

Access a recent journal publication from Dr Allen in The Conversation.


Chloe Hicks is Director, Energy Infrastructure and Zones in the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. She leads the Renewable Energy Zones, Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants, and Emerging Energy and Case Management programs along with the establishment of a new entity, the Energy Corporation of NSW to coordinate this work.


Adam Clarke is the Sustainability Manager at the City of Newcastle, delivering renewable energy, smart city and sustainability projects. He is focused on preparing Newcastle for a Net Zero Emissions future. He has recently been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study further in this area.

Some more links from Adam: Links that talk about some of the topics discussed.
A podcast where Adam talks about the energy transition in Newcastle

This event will be presented as a webinar from 7pm to 8pm on Wednesday April 14th 2021.  Newcastle Institute members will receive an invitation just prior to the event to join the Zoom webinar. The webinar will also be available for viewing on our Facebook page and, for those unable to join us live, a video record of the event will be posted on our website.

We hope that you are able to join us for this important insight into the changes that are occurring in this space and also the level of local Hunter based input into developments.

Coming up in May and June:

On May 12th we will be focusing on building a stronger voice for the Region.  Panelists will include Alice Thompson, CEO of the Committee for The Hunter.

On June 9th we will look at changing ideas in economics, and particularly ‘Modern Monetary Theory’ which is now becoming accepted by orthodox economists. Some say this represents the end of Milton Friedman’s Monetarism and the era of Economic Rationalism.  After decades ‘in the wilderness’ ‘Novocastrian Professor Bill Mitchell has gained recognition as one of the leaders in the development of these ideas.



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