The question of how we will generate, supply and use energy is key focus for governments across Australia.
More than 50% of the world’s population live in cities and that concentration is expected to reach 70% by 2050.
Transport is essential to urban life, whether for work, shopping, or even for the occasional escape from the pressures of urban living. Without transport, urban freight distribution systems would grind to a halt threatening food supplies and economic activity.
Energy is fundamental to the movement of people and freight in order to overcome the ‘Tyranny of Distance’.
Transport accounts for about half of world oil consumption with just under half of that used in urban transport. The International Energy Agency expects total transport energy consumption to double by 2050 raising serious issues about energy availability and security as well as the local and global environmental impacts arising from the current reliance of the transport system on fossil fuels.
The transport industry is going through the biggest period of upheaval since the 1990s: Car manufacturing is ending in Australia and technology is transforming the way people and goods move around our cities. Much of this technological change is disruptive to the old ways of doing things and not easy to accommodate within traditional rules, regulations and infrastructure.
The most successful governments are recognising this and seeking to support the emerging providers, not hinder them. People will still demand mobility that is fast, frequent and safe and will still demand goods delivered quickly and on time.
In most cases this will mean public transport providing the backbone of passenger services in peak hours, with cars providing anywhere to anywhere connectivity and freight moving on trucks, trains, planes and ships.
But much else will change? Our vehicles will drive themselves and be greener than ever. Renault has already successfully launched a range of 100% electric vehicles around the world, and when these hit Australia, they could alter the face of transport as we know it.
New models of vehicle ownership and operation are likely to emerge, bringing with it new players offering mobility as a service, on-demand public transport and new levels of flexibility. Public and private sectors will need to foster innovation and the transport system must evolve to meet these challenges.
Transport is not the only pressing concern when it comes to the use of energy and resources in Australia and internationally.
The future of resource recovery – and the realisation of zero waste to landfill lies well beyond recycling as we understand it today. In Australia, we currently recycle or compost just over half the waste we generate.
In the US, it’s 34%. Even world leaders, like Germany, are still sending 35% of their waste to landfill. Only innovation and the active engagement of business and industry can close this gap. Much of today’s waste is too complex to be recycled using conventional processes that require separation of single materials.
When we send waste to landfill we are squandering the vast wealth of elements, oxides and materials embedded within it – that our industries otherwise source from finite virgin resources.
New technology is revolutionising recycling science and encouraging the use of sustainable practice. Increasingly, companies like Nespresso are embedding sustainability into all aspects of business, from the sustainable sourcing of green coffee to the recycling of used aluminium capsules.
Governments will also need to consider investing in new waste solutions that maximise the efficient use of energy and deliver both economic and environmental benefits.
These issues form a key part of discussions at the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s business forum in Melbourne on 9 June.
The 2017 Schneider Electric Innovation Hub Business Forum will have a primary focus on sustainable energy, covering topics including innovation, investment in renewable energy, energy use in transport, recycling and repurposing in an energy-constrained world and the role of smart cities to tackle a new energy landscape.
Attendees will hear from Senator the Hon. Matt Canavan, Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia on the Australian Government’s new and developing energy policy and The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate change regarding energy policy in Victoria.
A discussion on innovation in energy generation and use will be led by Karl Rodrigues, Deputy Director, CSIRO, accompanied by a debate between Greg Billman, Head of Strategy at Engie, Dr. Adi Paterson, CEO of ANSTO, Matthew Doyle, Business Development Manager at Bouygues Construction, Suzanne Ong, RME Expert at DCNS and Franck Woitiez, Managing Director of Neoen Australia.
A number of French-Australian companies are deeply engaged in energy production and exploitation. Leading interventions will be made by Michel Masson, CEO of Infrastructure Victoria, Nicolas Gindt, CEO of Yarra Trams and Jean-Michel Seillier, General Manager of Veolia and Simon Mouat VP for Energy Business of Schneider Electric.
The French-Australian Chamber of Commerce is holding the Schneider Electric Innovation Hub Business Forum on Friday, 9 of June.
To book your ticket, visit the dedicated website.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.