A fact-finding mission to the United Kingdom has provided valuable learnings to ensure Transgrid is well placed to continue its critical role in accelerating Australia’s clean energy transition.
06 October 2022
Transgrid CEO Brett Redman and Executive General Manager of Major Projects Gordon Taylor led the week-long expedition, attending a series of high-level meetings in London with major energy companies and regulators including National Grid, Ofgem, Frontier Power and Balfour Beatty.
The Transgrid Executives also attended the Energy Innovation Summit 2022 in Scotland which brought together industry leaders and learnings from more than 60 innovation projects in the United Kingdom.
Mr Redman said they gained some valuable insights into the speed and enormity of the United Kingdom’s energy transition which created significant challenges for Australia.
He said the mission validated Transgrid’s approach of aggregating key transmission projects so Australia could compete with other countries to secure construction materials in the strained global supply chain and trained personnel from the limited pool of skilled labour.
“It’s been fascinating to see first-hand what is happening with networks, transmission and transition in the UK,” Mr Redman said.
“Australia is caught up with some very ambitious plans. Europe is accelerating even faster ahead of us. The energy transition is accelerating to become an energy reset – supercharging the urgency to not only achieve decarbonisation but energy security.”
Mr Redman said it highlighted the need for Australia governments, regulators and energy companies to co-ordinate a long-term national plan to ensure supply of materials and labour to build the necessary transmission projects and accelerate the energy transition.
“It’s one of those moments in world industrial history where you’ve got different systems competing to move forward and the systems that can organise themselves better will obviously get better outcomes, better prices, better timing, and better delivery,” he said.
“Team Australia must co-ordinate our purchasing and delivery programs to secure critical components and materials for construction as well as upskilling labour and getting trained workers. Securing experienced line riggers is going to be a great example of a global choke point in transmission as everybody is trying to get these massive projects done all at once.
“We must act much more nimbly, we have to adapt, we need to really work with the supply chains and have a long order book to compete with Germany, the UK and the US in going to big suppliers.
“Transgrid is already promoting aggregating projects, bundling EnergyConnect, HumeLink and VNI West into a single program to ensure we are able to attract and retain the people and materials to deliver them faster and cheaper.
“Underpinning all this is the race to be ahead of the closure of coal generation so we can bring on renewables. But you can’t bring on renewables until you get the transmission in place. There is no transition without transmission.
“That is why we must act now to accelerate the timeline for when renewables can deliver cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy to homes and businesses.
“We have brought back some key learnings from the United Kingdom and are looking forward to getting on with the job of accelerating Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.”
Mark Nolan 0429 047 136