Tony Frencham on The Finkel Review

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PRISM Podcast Series


Interviewer: Anthony Holt



I’m with Tony Frencham, an Executive Consultant with Advisian who focuses on New Energy and Chemicals. Tony has just written a very informative commentary on his LinkedIn profile about the recently released Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market - also known as the Finkel Review - which was recently delivered to the Council of Australian Governments.

Tony, thanks for joining us.


Thank you Anthony for this opportunity to share my opinions and observations on new energy.


The Finkel Review says we have a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to reform the national energy market. What is the “Energy Trilemma” facing many energy markets today?


It’s an interesting term, and it refers to the triple dilemma of ensuring energy security, energy affordability, and energy sustainability.
Whereas previously governments or industry could focus on delivering just one or two of these objectives, the globalisation of economies, of social responsibility, and of international accords mean that, today, stakeholders must be simultaneously working towards all three outcomes.

And they must also do this at a time when technological advances are changing the very nature of the energy industry.

The dilemma of course comes from the sometimes-opposing forces at play, as well as the need for long-term decisions in an increasingly short-cycle world.


How are Governments and industry responding to these challenges?


Whilst the COP21 Paris Accord and other coordinated international efforts have most countries heading in a similar direction (and, yes, even the United States), we do of course see differences in the responses around the world and sometimes even within countries.

Here in Australia we have recently seen the response of the country’s Chief Scientist in proposing, as you mentioned, “once-in-a-generation” reforms to the Federal and State governments after extensive consultation with industry, consumers and regulators. The proposals include a long-term Low Emissions Target scheme to provide investors with policy certainty; improved energy supply reliability through requirements to provide firm service and longer notice for power station closures; and improved energy operation through regulated demand response mechanisms.

There is every prospect that these reforms will ultimately be implemented and could set Australia up for an energy future with improved reliability, predictable and affordable costs, and on a path to meet the Paris climate commitments.


How can Advisian support our clients in addressing the Energy Trilemma?


We typically observe that our clients who are significant energy users, whether in business or in government, are great at their core role of providing goods or services, however they don’t have the capabilities to assess their future energy needs and the various response options they could take.

At Advisian, we have the deep expertise of our global network of over 3,000 experts, and access to the 23,000 strong WorleyParsons engineering team, to understand our clients and their specific energy conditions. We can develop the options that best suit that specific client; support them through the decision process; and then ensure their tailored solution is delivered as promised.


Thank you, Tony. Any final comments before we close?


Let me just leave a question for our listeners: wherever you are in the energy value chain, are you focused on an outcome that delivers on the Energy Trilemma of security, affordability and sustainability?


Tony, thank you for your time.

Tony Frencham, Group Managing Director

Tony Frencham

Group Managing Director, New energy