Australian businesswoman Christine Corbett says the environmental crisis is giving new urgency to the need to decarbonise energy production in Australia.
Ms Corbett was CEO-elect of AGL Australia before its failed split from AGL Energy and said she was disappointed that the company’s plan to create a new operating model had been derailed.
At today’s QUT CEO Forum, Ms Corbett defended the company’s vision for how it could shift to greener power generation as Australia faces a unprecedented energy crisis.
“We can see the devastating impact of natural disasters, the need for ambitious climate goals, the importance of energy security and supply, the immediate pressure on energy affordability and the imperative for businesses, governments and communities to work together in the same direction to reach the destination of a net zero world.
But Ms Corbett said any changes had to be planned carefully so that the power grid was maintained.
“We need the lights to stay on. It’s a system that was built for one purpose and that was for one way power distribution, it wasn’t built for a solar farm here, a wind farm here, a hydro farm here, different households here, community batteries here, hooked up so people don’t get electrocuted,” she said.
Ms Corbett said Australia’s energy market will see more change over the next decade than has been seen in the previous century.
“So as much as you want the vision, the urgency – there is no greater challenge on the planet – the plan has to be pragmatic. He has to ask, ‘What are you going to do tomorrow and what are you going to do this week’ because you have to start biting the elephant to pieces, and that’s where our plan was different,” he said. she declared.
Ms Corbett said focusing public attention on greening energy production helped maintain a sense of urgency.
“We’re talking about net zero 2050 – it’s 28 years away and it’s hard to maintain momentum, urgency and crisis for 28 years,” she said.
Bernard Reilly, Managing Director of Australian Retirement Trust, will speak at the upcoming QUT CEO Forum on August 31, 2022.