Investment and Strategy Stream

The keynote speakers for the Investment and Strategy stream at this year’s conference are:

  • Michael T Eckhart, Managing Director of Citi Corporate and Investment Banking, who will speak about 'Global Investment in Renewable Energy' and
  • Kobad Bhavnagri, Head of Australia at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, who will speak about ‘Change on its way - the future of the global energy sector’.

You can see more about Mike and Kobad below.

Finance and Strategy Timetable

On Monday 14th April conference delegates can choose to visit the Mill Creek Project – Meridian’s newest wind farm, which is under construction just outside Wellington – and then attend the conference’s exhibition opening. Exhibition booths are available for organisations who would like to have a more tangible presence at the conference.

Then, on Tuesday 15th April the conference will be in full flow, beginning with keynotes from Mike Eckhart, Dr Jenny Riesz, Chris Insley and Manuela Huso. The conference will then split into three streams.

The investment and strategy stream will begin with a lively panel debate: ‘Strategy and investment for wind energy and the electricity sector’ The panel will consist of Mike Eckhart, Kobad Bhavnagri, Chris Insley, Ben Gerritsen (Castalia), Dr Jenny Riesz, Nick Lewis (Woodward Partners), Paul Ravlich (Siemens), and Doug Goodwin (Transpower).

The panel will be followed by a fascinating bunch of papers, including:

  • Dr Jenny Riesz (University of NSW) - Market Design for Integrating Wind.
  • Ian Lees (TrustPower) - Integrating Wind and Hydro: A Mahinerangi Case Study.
  • Mark Purcell (DNV-GL) - Making the Business Case: The State of the Art in Energy Assessments.
  • Heidi Heath & Mohamed Zavahir (Transpower) - System Operations Update: HVDC operation, Ancillary Services, and Dispatch Gate Closure.
  • Stephen Drew, EnerNOC - Future innovations that will increase the value of wind
  • Philip Wong Too (DNV-GL) - NZ Wind Energy Outlook.
  • Ann Smith (carboNZero) - Making Carbon Zero the Next Stage: Electricity Certification in NZ.

The sessions will be followed by a political forum of Energy Spokespeople from New Zealand’s major political parties. The day finishes up with the ever popular conference dinner – a great way to network and further discuss what you’ve heard during the day.

Wednesday 16th April will begin with a plenary session on other factors that will ensure a safe future for wind. Kobad Bhavnagri will join our final keynote, Tom McDaniel, in speaking at this session. The streams for the day will include:

  • Development, including expansion overseas and medium-scale opportunities – presentations from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, TrustPower, Siemens, Aurecon, Industrial Site Services, Energy3, DNV-GL, Irrigation NZ, Victoria University and BlueSkin Bay.
  • Grids and Technology – presentations from Parsons Brinckerhoff, Meridian Energy, Transpower, Unison, AUT, Waikato University, and Siemens.
  • Fuel, Forecasting and Extremes – presentations from DNV-GL, Meridian Energy, MetService and Alstom.
  • Sound, Community and Planning – presentations from Massey University, Auckland University, Local Government NZ and Vestas.

The day will end with project updates from Meridian Energy, Pioneer Generation, Trustpower and others.

Mike Eckhart

Michael T Eckhart is a Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance for Citi Corporate and Investment Banking in New York City. He served on the Board of Directors of the US-New Zealand Council from 2005-2011.

Prior to Citigroup, Mike was founding President of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), a Washington DC-based nonprofit organisation, where he emerged as a national and global leader in the renewable energy field. Earlier, he developed financing for solar energy under the SolarBank Initiative in Europe, Africa and India, and was Chairman & CEO of United Power Systems, Inc, Vice President of Areté Ventures, Inc, a strategic planner for General Electric Company’s power systems sector, and a Principal with the energy practice of Booz, Allen & Hamilton.

Kobad Bhavnagri

Kobad Bhavnagri is the Head of Australia for Bloomberg New Energy Finance and developed the company's economic modelling expertise in solar PV and the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target. Kobad has worked in the energy and finance industries since 2003 as an engineer, management consultant and analyst. He has an academic background in engineering and environmental studies and specialises in energy economics, markets and policy.