The Clean Energy Council Awards are the Australian renewable energy industry's most prestigious awards, recognising the outstanding contribution that individuals and businesses have made to clean energy in Australia.
The winners of the Clean Energy Council Awards for 2023 were announced at the Australian Clean Energy Summit on 18 July 2023. It has been a remarkeable year for the industry and The judges were overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of submissions we received for these awards, in all categories, making final decisions incredibly difficult. A huge thank you therefore to all the nominees and finalists and congratulations to the winners.
The Outstanding Contribution to Clean Energy Award is presented to someone who has made a real impact in accelerating the clean energy transition.
As the previous Minister for Energy and Environment in NSW, the Hon. Matt Kean delivered the biggest renewable energy policy in Australia’s history: The Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap: a 20-year plan for NSW’s energy infrastructure. He played an enormous role in shifting the politics of clean energy for our nation, stepping into a leadership vacuum and ensuring states filled the void, when we needed them the most.
"Leadership is doing more than showing up. Leadership is taking risk, to have an impact, even if that comes at the expense of your own role or position. And that’s exactly what the winner of this award did. Championing a more progressive set of energy and climate policies in the Liberal Party, he has argued that the centre of Australian politics needs to reclaim its voice in the political debate. His leadership helped break through the partisan political barriers that had plagued our sector for years. Kane Thornton, Chief Executive of the Clean Energy Council
The Collaboration Award is presented in recognition of an organisation, individual or group that has worked to build consensus and progress a reform that has benefitted the Australian clean energy industry. This award was born out of the Connection Reform Initiative, a unique collaboration between AEMO, CEC and many parts of the industry.
Supply Solar combined an environmental challenge with clean energy and as a result, are playing an important part in recycling and repurposing solar PV panels that would have ended up in landfill. Realising Australia faces a 450,000-tonne mountain of used PV panels, by 2040, Supply Solar formed a relationship with the Ministry of Defense, who awarded them a license to export secondhand panels out of Australia for ‘good cause’. They formed relationships and collaborated closely with numerous recycling collection centres and negotiated a drop off centre for used panels that normally would be put into landfill. They actively engaged in an industry that wasn’t there and have built a business that is beneficial for third world countries out of old solar panels
Supply Solar has saved thousands of solar panels from being discarded when they have plenty of life left in them.
The other finalists of the Collaboration Award were:
The First Nations Engagement and Participation Award is presented in recognition of an individual or organisation that has demonstrated outstanding positive community engagement in relation to First Nations communities.
Launched in 2021, the First Nations Clean Energy Network was established to ensure Australia’s renewable energy revolution happens in partnership with First Nations Peoples, upon whose land many clean energy projects will be hosted.
Over the past 12 months, the Network has engaged in a range of activities to raise the profile of First Nations voices, including deep community engagement activities, events and opportunities to engage and raise the profile, develop understanding and training of clean energy industry and First Nations communities and working closely with policy makers to develop effective policy and strategy ensuring the clean energy transition is fair and just.
The other finalists of the First Nations Engagement and Participation Award were:
The Diversity and Inclusion Award is presented in recognition of an individual or organisation that has helped improve diversity and inclusion in their organisation or industry.
Hydro Tasmania and RES both demonstrated a real and ongoing commitment to fostering an inclusive culture across their businesses, creating accessible workplaces and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in all their forms.
Lucy Aiird commenced with Hydro Tasmania in 2017, and has made a significant impact, leading and delivering an inclusive culture across the entire business. Lucy is passionate about equality and inclusion and has an empathic, caring nature aligned to a highly professional approach. ‘Championing a sustainable future isn’t just about renewable energy,’ says Lucy, ‘it’s about addressing social inequalities and investing in opportunities for all people to grow and to succeed.’ Hydro Tasmania have created an accessible workplace, boosted representation and engagement of employees with disability, and developed an action-based approach for increased employment and participation for First Nations people.
RES is the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, operating in 14 countries around the globe. RES’ global Affinity Networks cover five dimensions of diversity (age, disability, gender, LGBTQ+ and race) and offer a safe space for people to come together freely to share their identities, experiences, and the challenges that they may face at work. RES is officially listed as an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Employer and is also Family Friendly Workplace Certified.
The other finalists of the Diversity and Inclusion Award were:
The Media Award is presented in recognition of an organisation or individual that has led a story that has made a real impact on conversations around clean energy. A well-informed industry and public are critical to the clean energy transition.
Giles Parkinson and David Leitch are the creators of The Energy Insiders Podcast, a podcast popular for its broad scope, interviews with key players, and analysis of the renewable
energy industry. With a reach of nearly one million plays over the year, it is the industry’s favourite listening whether at home, in the garden, or in the car.
Graham Readfearn established the Temperature Check – the Guardian Australia’s weekly climate factcheck column – to provide factual responses and important context around any issues related to climate change and energy policy that the public were being exposed to, either through political commentary, lobbying outputs, advertising claims or through the media (including podcasts, YouTube, social media and regular media networks). The broad principle is that a better informed society makes more informed choices, and that this is good for a healthy democracy.
The other finalists of the Diversity and Inclusion Award were:
The Clean Energy Council Awards are now in their 12th year. Past winners include some of the leading individuals and businesses operating in the Australian clean energy industry.