ACT Government/ANU Solar Oration 2019: The rapid rise of wind and solar

Listen to the podcast of the Solar Oration on the Experience ANU SoundCloud.

Download the Solar Oration presentation (4.4MB PDF)

For the first time in Australia (July - September, 2019), wind and solar supplied more electricity to the National Electricity Market (NEM) than brown coal. Fleur Yaxley, a senior executive in the renewable energy industry, will discuss the rapid rise of wind, solar photovoltaics, energy storage and distributed generation leading to this energy milestone. Ms Yaxley will delve into her experience working for energy giant GE to discuss the pivotal role equipment manufacturers have played bringing about the transition which has resulted in renewables being the cheapest form of electricity generation available to us today.

Ms Yaxley will talk about the politics of energy internationally, and the market competition driving the huge technology changes bringing spectacular growth in wind turbine size, such as the 12 MW wind turbines we see today. She will discuss the current status of solar and wind development in Australia and the key factors influencing investment and the penetration of renewables in the NEM. Here she will delve into her personal experience to discuss development, technology, grid connection and construction risks and opportunities.

Finally, Ms Yaxley will ponder ‘what’s next’ and the challenges to a clean-energy future for Australia.


  • 5.15pm Finger food and drinks available in the foyer.
  • 6.00pm Welcome, Professor Andrew Blakers, Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering, ANU
  • 6.02pm Introduction, Shane Rattenbury, MLA, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, ACT Government
  • 6.10pm Fleur Yaxley delivers the Solar Oration.
  • 7.10pm Q&A
  • 7.40pm Close

About Fleur Yaxley

Ms Fleur Yaxley is a senior executive in the renewable energy industry. She has extensive international experience as a practitioner, originating and delivering renewable energy projects. Ms Yaxley project managed what was then Australia’s largest windfarm, aged in her twenties, and has gone on to forge a career enabling renewable projects around the world, most recently as Head of Wind Development for UPC Renewables.

An international expert in the development, enabling and construction of renewable generation assets, Ms Yaxley was the Manager Engineering and Projects for Tilt Renewables. Previously, as Commercial Leader for GE in APAC, she led the company’s involvement in Gigawatts of new projects in the region. Ms Yaxley also held management positions at Roaring 40s, managing investment and construction of generation assets in China and India, and in the UK she founded and managed the renewables division of Laing O’Rourke. She has worked for the United Nations Development Programme rebuilding energy infrastructure in Northern Iraq.

Solar Oration will follow the ANU Energy Update and will be in the same lecture theatre (Cinema Theatre, Kambri). Register for the ANU Energy Update.

Solar Oration is generously sponsored by the ACT Government.