Programme 2022: Day Two

Click on each day to view the full programme:

Tuesday 29 March 2022 Wednesday 30 March 2022
Conference Day One Conference Day Two


Programme | Day Two




Event platform live and broadcasting



Welcome from the Day Two Chair

John Hancock – Director, Signature Consulting


Generation and demand dynamics




International Keynote: Optimising flexible assets

The emergence of distributed energy resources (DER) such as battery storage, rooftop solar, electric vehicles (EV) and demand response applications have great promise to deliver a lower carbon, more efficient energy system.  As New Zealand begins to venture into utilising these resources, it is key that we take lessons from overseas to overcome the challenges that DER presents. This session will address questions such as: 

  • What technologies are having the biggest impact in overseas markets such as the UK, Australia and the US? 
  • What is the investment case for these assets, and do they require subsidies or regulatory support?
  • Who is optimising and managing these assets – utilities, network operators, third parties, or automated software?
  • What impact could DER have in New Zealand? Who should own and operate them, and in which markets? 

Ben Irons – Co-Founder, Managing Director, Habitat Energy



Energy distribution 2.0

Powerco is the country's second largest distributor of electricity and gas, with networks covering the upper, central, and lower North Island. New chief executive James Kilty has committed to driving the delivery of the final two years of Powerco’s five-year investment plan while also focusing on the next stage of the company’s growth. So, what opportunities does this former Contact deputy chief executive see for Powerco and energy distribution at large? 

James Kilty – Chief Executive, Powerco






PANEL DISCUSSION | Insight into the current energy landscape for our major industrial energy consumers

There have been a lot of developments within our major industrial energy consumers since Downstream 2021. A new chief executive has started at Tiwai, Marsden Point has wound down as a refinery, and a power purchase agreement was signed between Contact, Oji Fibre and Pan Pac. Reviews of wholesale pricing and transmission pricing implementations are also soon to be reported on and are at the forefront of major energy users' minds.  

  • How has the recent PPA shaped future discussions between major energy users and generators?
  • What is being seen in the wholesale market review?
  • Exploring other options for improving energy supply to industrial consumers 

Chris Blenkiron – Chief Executive, New Zealand Aluminium Smelters 
Jason Dale – Chief Commercial and Financial Officer New Zealand and Pacific Islands, and General Manager BlueScope Pacific Islands, BlueScope
Linda Mulvihill – Head of Energy & Climate, Fonterra

Angela Ogier Associate Director | Infrastructure Advisory, EY


Energy transition and security



Fuelling the transition with gas

Gas supply challenges in 2021 highlighted the current dependency on gas for thermal backup generation. As New Zealand’s energy mix transitions towards renewable electricity generation this relationship will change. Gas also plays a key role in providing heat and as a raw input to industry. What needs to happen on the supply and demand side to provide investment confidence during this transition? Speaking from the supply side, major gas producer OMV have several significant work programmes scheduled, including some high expectations for its Māui B programme.

Henrik Mosser – General Manager, OMV New Zealand



Low Carbon Energy Roadmap

The Aotearoa Circle’s Low Carbon Energy Roadmap defines a pathway to a low carbon energy system that ensures energy security, affordability, a healthy environment, and a just transition. The work has been progressed by a diverse group of private and public sector stakeholders within the Leadership Group, led by Co-chairs Bella Takiari-Brame and Chris Jewell, and the Technical Advisory Group, who have provided deeper insights into various topics. The roadmap has been designed to provoke discussion across the sector and inform Government thinking and decisions regarding emissions reductions and the proposed energy strategy.

Chris Jewell Chief Financial Officer, Lodestone Energy
Bella Takiari-Brame – Professional Director




Sponsored by 



Building strong proof of concepts to make better business decisions

Chief Client Officer, Jessica Venning-Bryan shares what makes a good proof of concept and how businesses can quickly and efficiently learn what's involved in bringing new energy propositions to life. If your company is interested in technologies propelling the energy transition forward, you won't want to miss it. 

Sponsored by

Jessica Venning-Bryan – Chief Client Officer, Flux Federation



Future energy – empowering tomorrow’s leaders

Hear from young energy sector executives for a candid discussion on workforce attraction, retention and career pathways.

The energy sector has in the past been criticised for not embracing youth and diversity as it gears up for a new normal. Let’s take stock from youth leaders from our five largest customer-facing energy companies to see how we are faring. We won’t be afraid of some awkward conversations:

  • Embracing and encouraging youth within the sector
  • Diversity in the workplace
  • Is the sector adequately competing for youth talent?
  • How important is ESG?
  • What does a young professional expect in the workplace? 

Elliott Powell – Senior Derivatives Trader, Genesis
Blake Cheesman – Hydro Technician, Trustpower
Rachael Martis – Manager – Group Energy Margin, Mercury
Emma Arendse – Renewable Energy Engineer, Meridian
Ellie Lock – Engineer - Drilling and Projects, Contact

Facilitator: Bennet Tucker – Strategic Analysis Manager, Trustpower

In collaboration with 






PANEL DISCUSSION | Energy security, is it time for something disruptive? 

The events of 9 August 2021 highlighted how customers are adversely affected by the current systems used to balance generation and load. When discussing New Zealand’s energy security, the conversation often revolves around market settings, network organisation monopolies, separating generation and retail and avoiding collaboration for fear of collusion. With the Government setting a highly ambitious target of achieving 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030, is it time to get creative in how we manage energy security to minimise overbuild and maintain affordability?

Huia BurtChief Strategy Officer, The Energy Collective
Caitlin Tromop van DalenSenior Advisor, Gas Industry Company

Geoff Swier Principal, Farrierswier

John Hancock – Director, Signature Consulting



Multiple trader relationships – Ara Ake 

Ara Ake is the nation’s new energy development centre located in Taranaki, with a purpose of enabling energy innovation to become commercially viable in Aotearoa New Zealand. At the Downstream Conference, Ara Ake will be discussing their world-first Multiple Trading Relationships pilot, which offers individuals and businesses more choice and flexibility when it comes to managing their electricity.

Cristiano Marantes – Chief Executive, Ara Ake



Closing remarks from the Chair