BRISBANE (December 05, 2023) — AECOM, the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, has called for the industry to work together to achieve energy transition at speed and scale in a new thought leadership report, The Future of Infrastructure: Lost in transition?
In the report, which draws on a survey of nearly 850 senior executives from organisations across 22 countries and nine industries, Australian interviewees identified five areas where action will accelerate the energy transition.
“We know organisations face challenges in realising their energy goals,” said Mark McManamny, Chief Executive of AECOM’s Australia and New Zealand region. “As we partner with clients to navigate the energy transition, we have a huge opportunity to leverage global expertise to accelerate and harness Australia and New Zealand’s unique natural resources to become future renewable energy leaders.”
The report features insights from industry leaders Jacqui Bridge, Executive General Manager of Energy Futures at Queenland’s Powerlink and Alistair Parker, CEO of Victorian state government agency, VicGrid.
“Our markets have been set up on the idea that competition leads to lower costs and better outcomes, but in the case of energy transformation, we need to better coordinate labour and equipment,” said Jacqui Bridge. “It’s the overall goal of decarbonisation that matters, not who gets there first.”
Alistair Parker highlights the importance of working with communities, landholders, and Traditional Owners to ensure that their rights, needs, and aspirations are respected and addresses the opportunity to embed innovative construction methods: “We are going to see the application of some new construction methods coming through for power grid infrastructure that can make a big impact. This could be prefabrication of components off-site, which enables more modular construction. This is quicker to implement and reduces the demand for technical skills out in the field.”
Australian companies identified five actions to accelerate the energy transition:
1/ More innovative construction
Implement innovative technologies and construction practices to help reduce costs, quicken delivery, and reduce the demand for technical skills out in the field.
2/ Coordinated development
Focus on coordinated development efforts, such as Renewable Energy Zones, provide clarity and cohesion between utilities, developers, communities and the regulator, make it easier to plan and allocate resources, and reap the benefits of economies of scale with renewable energy assets concentrated in one area.
3/ Increase social licence
Ensure all Government and regulatory policies fit within a wider, structured plan that protects and promotes communities. Social license can be increased with improved community consultation and benefit-sharing opportunities.
4/ Share knowledge and strengthen supply chain
Upskill and support supply chains with investment assurance and knowledge sharing. Almost three-quarters of organisations in our research (73 percent) say they are prepared to help suppliers and partners accelerate their adaptation to the energy transition.
5/ Invest in the future workforce
Invest in early workforce training to leverage fossil fuel professionals and grow the talent pipeline through proactive engagement with school and university students. Nearly one-third of organisations report that they cannot attract the skilled professionals needed to implement their energy transition efforts.
“The energy transition is a continuum with organisations at many different points, and for AECOM it is about helping them close the gap between aspiration and implementation when it comes to net zero,” said Lara Poloni, AECOM’s president. “Our latest Future of Infrastructure report provides learnings from discussions with global leaders and from our own Sustainable Legacies strategy to locate organisations and industries on the continuum of the energy transition and present direct, actionable steps to progress.”
Read the report here.
AECOM is a recognised leader in sustainability and resilience and the energy transition through the outcomes it delivers for clients and through its own decarbonisation journey. The Company was one of the first in the world to have emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reach science-based net zero by 2040. Through the continued success of AECOM’s Sustainable Legacies strategy, the firm is delivering resilient, sustainable and equitable solutions to national governments, global Fortune 500 companies, prominent NGOs and other major clients around the world.
AECOM is the world’s trusted infrastructure consulting firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from advisory, planning, design and engineering to program and construction management. On projects spanning transportation, buildings, water, new energy, and the environment, our public- and private-sector clients trust us to solve their most complex challenges. Our teams are driven by a common purpose to deliver a better world through our unrivaled technical and digital expertise, a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to environmental, social and governance priorities. AECOM is a Fortune 500 firm and its Professional Services business had revenue of $14.4 billion in fiscal year 2023. See how we are delivering sustainable legacies for generations to come at aecom.com and @AECOM.
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