North Tasmania's movers and shakers convened once again the Hotel Grand Chancellor on Wednesday for the latest Tamar Valley Leaders' Lunch.
The last speech in the event's inaugural year welcomed guest speaker Professor Irene Penesis from the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre based at the Marine College at Invermay.
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Organised through a collaboration between the Tamar NRM, Rotary Club of Central Launceston, Launceston Chamber of Commerce and the Hotel Grand Chancellor, the event looks to bring regional industry leaders together with notable guest speakers.
"It gives a lot of people who don't usually meet a chance to get together and exchange ideas," said Tamar NRM's Nick Flittner.
The Blue Economy CRC supports and develops research into sustainable energy and sustainable seafood - subjects Ms Penesis was passionate to expound to those in attendance.
"Tasmania is well known for having excellent and abundant offshore resources like wind or wave energy, but we're really not capitalising on that opportunity in Australia as part of our renewable energy portfolio, so I've been working towards establishing a framework that supports renewable energy in Commonwealth waters."
The talk also touched on Ms Penesis' personal journey from mathematician to renewable energy.
"I've had a long passion for mathematics and now I'm really transitioning to supporting the maritime industry, helping our graduates and helping industry develop technology.
"We're now looking at how we can go from the type of work that is experimental to actually facilitating commercial devices that can be out in the ocean producing electricity as part of a renewable energy grid," she said.
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Ms Penesis' talk proved timely, with the recent COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference bringing the future of Australian energy production to the forefront of many people's minds - a future Ms Penesis is eager to contribute to.
"I want to help support Australia's decarbonization and move away from the use of coal, oil and gas to a more seamless integration of renewable energy.
"I think if we really want to reach Tasmania's 2030 targets, we need to look at the state's offshore potential as well as its onshore capacity," she said.
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