After spending time abroad working on solar energy projects in early 2000s, Lucinano Giangiordano decided to return to Australia to set up his own solar company, but it wasn’t the simple transition he had hoped for.
Speaking with On the Job with Francis Leach & Sally Rugg, Giangiodano explained,“I set up a company called Project brainstorm, which specializes in commercial solar power.
“We were the first ones to start pushing solar systems for businesses and factories… but then, we hit the proverbial wall…rules and regs that were designed under the John Howard regime back in the late 90s, that were no longer, in my opinion, fit for purpose.”
A self-described ‘possibilist’, Giangiordano persevered, eventually moving into utility-scale solar farm development, creating the company Enertech.
But with the move, came the same old problems with outdated regulations and infrastructure.
“The Australian grids were never designed to have dispatchable, decentralized power,” explained Giangiordano.
“They were always designed to have big coal fired power stations, sending electrons over great distances on thin flimsy networks.
“So, it’s a little bit like having a one lane highway, one direction, high speed, but if you want to then put smaller, decentralized, generators onto that network, you’re running against the traffic.”
To add to the headaches of an outdated grid system, Giangiordano says the ‘political games’ being played by the Federal Government has left State Governments, Councils and businesses all having to try and work around the lack of Federal policy.
Giangiodana believes that politics needs to be put aside for a holistic approach to a clean energy transition that supports workers to make the change.
“We need to be able to support workers in their transition and get them to move up the food chain and increase their options of employment by getting much smarter and collaborating in a different way.
“I think it can be done, it just needs the political willpower from Canberra.”