Australia, once reliant on a centralised energy system, now stands at a pivotal juncture, grappling with the urgent need for reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy solutions.

At All-Energy Australia 2023 David Desfosses, the Smart Grid Solutions Lead at Tractebel ENGIE in Frankfurt, Germany, will share his insights on the transformative power of microgrids in resolving the nation’s energy trilemma.

Desfosses, originally from Melbourne but now working and living in Germany passionately advocates for a decentralised energy system, emphasising the pivotal role of microgrids in this transition.

“Microgrids are important as they are a crucial means of integrating renewables and storage locally resulting in increased efficiency, reliability, and resiliency,” Desfosses explained.

“With the increase of distributed energy resources such as solar PV, it will also negate the need to undertake costly upgrades to transmission lines and substations resulting in reducing the cost of electricity.”

For grid utilities, microgrids provide a buffer against peaks in energy demand, alleviating pressure on the network and minimising otherwise unmanageable energy load and reducing power outages. In addition, microgrids are vital during severe weather, providing energy in times of natural disasters such as storms and bushfires.

In his presentation at All-Energy Australia on Day One, David Desfosses will delve into how Australia’s reliance on coal-fired generation has created a carbon lock-in effect, hindering the nation’s progress toward renewable energy.

Employing the Multi-Level Perspective framework, Desfosses will examine the critical junctions within Australia where this lock-in effect can be dismantled. His analysis underscores the influence of government, utilities, and energy communities in steering the transition, emphasising the rise of microgrids as a beacon of hope.

“Microgrids meet the demand and add flexibility with the control and optimisation of distributed energy resources and storage,” Desfosses said.

“The ability to switch between grid-connected and islanded modes of operation provide a safe and secure way to deal with network faults and when there are storms and bushfires that will affect existing transmission network.

“The use of renewables close to the source reducing infrastructure costs and energy management system with cost minimisation will result in reduction of electricity costs.”

For Desfosses and Tractebel ENGIE, All-Energy Australia 2023 is more than just a conference—it’s a platform to enact change. 

Tractebel, a global engineering firm committed to a carbon-neutral future, has already made substantial strides in Australia, notably with projects like Snowy Hydro 2.0 and the Yuri Hydrogen Plant.

“Tractebel is well-positioned to play an active role in Australia by developing solutions to increase energy security whilst reducing emissions and the cost of electricity,” Desfosses said. 

“Taking on a new challenge by moving from Australia to be based in Germany has allowed me at Tractebel to be involved in providing a solution to a diverse array of countries across the as they face the challenge of transitioning from centralised to decentralised energy systems.”

His involvement in the conference allows him to showcase Tractebel’s innovative solutions, providing tangible answers to the challenges posed by the energy trilemma.

“All-Energy Australia provides a unique platform for me at Tractebel, given this is the most diverse gathering within the Australian energy sector, to demonstrate the challenges and opportunities experienced in regions that have similar characteristics to Australia to enable a more efficient and rapid approach to the energy management of increasing renewables and storage within Australia’s electricity network.”

David Desfosses will appear at All-Energy Australia on Day One in Room 210, Wednesday, October 25 starting at 3.30pm.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by All Energy Australia. For more details on the conference, agenda, exhibitors and how to register for the free-to-attend event, visit the website at

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