Amid fears surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, key events for the solar industry are being canceled or postponed around the world. In Australia, several conferences organized by the Clean Energy Council (CEC), the Smart Energy Council (SEC) and the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) have been moved to later dates as the state and federal governments advise against mass gatherings and all international travel in an effort to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The Clean Energy Council announced on Thursday that it had postponed all six of the scheduled events in March and April. The upcoming events that will now be postponed are Perth Member Mixer, CEO Forum, Parliamentary Reception, Perth Installer Night, Wind Industry Forum, and Adelaide Installer Night.
“We understand the effect the COVID-19 situation is having on many of our members, installers and stakeholders, especially in relation to meetings and events,” the CEC said in its announcement. “We have not taken this decision lightly and wanted to provide as much notice as possible of any changes to our events program.” New event details are yet to be announced, the CEC said it would continue to monitor the situation and seek advice in regard to events scheduled beyond April 30.
The Smart Energy Council on Friday announced the postponement of its Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition in Sydney, moving it from 7-8 April to 29-30 September due to the potential impact of COVID-19. “We have listened to the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has declared a global pandemic, the advice from the Australian Government, and the NSW Premier’s comments on 11 March foreshadowing potential restrictions to large public events in NSW,” SEC CEO John Grimes said.
Unlike many others, the SEC has managed to secure new dates for the event, which will still take place at the International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour in Sydney. “We have been very fortunate to secure dates for our event later this year,” Grimes said. “This will be a busy time for large events in the smart energy calendar, however we know the industry will be keen to get back to work and showcase their businesses and success stories as soon as possible.”
On Friday, the Energy Efficiency Council also confirmed that they would postpone the National Energy Efficiency Conference, originally scheduled to take place in Melbourne on May 26-27. The Council is still working to determine a revised date for the conference in the second half of 2020.
The Australian Hydrogen Council – in partnership with Informa – has also decided to reschedule the Australian Hydrogen Conference from March 30-31, to the new dates of November 16-17.
The total number of confirmed cases in Australia has climbed past 150 on Friday, which includes Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.