Australian Made: The Challenges and Opportunities


1 hour and 20 minutes


How industry and government can support and benefit from advanced manufacturing of renewable energy technologies in Australia.



Alex Marks
COO, Allume Energy

Alex Marks joined Allume as an adviser soon after the inception of the company, and has since taken on leadership roles within the company.

Alex has previously worked in social enterprise in East Africa, in natural resources governance in Southeast Asia and as a policy adviser in the Victorian Parliament. Alex holds a Masters in Science in Environmental Change & Management from the University of Oxford.


Kristy Battista

CTO, Allume Energy

Kristy has a passion and talent for coaching and developing people, fostering organisational culture and ensuring high quality business outcomes. As Chief Technology Officer at Allume Energy, she is utilising these passions in conjunction with deep product development expertise to drive commercialising an exciting product that facilitates unlocking solar for apartments and small businesses. Kristy utilises her passion for leadership and innovation as a consultant to the University of Melbourne; coaching engineering students and emerging leaders from business to deliver innovative solutions to industry needs.

Kristy’s prior roles have been with market leading product development consultancies, most recently Planet Innovation. Kristy’s roles included biomedical electronics design, production engineering, project leader, electronics resource management and product market fit. As a project leader Kristy obtained a track record for delivering reliable, manufacturable and serviceable products ready for market. This included medical products such as a hearing aid programmer and the Zen, smart energy thermostat.

James Sturch
Technical Director APAC, Sonnen

James has been a professional within the renewable energy industry for over 25 years. Has an honors degree in Industrial Design, graduate in photovoltaics from UNSW, has fully endorsed CEC accreditation and electrical contractor’s license. He is a co-chair of the CEC’s Distributed Energy Directorate, a member of the Distributed Energy Leadership Forum plus an active member of the Policy and Advocacy Advisory Group. James also chairs the National Construction Code working group with the CEC and is their representative for the Battery Best Practice Guide plus other Committees and Working Groups. 

James is a member of the Australian Battery Performance Standard working group supported by DNV-GL, CSIRO, Deakin University, and the Smart Energy Council. James is part of multiple other industry stakeholder panels for DER and VPP’s with various DNSP’s around the APAC region. He has a passion for alternative energy generation, integration and the transition to a lower carbon future. He has been with sonnen Australia since the Australian leg of the business launched in 2016, as Technical Director is responsible for all regional product development, the engineering and accreditation team, policy & regulation as well as product compliance.

Michael Sharpe
National Director - Industry, Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC)

Michael Sharpe joined the AMGC in 2017 and is the National Director - Industry. AMGC is an industry-led, not-for-profit organisation which supports the development of a world-leading advanced manufacturing industry in Australia.

Michael has vast industrial experience including nearly three decades at Sharpe Bros (Australia), one of the nation’s leading road companies. From 2004 – 2014, he served as Managing Director of the family business. From 2012 – 2016, he was on the board of HunterNet, a successful industry clustering initiative in the Hunter and Central Coast region and served as Chairman for a one-year period.

He has served in numerous senior roles leading up to his AMGC Directorship, including Board Member at the Central Coast Local Health District which provides public health services to the local communities, including at Gosford and Wyong Hospitals.

Michael applies his leadership and networking experience to his current AMGC role, engaging with industry across Australia. This includes linking partnerships among the country’s manufacturers and research facilities which is vital for creating high-value jobs and products through collaborative projects. Michael is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders and has completed executive education in the Leadership Initiative at Harvard Business School. 


Accelerating a Green Economic Recovery

The Two-Sided Market: The Technology Required

Innovative Energy Technology: Including AI, Automation, Big Data and Blockchain

Energy Management Leaders: Sector Spotlight on Manufacturers