BusinessNZ Energy Council launches Young Energy Professionals Network

New initiative aims to strengthen future opportunities of today’s young professionals.

The Young Energy Professionals Network (YEPN) aims to promote networking, knowledge-sharing and development opportunities for the next generation of New Zealand’s energy sector leaders.



From left to right: Nathan Bittle, Senior Policy Advisor, New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment: Jenny Lackey, Manager Strategy and Programme Portfolio, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority,Hon. Simon Bridges Minister of Energy and Resources, and Minister of Transport; ; Sheena Thomas, Senior Communications Advisor; Z Energy, John Carnegie, Secretary-General, BusinessNZ Energy Council.

Dr Rob Whitney, Chair of the World Energy Council’s member committee in New Zealand, BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC), says that the BEC waspleased to support the YEPN. He outlined that in addition to increasing the value proposition of the organisation for its members, it will give future energy leaders from New Zealand “every possible opportunity to deepen and broaden their understanding of the energy sector and increase their ability to make connections both locally and internationally.” He is convinced that “enabling the development of young energy professionals will in turn help shape an energy future for New Zealand that is secure, equitable and sustainable”.


Foundation laid in Daegu

The idea of developing a YEPN came during the World Energy Council’s World Energy Congress held in Daegu, South Korea in 2013. Jenny Lackey, a participant of the World Energy Council Future Energy Leaders’ programme  explains that she witnessed “the benefits first-hand of being part of a collection of young people in a group talking about the issues that matter to us as future energy leaders”. Jenny Lackey believes that the New Zealand initiative will contribute to the development of tomorrow’s energy leaders and will constitute an ideal platform to select the next Future Energy Leaders joining the Council’s programme.

Two YEPN participants – Nathan Bittle, Senior Policy Advisor for New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and Sheena Thomas, Senior Communications Advisor for Z Energy – are both convinced that the network will “provide a platform to showcase the work of the World Energy Council and BusinessNZ.”

The YEPN was officially launched and celebrated in Wellington on 23 February by the Hon. Simon Bridges, Minister of Energy and Resources. An audience of more than 70 attendees welcomed the initiative.


Minister refers to World Energy Council’s Trilemma

Minister Simon Bridges has referred to the Trilemma work on two recent occasions: At the Downstream Conference on 4 March Mr Bridges stated: “I am a fan of the World Energy Council’s so-called trilemma as a good set of criteria by which to judge a country’s energy system. How does the system measure up in terms of security of supply, environmental sustainability and energy equity or competiveness”. His speech is available here:

When announcing the country’s Block Offer on 30 March the Minister said: “Over the last couple of years we’ve been hearing a lot about the idea of an ‘energy trilemma’.  As the World Energy Council puts it, we need to balance the tensions between the need for energy security, society’s need for accessible and affordable energy, and the need for environmental sustainability. Energy diversity will be the key to achieving all these aspirations in the right balance”. This speech is available here:


  • You have questions and would like to express your interest for the Young Energy Professionals Network? Then directed these to Jenny Lackey (
  • You are a National Member Committees and need support for the development of a national Future Energy Leaders programm?  Sophie Rose, Coordinator, Future Energy Leaders ( is happy to help.