Nicole Iseppi

WORKING TO SOLVE THE ENERGY ACCESS PARADOX AND ENABLING A '3D' FUTURE

Interests: strategic planning, energy and infrastructure, project finance, project development and management.

Nicole Iseppi is an international award-winning energy, climate change, finance and legal adviser. She has extensive experience in advising international companies and governments on the strategic development, risk management and business development of energy and infrastructure projects. For the last 19 years she has been assisting and advising on how to deliver global infrastructure projects in Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and European regions.

Nicole graduated from Monash University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts (Strategic Management and Japanese Studies). ‘I was born and raised in Melbourne. I have been fortunate to always have strong mentors in my life who inspired me early on to work hard. If a job was worth doing, it was worth doing properly. During my study at Monash University, I was able to combine my core passions of law, business and problem solving. Monash gave me access to amazing academic minds and encouraged me to always “think outside the box”. I adopt this approach to all my work and this has led to the extraordinary opportunity to collaborate and lead various initiatives within the industry and most importantly, undertake work that has a positive impact on our wider society.'

Since her university days, she has held several high-profile appointments. She was previously the Lead adviser and Coordinator in the creation an implementation of a new climate change green financial institution (Japan Carbon Finance) for the Ministry of Finance in Japan and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). She was also the Project and Legal Director of Terrawatt Initiative - a global non-profit renewable and climate change foundation, created out of COP 21 Paris Agreement. Nicole co-leads a global renewable climate-change industry initiative undertaken by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). She also sits on several industry advisory committees due to her in-depth energy industry knowledge, international stakeholder management skills and commercial acumen. With ENGIE (formerly known as GDF Suez) since 2010, Nicole is currently acting as Senior Executive Adviser for Strategy and Innovation. ENGIE is committed to responsible growth of its businesses (power, gas and energy services) to succeed in the central challenges of delivering an energy transition to a low-carbon economy. The Group focuses on 4 key sectors: natural and renewable gas, renewable electricity, energy efficiency and digital technologies.

Nicole’s expertise is in finding innovative business and market solutions to address global energy access needs. She believes we have entered a ‘new industrial revolution’, ‘where the future of the energy world will be '3D'. That is, Digitalized, Decentralised and Decarbonised. This revolution is already underway, driven by the demands of public opinion and technological innovation. It enables us to meet the challenges of both climate change and energy access. This revolution is bound to change the geopolitical balance of power and accelerate the emergence of developing countries, through enabling increased energy independence. We have exciting opportunities ahead and the best way to address many of them is through greater industry collaboration.’

Although renewable energy will allow governments and communities to be more energy independent, we find ourselves in an ‘energy access paradox’. ‘Energy is a core basic need. Yet, 1.2 billion people in the world still have no access to energy. Renewable energy can now provide certain countries and communities with access to low-cost power. However, some market conditions are preventing renewable energy from scaling up at the rate we need. The return is often too low for the investor, in some markets. We must continue to find new solutions and business models to ensure every single person in the world can have access to energy.'

Early 2018, Nicole gave a lecture on the future of energy at Monash University as part of Global leader’s Week. She shared her ‘3D’ vision and her view that 'the future of the global energy system will be largely renewable by 2050.  However, the long-term viability of the energy transition also depends on gas. Natural gas today, green gas tomorrow - is expected to replace more carbon-intensive energy sources as a complement to renewable energy sources. In an energy sector that relies more on intermittent renewable energy, the question of balance and reliability becomes crucial. It may be well possible to then achieve a scenario based on 100% renewables in the future.'

Nicole has received numerous global and regional awards, including most recently as the Most Influential Energy Sector Strategic Adviser 2019, the Senior Executive Adviser of the Year 2019 and the Global Energy and Natural Resource Adviser of the Year 2019 and 2018.

She is regularly invited as an industry expert to speak at global infrastructure and finance conferences and joined MEMSI as a committee board member on the Advisory Industry Council in September 2018. What motivates her is a desire to deliver business and market solutions to achieve greater access to energy. Her commercial acumen, strong stakeholder management skills and in-depth knowledge of the energy and finance sectors will help make this vision a reality.

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