Liam Byrnes is the Principal Energy Advisor for Aurizon. He is actively involved in leading/shaping Aurizon's energy strategy and developing and driving projects and initiatives. He provides expert advice and leadership to support enterprise planning and decision-making in a rapidly evolving commercial environment. Liam is also a board member of Diabetes Queensland.

Prior to this position, Liam worked for a renewable energy and energy efficiency company headquartered in Germany, and as a lawyer for King & Wood Mallesons and Crown Law specialising in dispute resolution and litigation. Liam’s PhD investigated the economic viability of renewable energy in regional and remote Australia and identified pathways to reconcile regulatory and policy frameworks with market drivers. In doing so, he worked closely with regional network service providers, state and local governments and communities. While at UQ, Liam was a member of the Global Change Institute College of Experts, and a Member of the College Advisory Committee for energy. 

He is actively engaged in sustainability issues, energy market reform and negotiating the energy transition. He is committed to developing collaborative solutions to persistent challenges faced in regional and remote areas.

PhD details and topic

Supervised by Dr Colin Brown (Principal), Professor John Foster and Dr Liam Wagner (Associate)

Topic examines the viability of powering regional and remote Australian communities with renewable energy. The research aims to better understand the financial viability of installing renewables as well as the social and environmental consequences. Communities examined are located in regional and remote areas of Queensland and Western Australia with different characteristics and sources of electricity. Non-financial barriers and social/cultural considerations form an integral part of the research and will ultimately help develop more effective deployment strategies and government policy.