Senior industry expert Thomas Briault has been appointed Arup’s new Energy Business Leader for NSW & ACT.

In a career spanning more than 20 years with the firm, Thomas has directed major business-critical projects across the UK and most recently led Arup’s energy business in Southeast Asia, helping clients and cities with their energy transition. His appointment recognises the strong future for renewable energy projects as governments and businesses across the region ramp up commitments to transition to clean energy.

Specialising in sustainable energy solutions – from concept through to construction – he has worked with private and public sector clients, providing strategic and technical advice, and delivering against carbon, climate, and environmental requirements.

Internationally recognised for the commercialisation of low carbon energy solutions, Thomas has a track record of bringing projects through to financial close.

Thomas led the successful expansion of Arup’s Southeast Asia energy business where his portfolio of work includes the decarbonisation of energy infrastructure across ASEAN, market modelling for future decarbonisation of the power system in Singapore, work on green electricity import via subsea electrical interconnectors, hydrogen import studies, and a wide range of renewable energy projects across the SEA region.

Prior to this, Thomas led the Energy, Cities and Climate Change team in Arup’s UK offices. As part of his role, he led a hydrogen generation and transport project in the UK, due diligence for renewable energy M&A, advising the £450m London Mayor’s Energy Efficiency Fund and €300m Global Energy & Renewable Energy Fund, determining the carbon mitigation strategy for Qatar 2022 and leading Dubai Expo’s energy masterplanning. 

Poya Rasekhi, Energy, Water and Resources Lead – Australasia said: “Thomas’s global experience, coupled with his strategic insights and understanding of the policy and regulatory environment has consistently guided governments, cities, and organisations in their transition to a green economy through integrated renewable energy solutions.

“His appointment underscores Arup’s commitment to providing comprehensive sustainable energy solutions and driving positive change in the energy sector. It also leverages Arup’s global experience and expertise, bringing skills and talent to the right place at the right time.”

Thomas Briault, Energy Business Lead – NSW & ACT said: “Integrating total energy infrastructure planning – at national, state, and local scale – will deliver the best commercial, environmental and community outcomes for all.

“In tackling Australia’s transition to net-zero emissions, careful integration of energy infrastructure can reduce carbon emissions and create efficient and resilient energy systems with reliable supply, providing the best solution for customers at lowest overall system cost for investors and operators.

“We must reduce reliance on fossil fuels through a phased approach, bolstering renewables while modernising our energy infrastructure to handle the variability of renewable energy.”

Thomas will have a strong focus on advancing energy storage solutions and fostering a favourable investment climate.

“We need regulatory reforms to accelerate renewable projects and innovative partnerships to overcome technological challenges,” Thomas continued.

“Public engagement, education, and fairness are crucial. It’s important that we ensure everyone can participate in and benefit from this transition, creating an equitable transition. We need to balance land and water use effectively, and future-proof our energy infrastructure against climate change impacts.

“Ultimately, the journey to net-zero emissions demands a strategic, coordinated, and flexible approach from us all. No single solution will suffice, but the combined efforts can pave the way to a sustainable future for Australia,” Thomas concluded.

The author of several publications, Thomas is a Chartered Engineer and holds a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering and Resource Management. He is also co-chair of the Independent Power Producers Forum (IPPF) Hydrogen Committee.