A former Rio Tinto executive has joined the board of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). 

Mr Stephen McIntosh is the former group executive of growth and innovation at Rio Tinto. Having worked as a geologist and geophysicist in the resources sector for 30 years, and currently serving as a non-executive director for Chalice Mining Limited, he will now join the ARENA Board. 

Current board member Ms Stephanie Unwin, the Chief Executive of Horizon Power, has been reappointed to the ARENA board for a further two year term. Ms Unwin was first appointed in 2018.

ARENA Chief Executive Officer Mr Darren Miller has also been reappointed as ARENA CEO for a further three year term.

ARENA Chair Justin Punch said Mr McIntosh brings broad-ranging expertise in the decarbonisation of mining, metals and heavy industrial sectors.

“On behalf of the ARENA Board I wish to welcome Stephen McIntosh, who brings with him many years of experience as a technologist, strategist and leader,” Mr Punch said. 

“Over a long and successful career with Rio Tinto, Stephen has worked on important energy and climate change initiatives, including the development of Rio’s emission abatement pathway to 2030 and the R&D roadmap to meet longer term targets. 

“With Rio’s operations spanning sectors responsible for over half of Australia’s emissions, Stephen will bring unique expertise and insight to ARENA’s decarbonisation work.

“I also wish to thank our retiring board member Dougal McOmish for his three years of service, and to congratulate Stephanie Unwin on her reappointment.

“Both Dougal and Stephanie have served on ARENA’s Board during a time of transformation across the renewable energy sector where ARENA’s role has been instrumental, and during a period of significant change within the agency. We thank them both for their guidance and governance.

“Finally, I would like to congratulate Darren Miller on his reappointment as ARENA CEO. Darren has been a forward-thinking, dedicated and passionate leader for ARENA. We are excited to have him at the helm for a further three years.

“Having recently been renewed with $1.62 billion in funding, ARENA is starting a new era where we are focussing on the electricity sector as well as building a hydrogen industry and tackling emissions in hard-to-abate sectors,” Mr Punch said.