CSIRO and Australian universities spearhead global efforts in clean energy innovation

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO has joined with five nations’ local research institutions and international researchers to spearhead innovation to address challenges in clean energy production and storage.

In a unique joint effort between Australia, the US, Canada, and the UK, two multi-lateral research projects have been announced as part of the National Science Foundation Global Centres in Climate Change and Clean Energy (NSF Global Centres) program.

More than $118 million is being put up under the joint NSF Global Centres program over five years to tackle challenges posed by climate change as the world moves towards net zero.
Australia’s role in global clean energy initiatives

The CSIRO’s acting chief executive Kirsten Rose said Australia is making a strong contribution to solving this critical global challenge.

“Collaborative initiatives like CSIRO’s hydrogen industry mission and smart energy mission are essential in ensuring solutions are co-designed with industry, research, and our communities,” Ms Rose said.

“Partnering with the NSF’s Global Centres means Australia remains at the global forefront of work to build a clean hydrogen industry, build integrated and equitable energy systems, and partner with regions and industries for a low emissions future.”
Multi-national collaborations

Australian innovation centres are driving the development of two multi-national collaborations.

Led by CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Electric Power Innovation for a Carbon-free Society (EPICS) Centre will be a global scientific leader in developing transformative computing, economic strategies, engineering solutions, and forward-thinking policy to enable a completely renewable energy power grid.

A joint project involving the US, UK, and Australia, the project is also supported by the University of Melbourne and Monash University.

University of Melbourne chair of Electrical Power Systems and Australian EPICS Centre principal investigator, professor Pierluigi Mancarella, said the global centre is an unprecedented opportunity to partner with major international institutes in the US and UK.

It will harness world-leading research to address some of the most pressing scientific challenges that Australia and other jurisdictions worldwide are facing during the energy transition towards net zero.

“These challenges range from guaranteeing stable and secure system operation in the presence of ultra-high penetration of variable energy sources and distributed energy resources, most of which are based on power electronic interfaces, to identifying reliable and resilient investment paths across the whole energy system in the presence of deep, long-term planning uncertainty,” professor Mancarella said.
Hydrogen technology centre

Elsewhere, the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and Curtin University are Australia’s participants on the Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre.

This group is pioneering large-scale net-zero hydrogen production methods, while exploring three innovative technologies: renewable energy-integrated water electrolysis, methane pyrolysis with valuable solid carbon co-products, and solar-driven water splitting.

The institutions will pool resources and expertise to confront the challenges of a changing climate and continue the charge towards net zero emissions.


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