Some of the country’s leading energy research organisations have been recruited to participate in a global research partnership that will focus on accelerating the decarbonisation of Australia’s electricity system.
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, along with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), today announced The University of Melbourne, RMIT University, and global consultancy Stratagen will form an Australian contingent to contribute to the Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) consortium.
G-PST is an international group of electricity system operators collaborating with leading international researchers to accelerate the transition to low emissions, low cost, secure and reliable power systems, and signals a major commitment to implement the technologies and approaches to permanently reduce emissions trajectories, while simultaneously improving grid reliability, resilience, and security.
The research director of CSIRO’s Energy Systems Research Program, Dr John Ward, said CSIRO and AEMO were pleased to draw on their experience in research-industry collaborations to lead the Australian research delegation contributing to G-PST.
“The energy sector is a central tenant of our net zero future,” Dr Ward said.
It accounts for 54 per cent of Australia’s emissions and has the most mature range of low emission technology options for immediate and long-term opportunities.
“The cost of renewable energy is no longer our major challenge – integrating this energy efficiently into our electricity systems is what we need to solve,” he said.
Tackling these challenges – from solving technical issues, through to workforce training and developing new real-time operational tools – in a collaborative way and sharing outcomes widely will significantly accelerate the global transition to a low emissions electricity sector.
CSIRO will both conduct this research and coordinate with other Australian researchers – across universities and industry – so that Australian research is directly addressing the energy challenges most relevant to Australia.
In the initial round of research, CSIRO and its partners will focus on the development of Australian research plans for a variety of topics associated with the G-PST research agenda. These include quantifying the technical requirements of future power systems to operate reliably and at least cost, and understanding the opportunities associated with Australia’s world-leading levels of rooftop solar.
CSIRO – and other members of the G-PST research agenda group – will also develop research plans focused on inverter design, power system stability tools and methods, restoring electricity systems with 100 per cent renewable energy, and developing a Control Room of the Future for AEMO and other grid and market operators.
AEMO chief operations officer, Michael Gatt, said that Australia is well positioned to develop solutions with its world-leading penetration of renewables.
“Australia is at the forefront of the global energy switch to inverter-based renewable energy, allowing us to provide a unique perspective to develop the power systems of the future,” Gatt said.
“We’re looking forward to collaborating with Australia’s leading science agency, CSIRO, and researchers to address emerging challenges as we transition to a low emissions future energy system."