Energy @ UOW Virtual Event
Hello, everyone, my name's Patricia Davidson, I'm the Vice Chancellor of the University of Wollongong. Welcome to today's Energy Stocktake Webinar. Before we begin proceedings, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land. The University of Wollongong spreads across many interrelated Aboriginal countries that are bound by this sacred landscape, an intimate relationship, that landscape since creation. From Sydney to the Southern Highlands to the coast, from fresh water to beaches, water to salt, from city to urban to rural. The University of Wollongong acknowledges the custodianship of the Aboriginal peoples of this place and space that has kept alive the relationships between all living things.
The university acknowledges the devastating impact of colonialisation on our campus footprint and commit ourselves to truth-telling healing and education. So it's within that spirit that today we come together with this exciting agenda where we're going to tackle some of the really complex issues around energy during this webinar. We aim to showcase current thinking about energy and our future and really get insight from experts to see how we can collectively shape the clean energy of our future. We know this is such an important topic and we know that our economy needs reliable and affordable energy to prosper, providing much needed employment for our community and the services that we have become so dependent on.
I think all of us feel a responsibility that current and future generations need a clean, sustainable and affordable supply of energy to live our lives and preserve our environment. So our energy future is a shared journey. And it's something that each and every one of us is responsible for. Our region has a long and prosperous history driven by local heavy industry and the employment it creates. In fact, our university was born of steel. Our region is rich in the resources of not just. Natural products, but also highly skilled and innovative professionals and a commitment from our community. So I think what we really need to do is leverage this rich history of innovation,
this rich history of can do and community to really create an environment where there is innovation, discovery, restoration of the environment and the impact of energy initiatives to date. But more importantly, how do we seise this wonderful expertise that we have in our region and beyond to make the world a better place? All of us here at the University of Wollongong, and I'm so incredibly proud of experts here today, each and every one of us stands ready and willing to take on the challenge that it is to play a role in reshaping energy future. And in particular, we really want to build upon our strong relationships with local industry and our community. We think that working together through applied knowledge and close collaboration, that we will undertake the necessary research and build the social capital that will be needed to create a clean energy future. We want to train the skilled workforce that is needed to work in clean energy.
And we want to make sure as the anchor institution in the region, that we make sure that we have a safe and prosperous environment in which people will live and work. So I'm so excited today and my sincere thanks to my colleagues who have brought together this webinar as a new Vice-Chancellor. And I have been blown away by the intellect, by the passion and the commitment and the vision of the amazing people here in the university working in the energy space. I'm sure we're going to play a leading role in trailblazing is challenging and sometimes contested future. So today's conversation is just the very beginning. We've cast our net wide to make sure that we spread the word and we hope that you will engage with us in debate and discussion and support of our important work. Today, we have a message from the honorable Matt Cain, the New South Wales Minister for Energy and the Environment.
He's not able to be with us in person, but he has prepared a video message that we will now play. And again, welcome. And I'm sure you will get a huge amount out of this proceedings ahead of us. Can I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land and pay my respects to the elders past, present and emerging. I want to thank Professor Patricia Davidson for the invitation to participate in today's Energy Stocktake webinar. Also, I want to thank the
broader University of Wollongong team for your leadership and extraordinary innovative thinking as the industry moves through this period of transformation. There has never been a more important time to focus on the economic and job opportunities in smart energy transformation will deliver for the people of New South Wales. Our state is going through the toughest of times. Lockdown is hard. People are suffering. Communities suffering, businesses suffering.
There is light at the end of the tunnel and we're getting closer and closer to that light. The challenges of covid don't mean we hit stop on everything else the government is doing. In fact, we've hit the accelerator on implementing the government's electricity infrastructure roadmap.
Investment in the transformation of our energy system isn't just good for the environment. It's vital for the short, medium and long term prospects of our economy in the short term. We are bringing forward investment in a new generation and network capacity to create jobs and opportunities, especially in regional areas. Right now, global capital is chasing investment opportunities and clean energy.
More investment means more growth, more jobs and more opportunities for the families who call Wollongong and the Illawarra their home. I'm determined to harness as much global capital as possible to make this transformation deliver for the people of New South Wales. We have a costed, coordinated plan, the energy infrastructure roadmap to bring in the new generation transmission and storage or firming infrastructure we need before our coal fired power stations close to ensure that we deliver reliable, affordable electricity to consumers. Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard is an integral part of that roadmap, providing us with a framework to offer price guarantees to new energy generation projects that are consistent with reducing the cost to consumers. We are also launching consultation on aspects of the long-term energy service agreement to decide shortly. And I encourage you all to engage in that process if you've got an energy intensive business where you can to build one, the New South Wales is the place to be. We're working to place energy intensive industries like minerals processing,
I.T. data centres, agriculture, manufacturing and food processing where they can take advantage of cheap, reliable energy that is particularly key for the state's heavy manufacturing heartland, the Illawarra. And hydrogen is going to play a massive role in the future. Country's cities and regions that collectively account for more than two thirds of global gross domestic product have now adopted net zero emissions targets. Many of the world's largest economies and
Australia's trading partners have also announced ambitious interim emissions reduction targets. The future possibilities of hydrogen as an energy source are simply incredible for both an industrial and environmental perspective. A clean hydrogen industry can help us to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and has enormous economic potential in decarbonise global markets. It's a fact that most of the hydrogen currently used in New South Wales is great hydrogen produced using fossil fuels. Replacing that with clean and great hydrogen could help drive a new energy
boom. Accelerating the process is one of the key goals of the Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program, which is our seven hundred and fifty million dollar plan to help industry to reduce emissions and to help businesses to prosper in a low carbon world. The programme includes 17 million dollars for hydrogen hub development in the Illawarra and in the Hunter. The hubs will
combine demand from existing and emerging hydrogen users to deliver hydrogen in a coordinated way to drive scale, reduce costs, focus innovation. Grow our workforce skills. We're currently focussed on unlocking the heavy transport sector as a key new market for clean hydrogen the as well as looking to other uses like exports and the gas networks. The department is targeting the launch of the Hydrogen Hub Initiative and the New South Wales Hydrogen Strategy before the end of 2021.
We recently launched a hydrogen collaboration platform to bring together potential hydrogen producers and users to fuel the development of hydrogen hubs in New South Wales. Interested organisation’s can get involved by contacting the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's Hydrogen and clean energy team at hydrogen at the Planning NSW dot gov. This is all about positioning ourselves as an energy superpower, driving a revolution that will help us to become a world leader in clean energy exports.
Delivering cheap green energy into the supply chain of every business in our state guarantees an economy that is bigger, that generates more jobs and better pay for all Australian workers. It will help (protect) the economy from the looming threat of green protectionism in key markets in Europe, as well as helping ensure that we meet our commitment to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. New South Wales has shown the nation and the world that you can take action on climate change in a way that creates jobs, draws investments and grows the economy. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels. Now is the time to push harder and faster to deliver on our ambitions. That is exactly what the government intends to do. And I look forward to continuing
to work with the University of Wollongong to do exactly that. Thank you very much. Thank you, Trish, and thank you, Minister Cain. Good afternoon, everybody. My name's Ty and I'm the director Energy Futures Network at the University of Wollongong. I would also like to start by acknowledging that I'm presenting from Dharawal Country and pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. Also extend that respect to Indigenous peoples living in the region and to bringing Indigenous people participating in this webinar. Australia's energy transformation is being shaped by multiple technologies and demands. This includes the need to optimally integrate
a number of new energy sources, such as solar and wind and hydrogen, as we just heard from Minister Kane, and develop an energy market structure which is cleaner, fairer and more reliable. Unlocking Australia's renewable energy potential will help underpin investment in jobs for the future and produce an enormously positive impact on regional communities such as the Illawarra. Current stakeholders, such as developers, businesses and industries, equipment suppliers, transport providers and utility companies are all only really able to deal piecemeal with the part of the energy environment that they operate within. These sort of approaches can never really lead to an optimal overall positive outcome for our country and for our community. The University of Wollongong, on the other hand, is uniquely able to be an independent and objective voice, applying our multidisciplinary team to understand all of the complex interactions between social, economic and technical issues, to create a road map from our current state to a clean energy future which supports employment and delivers positive community outcomes.
To ensure that all Australians can benefit from these changes, evidence based research is critical to inform industry and to inform public policy. The University of Wollongong provides a distinctive capability for a holistic approach of energy related research across the entire spectrum of evidence based research, well informed that well informed policy making, and make sure that the energy outcomes that we receive are clean as well as fair to all members of our communities. Energy transformation has a particular significance for the Illawarra, Wollongong has already transformed to be one of the most innovative and resilient cities in the world. Now, manufacturing and mining operations in the region are investigating clean energy options, and there's opportunity to transition our highly capable workforce in these sectors towards the new clean energy future. The University of Wollongong Energy Futures Network
brings together university wide experts, energy researchers who meet regularly to coordinate our activities and create that holistic energy research environment. This includes, in particular, the behavioural and social impacts of energy solutions, the economics of transformation and new technologies for energy supply. Our technical energy related research includes renewable energy systems and integration, power systems, sustainability, particularly including building design through the Sustainable Buildings, Research Centre, power, quality and reliability, battery and energy storage management systems, distributed generation micro grids, which are very topical and R&D for the new hydrogen intensive economy. The university has world class leading electrical gas, hydrogen and built environment test and measurement laboratories, including high pressure pipeline facilities that are one of only several across the globe. We have very strong engagement with industry through the Smart Infrastructure Centre and through the delivery of a large number of commercial and consulting research projects, this sustained collaboration allows the university to observe and guide industry based practice first hand. We're also working very closely with the New South Wales government, the Future Fuel CRC industry and energy supplies to develop a vibrant hydrogen industry for the Illawarra, which we'll hear more about in the latter part of the webinar here this afternoon. The University
of Wollongong is a core partner in the Asia research hub for Australian Steel Innovation, which is focussed on decarbonisation opportunities for the steel industry, which is of particular significance to our region. Now, making sure that everyone is included in this energy transformation journey, the Australian Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space, which thankfully we call access for short. Have a strong record of contract research and consultancy. They bring distinctive socio-cultural expertise, understanding of energy practises to their research and consulting projects. For example, they've been able to identify barriers and
enablers for energy efficiency investments in the social housing environment. UAW has proven time and again our ability to progress our research from the laboratory and into commercial reality, Horchata is a company recently spun out from the University of Wollongong to commercialise breakthrough Australian developed hydrogen electrolyser technology. Now, inexpensive green hydrogen, which you heard McCain speak about, is essential for the decarbonisation of much of our industry here in Australia. So Hysata
was launched in July this year, with funding from the IP Group and the government's Clean Energy Finance Corporation to do just that. Now, the purpose of today is not, however, for me to just report to you on all the good work that the University of Wollongong has already done. The purpose of today is to hear from a wide range of people on how we can all play a role in shaping our clean energy future. We have an exciting and diverse group of panel speakers coming up and I might add, some very disciplined moderators to make sure that we all take the time. The Q&A function is open, and I'd encourage everyone to please contribute to that Q&A function. Please keep your questions fair and I'd ask you also to keep them within the bounds of respectful public discourse. So, I'd like to now hand over proceedings to our first panel moderator,
deputy vice chancellor, research professor Jennifer Martin. Thank you so much, Ty, it's an absolute pleasure to be here like the Vice-Chancellor. I'm very excited about this initiative to really make a difference and make an impact on our world for the future and our children's and grandchildren's future. So my job as moderator is to let you know that we have four people on our first panel. Our panel will be looking at our research strengths in energy at UAW. But we do have a special guest
as well that I will introduce when we get to the third panellist. We'll work through this by I'll introduce each panellist and ask them to speak for a couple of minutes on the areas related to energy research. And then we'll have some questions depending on how much time they use. I might ask my question myself, but I'd like to begin with our first panellist, Senior Professor Gursel Alici, who is the executive dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong. Gursel, over to you.
Thank you, Jenny. Welcome. It's my pleasure to give a brief account of research and energy in our faculty. We have research strengths in energy generation, transportation transmission, distribution and storage, mainly battery technologies, in order to deliver safe, reliable, sustainable and about affordable energy solutions. As you may know, the Australian energy sector have identified hydrogen while gas and carbon capture and storage to reduce emissions from gaseous fuels with the aim to decarbonise energy sector. To this aim, the energy sector faces the challenge of needing transmission pipelines for carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Our faculty hosts the Future Fuel CRC, you will hear more about this one later, an Energy Pipeline CRC, which was just completed to reduce the barriers for the use of high pressure pipelines, efficiently transport carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Our faculty also hosts the
ARC training Centre in Energy Technologies for Future Grids. The aim is to accelerate Australia's transition to a more reliable, affordable, cleaner and resilient energy future. The centre also aims to facilitate the widespread integration of renewable sources into electricity grids. Another important Centre in our faculty is the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre, which aims to make buildings more resilient, sustainable and energy efficient. This centre also houses the flagship facility to set the benchmark for sustainability across the campus, region and the country. As much as we generate fundamental and applied research for academic purposes, we are an adaptive, proactive and outward looking faculty committed to partnership with our stakeholders to create much needed synergy and added value in energy future. We follow what I call top down approach to address local and emerging
energy issues, to align our research strengths and research questions according to the needs problems of the industries and the communities we work with. What we do in energy is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development goal number seven, affordable and clean energy. We are determined as our VC mentioned, to be the driving force behind creating jobs, growth, prosperity in our region and in Australia. Thank you very much. I'm looking forward to answering some questions. Thank you so much. So that's a very comprehensive arrangement of energy research going on in the faculty. And I do encourage people to put questions in the QandA and I will come to those at the end. Our next speaker is senior Professor Pauiline McGuirk, Director of UOW’s Australian
Centre for Culture, Environment, Society and Space, otherwise known as ACCESS. Over to you. Thanks, Jenny, and good afternoon, everyone. I'm speaking as a social scientist. I'm going to talk about the need to be wary of any assumption that technology alone can deliver a clean energy transition and about the sorts of research that we need to understand that nexus between the social and the technical that's going to be essential going forward. So I want to focus on research that's based on the lived experience of energy and energy transition in three domain's households, workforce's and place, and how place matters in all of this. And these are all areas where UOW has advanced research experience. First, it's probably obvious to say that households don't consume energy, but they engage in social practices that need energy, like cleaning and cooking and watching television. And these practices happen in the context of what
the home delivers. It's not just a place of shelter. It's a place of parenting. It's a place of caring in that. It's a place of work, of entertainment, of education, household energy consumptions. Consumption also happens in the context of people's values and
their understandings of themselves. Do they see themselves as self-sufficient, as frugal, as green as their canny investors? All of that is embroiled in how households think about and use energy. And you've done some great work around this, particularly the geographers and the engineers working together to unpack the meaning of energy in the everyday lives of households really important as we go forward and design new energy technologies. The second thing I think we need to really hone research around and have capability in is learning from the lived experience of workers that are at the forefront of enacting energy transition. And you've been
doing some collaborative, collaborative research with the Department of Industry, in research on maintenance workers working with air conditioning to try to improve building energy performance. And they've been telling us about the obstacles that they encounter in their everyday work that limits the possibility around energy performance. We've also been working with workforces that are living through regional energy transition in the Illawarra. So at working with
coal workers and their families to understand how they're understanding energy transition, how they're engaging with it, and how they're shaping their own futures actively. So if we accept that it's important to include communities and workforces in the design of energy futures, to do that properly, we need to understand how communities and workforces relate to energy. And lastly, place, how does place matter in energy transition? Well, energy transition is not going to roll out uniformly. It's going to hit the ground differently in different geographical and cultural context. Be that rural, urban, wealthy places, low income places,
multicultural places and or dominated places. So different place-based cultures and contexts are going to result in transition, playing out differently and playing at differently across social differences. So we need more research in that area to understand how can we ensure that all communities and all places gain the benefits of energy transition. You not have to wind you up there.
I'm done more or less, though not quite. Good timing. Thank you. Thank you very much. Again, a really important aspect of energy is the social aspect. I'd now like to introduce our special guest. I'm really excited, Katherine McConnell, to invite you to speak. Katherine is the founder and CEO of
Fright with an E at the end, one of Australia's fastest growing and most innovative fintech companies. Catherine is a UOW alumnus, winner of the 2020 UOW Alumni Award and one of the Australians 2020 top 100 innovators. Katherine, tell us about what you do. Thank you, Jenny. Thanks for having me. Firstly, just I want to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land that Brighte office is located upon. So as an alumni of UOW,
Jenny, it is fantastic to see the university at the forefront of cutting edge topics like today, and so let me start by saying that I think there's never been a more exciting time to be in the energy and tech industry. We're all saying once in a lifetime set of trends. So decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation are all converging and combining to create a wave of disruption and hopefully a much brighter future than what we have today. So that's the future with affordable, abundant and clean energy, sustainable and comfortable homes, with new jobs and new industries, with lower bills and ultimately better lifestyles. So these will be the benefits that we should all be given the opportunity to experience.
So right now, it can seem challenging to understand how we're going to get to that future, and that's because we're currently going through a transition phase. So while we have a general direction for our future in mind, I think there are so many questions that we have yet to answer. And that's where we say the role of research comes in to help us answer questions like how can we support the role households want to play in the energy transition? How do we speed up adoption of batteries, including a so that households can support grid reliability and stability? And what do we need to do now to create the workforce of the future, the right research at the right time and done in the right way and have far reaching consequences? And that's why we recently established our own research practise here at Brighte headed up by an academic from us. So hopefully next time we have a unique opportunity right now to shape the
future that we all want to see. So collectively and collaboratively, it's what we need to do at Broad. We believe the transition to the clean energy future is not just the job of government, industry, households or academia. We think it's too big to be done alone.
So we believe that we all need to work together and that research will be a building block for evidence based discussion and collaborative problem solving. Catherine, that's just incredible. Thank you so much. It's just very inspirational to hear about what you're doing. Thank you. And thanks for coming along today.
I'm sure we'll have some questions for you. But now I want to introduce our fourth panellist, Dr. Paul DePietro, who is the University of Wollongong, Dean of Research, Knowledge Exchange and translation. Paul, do you want to tell us what that means and why you're here? Hi, everyone. Thanks very much for the opportunity to speak today. Look, we know a net zero carbon future is coming. The question is, however, will we be able to get there quick enough and avoid the worst impacts of climate change? And I actually think this will largely depend on the decisions that we make now.
Clearly, government does have a significant role to play. However, industry leaders, researchers and innovators will also have to play a crucial role. The University of Wollongong recognises this and the recent appointments of Ty Christopher as director of Energy Futures Network. And my new role at play signals that UOW is taking deliberate steps to play an expanded role in this debate. The university does a world class research. However, we're determined to translate this research beyond just academia. And so our research can have tangible impact for the communities
we serve. And that can be economic, social and environmental impact. So my role is to connect the community with university researchers and thought leaders and to facilitate collaboration and partnership. However, how do you do that with a large, complex enterprise such as a university? How do you find your way through? Who do you contact? It can be quite tricky.
It's a large part of my role is industry engagement. And if I can't help you, I will find someone who can. So I guess on your connection, point into the university and I can put you in touch with researchers to help you set up in this contract. Research agreements and email use. Any particular SMEs have don't have deep pockets for lawyers to look at complex contracts. So so we've got very simple, easy to use agreements to simplify the process. We've also got a wonderful team of people who keep abreast of all the local, state and federal government funding opportunities, various initiatives to support industry and start-ups so we can assist you with the best schemes and determine if you're eligible to apply. So please feel free to reach out to me
and tap into the world class research capabilities that exist right here in our wonderful region. Paul, thank you so much. I can see there's a question there which I think falls directly in your remit, so I might not actually ask that one, but perhaps you can follow up afterwards. But the first question, and I don't know who I'm going to throw this to, but the first question that's come up, what are the panellists thoughts about ethanol as an alternative clean fuel. This is from an unknown anonymous attendee. Thank you, Jenny. It's a very good question. As we know, ethanol is is one of the renewable biofuels from biomass, and it's being used with fuel. You can put in your cars. And there are some
leading countries like us, Brazil are the leading countries. And then unfortunately, in our university, we don't have it. So I think this is a feedback for us. We don't have significant research, any research I'm aware of to say that we are working on this one. But it's a very important one from sugarcane and similar using fermentation and similar techniques, I think, for a country like Australia. This is a very good renewable biofuel. But returning to the beginning, unfortunately.
Great. Thank you so much. So I've got a quick question for Katherine. Much of the transformation in the energy landscape is being driven by consumer choice, such as solar on homes and businesses. Where do you see new research being able to help consumers? So at Brighte, we're using research quite, quite actively now, so we're on a mission to make every home sustainable. So we're tackling this mission by ensuring we have
a deep understanding of consumer needs and technological trends. So in our research, we're constantly curious and we're trying to find the sweet spot where useful innovation can meet and solve these problems for consumers and for the world. So there's a lot of public research that shows the majority of Australians don't trust their energy provider. And so this is an area that we've dug into deeply at Brighte, at times used insights from our own research. And we're building prototypes with designing experiments. And we're using that to design new products and services to be able to solve these pain points. So our focus on innovation
and research is needed because we're trying to do something that we believe no one's done before. So we're trying to make every home sustainable and there's no playbook for that sort of research. And innovation is exactly what we need to to test, to get data, to get insights. And so constantly testing and challenging beliefs that we hold and then using that to iterate and test new ideas. Thanks so much. That's such a great vision. I really love that. And I've just got one quick question then for Colleen. How can research help households and
communities reduce emissions and benefit from energy transition? I think that relates really closely to what Katherine's just said, that and there's quite a big gap between what we might see as technological solutions and the way that energy technologies actually work in households and how people are prepared to engage with those technologies. So we've got a gap in the research. I think that can really help us bring those two things together so that technologies we do develop are actually effective in households. Great. Thank you so much. I think I was going to ask the question, but I think we might have to
move on to the next session. I'm sorry. There are also a number of questions in the Q&A that we'll have to get to afterwards. So thanks everybody so much. And I think I now hand over to Pascal. Thank you, Jenny, I am Pascal Perez and the director of the Smart Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong, and I am the moderator for the second panel focussing on hydrogen. Actually, if you ask yourself why I wrote “action”, you must have been living under a rock for the last 12 months. After all your announcement made around Port Kembla,
Wollongong and, you know, our region. And one of the big ones was, of course, made by Minister Kean a couple of months ago about the hydrogen hub for Port Kembla for this panel. And I have three fantastic panellists, the first one being Kylie Hargreaves, the chair of the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity. The second panellists is Klaas van Alphen, the research and innovation manager at the Future Fuels Corporation Co-operative Research Centre, located in Wollongong. And last but not least, Ty Christopher again, director of the Energy Futures Network at the UOW. So I might throw three questions to each of our
panellists. And then another question and I'll grab questions from the question and answer. I start with you, Kylie, if you don't mind, as chair of the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity and deputy chair of Regional Development Australia, I guess you've got a unique perspective on how significant the hydrogen pathway towards decarbonisation is for industry and users and consumers. So may I ask you, what does make Port Kembla has such a compelling case for local, state and national demand for clean energy? Thanks. Yes, I’m a real Port Kembla fan, and I think there's a very solid reason behind that. So if I take an international case study, if you think about all the hydrogen projects that are currently occurring in Netherlands, for example, they're all located in and around Port of Rotterdam. Why? Because to create both innovation and scale in hydrogen, you ideally want as much of the supply chain to be in close proximity to each other as possible. And this is the case for Port Kembla. If you think about the green hydrogen
supply chain checklist, Port Kembla has most of them. If you start with local demand, we have industrial and mining companies in the area. We have freight and heavy vehicle industries. We have power stations that are looking to decarbonise. And this all generates really big demand for green hydrogen. And of course, if you've got local demand, that then drives local production and to get significant local production, you need to have many things, including water. There's a minimum of nine litres of water per kilogram of hydrogen, but you don't want to be using potable water. Obviously, that's drinking water. You want to protect that.
So the Wollongong Water Recycling Centre and the nearby mines provide alternative options in terms of water supply, which are excellent. We've got lots of industrial land with a good buffer between the precinct and the residential areas. We have gas infrastructure. Importantly, that includes easements. So in the future, if you need a dedicated hydrogen pipeline,
we've already got easements connecting Port Kembla to the AGP and other areas around New South Wales. You need electricity infrastructure, high voltage infrastructure, ideally for green hydrogen, that needs to be renewable energy. And Port Kembla has, you know, three or four I think it is offshore wind farms interested in the area, which would give us that really big renewable energy for green hydrogen. And so if you've got local production, as soon as it exceeds local demand, what are we going to do with the excess? We obviously want to provide it to other areas, both in Australia and overseas. And to do that, you then need, again, industrial land on which you can house compression if it's going to go domestic or liquefaction, if it's going to go for export, you need good freight connections so that you can do the road and rail and of course, refueling stations for those heavy vehicles. You need a deep water port and a deep water port that has
suitable berths and ideally existing petrochemical experience. Again, Port Kembla ticks all of those boxes and of course, all of that activity and all of that future growth relies on a local skilled workforce and strong academic and industrial research and development capabilities so that you can solve emerging problems as you go. The supply chain will constantly have challenges that it needs to meet. And in meeting those challenges, not only can we develop a strong local industry, but also an export industry. So that is why Port Kembla is a fantastic natural hub for hydrogen. Fantastic advocacy for Port Kembla. Thank you.
Well rehearsed and many on this webinar will know the instrumental role you've played in the couple of big wins that Port Kembla has had from the gas terminal and now the announcement of the, future power station. And also thank you on behalf of the Illawarra. May I ask another question to Klaas now, Klass you, as I mentioned, you're the research and innovation manager at CRC and you're located in Wollongong. I would say you're in the box seat to observe technological development in the energy and production, storage and distribution sectors. What do you think are Port Kembla’s industrial and technological assets that make the place such an attractive location as announced by Mr McCain a couple of months ago? Well, thanks very much, Pascal, and thanks all for the opportunity to speak here today. There's a lot to unpack there in that question, Pascal, but might be a start
for those of you who don't know The Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre, or CRC, is undertaking research on behalf of Australia's gas industry and really to support and decarbonise their energy supply infrastructure. We are headquartered at the University of Wollongong and University of Wollongong is a key research partner within within our CRC. Currently over 90 research projects underway across a number of research institutions. I'll focus on a few of those Pascals also zooming in on the areas that you mentioned in your question. But for example, we are doing some world leading research at University of Wollongong, where we really look at efficiency and safety improvements of electrolyser technology. Yeah, really with the aim to bring,
I guess, the cost down and improve the economic viability of industry projects that look to integrate green hydrogen into their projects at the other end of the spectrum. We're also heavily involved in driving domestic as well as international research programmes, ensuring the end user equipment can be operated safely with hydrogen and hydrogen natural gas plants. This includes a lot of testing and development work of residential appliances. You cookers your boilers all the way up to commercial equipment and industrial processes.
And we talk about action here. But the results to date have already informed the development and revision of appliance and equipment standards to be able to design and operate those with hydrogen and also have informed the development of real projects by our industry partners, largely Gesner network injection projects. But to make sure that the customers of the natural gas with hydrogen blended in, they can operate that equipment safely. As was mentioned already by previous speakers. But the key focus area of the Future Fuel CRC is the energy supply infrastructure itself, the network pipelines. And we set up research labs
across the east coast of Australia to investigate the performance of these network materials and its components with hydrogen. And at the University of Wollongong, we got a unique and in high demand and a test capability where we actually in that particular facility will be operating at maximum capacity for the years to come, given the amount of requests we already get from industry. And we will be testing high strength steel samples that are representative of the Australian pipeline or gas pipeline transmission system. And this testing's work is really largely
focussed on addressing hydrogen issues. We don't have the time to go into that now, but it's it really is supporting existing gas pipeline owners and operators in converting or repurposing the existing gas pipelines to hydrogen service. And these are not just plans. We are actually supporting them in real conversion projects at the moment with the capability we have at the University of Wollongong. And furthermore, also the data and the research done is informing the development of new industry standards around the design and operational hydrogen pipelines.
Now to what it means for Wollongong, and I'll keep it short. Or try to. But as was indicated by Kylie before, I think really Wollongong or Port Kembla or the Illawarra has got the right mix of companies, existing infrastructure, it already plans to become a world leading hydrogen hub. And like Rotterdam, an area I actually know quite well from a previous life. But that's for another day, too. But I think it was mentioned before. But a number of these industries and industry players got a long history in working with local research partners, in particular the University of Wollongong and Local TAFE. And in my view, it's really it's critically important that these industries, industry-driven hydrogen projects, can rely on a world class research infrastructure to support these and these industry projects and these hydrogen projects here in the region. That research infrastructure is critical and
UOW is providing it. And I also think that can further expand on that and grow that support this growing industry here in the region. And I think there's also a secondary benefit that it may lead. And we had a good example before, but it could lead to new technology based companies, new service providers that settle here in the region and support local growth of the economy and also the overall wellbeing of the communities here and jobs and the like. So, yeah,
hopefully that answered your question, but it's also our policy. And I'll have a look at the Q&A. Very thorough response, as usual, with your Klaas. Thank you very much. And again, last but not least Ty. So based on all this information provided by Kylie and Klaas and so everybody knows now you're the director, of course, of the Energy Futures Network at UC Wollongong. But many some of people on this panel don't know that you've been in the electricity distribution sector for 35 years of your life and many of these years as an executive within individual energy and so. You've
accepted to get this new role of director of the Energy Futures Network within the UOW, at a time when it is difficult for universities at large in Australia and around the world. So could you share with us what makes you tick as a new director of this network? Thanks. Thanks, Pascal. Well, rather than make this just about me, I think I'd like to tap into a lot of things that several of our speakers across both panels have said thus far, in particular, Kathryn's comment about the energy industry undergoing a period of unprecedented change. This is a once in a generation transformation that's going on at the moment across all sectors of energy, whether it's electricity, the traditional gas networks and future fuels and the like. So much of this is being driven by customer choice and increased
levels of customer choice. And so that's where I have to say, I think the opportunity of being able to step out of the constraints of being within a particular industry or particular organisation and being to operate in a collaborative sense across multiple sectors is really what I found most attractive at a personal level. But more importantly, what I think is the key to success, to building a clean and sustainable energy future, harnessing collaboration across the university and across our region is going to be crucial to us all going on this energy journey together. And there are, say, making sure that not certain sectors of society are left behind in the journey as well. I'd also observe that there's no silver bullet to solving the energy transition and covering some of the Q&A that's coming up here as well with some of this. So to the to our audience,
please, I'm trying to cover those as we go. So there's no silver bullet. I would say for too long there's been too many divisive debates, I think in the energy future space, hydrogen transport vs. batteries versus hydrogen, A versus B, I think the important thing is for us to move our mindset into more having these and conversations and not all conversations. I don't think there's any one technology or there's any one solution that's going to build the clean, sustainable energy future for our society. It's going to be a combination of multiple technologies,
batteries, ethanol that was spoken about earlier by Gursel, like block chain, Ev’s - all of these things factor into a clean energy future and dare I say, one that's very challenging for many of the incumbent players within the industry. And that's why it's important, as Klaas was talking about, that we'd be working closely with the industry to work through this transformation and provide the fact basis to decision making for businesses and for our society overall. One of the key things I'd suggest as well as we need to no,t we need to be wary about not letting perfect get in the way of progress. And this applies particularly to hydrogen. Minister Kean spoke in his introduction about green hydrogen being the predominant type of hydrogen that's in use at the moment throughout the industry. I think we need to make sure that we're building demand for hydrogen. And the key to unlocking a clean hydrogen future is probably closely related to the electricity industry and the penetration of renewable technology into electricity so that we reach the point where there is clean, very cheap, from the sun, from the wind electricity that can then be used to create the green hydrogen.
But in parallel, there's a huge opportunity in the transport space. It's an area ripe for attention. Most people wouldn't sort of countenance it this way because they come from a single source. But we actually have two fuels in our transport system now. We have these and we have petrol. But my own mind goes to thinking that hydrogen is probably the best alternative fuel source for us to replace diesel, for heavy transport, for bulk loads and for heavy rail transport, whereas EVs or electricity is probably the better fuel to be used to replace petrol for light vehicles for our day to day transport and the like. So it's just an example of “and” conversations, I think, being more important to us at this point in time, rather than picking winners too early and instead going on the journey, not expecting perfection on the first step, but crawl, walk and then run into the clean energy future as a community and as a society. So building this clean energy future is a journey we need to go on together. And I
think there's some parallel pathways that we need to be following. Here is the is the main message that I suppose I'd leave with everyone paralleling hydrogen production, paralleling decarbonisation of industry. Transport and all the while, as some as Professor McGurk was talking about making sure that we're actually understanding consumers, understanding the people that are going on this journey and providing them with the sorts of solutions that they actually want in their lives. Perfect timing. I've got a couple of questions in the Q&A and two are related. One question from Kerri-Ann about the hydrogen and the risks about production, transmission and distribution usage of hydrogen. So are there issues there that needs to be addressed by research,
I guess? And ah, do you think we could contribute to this kind of research? I think it comes back to the principle of involving communities in the coal design of energy futures. And that's not just about the idea of delivering predesigned energy solutions or predesigned technologies, but actually involving communities in and thinking about the kind of energy futures they want and understanding the acceptance or otherwise of the kinds of energy futures that were envisaging. And there's all sorts of research that can be done around how those kinds of participatory call design practices can be developed. And, you know, we've got
expertise in doing that in other domains that are translatable into the domain of energy futures. Klaas, may I just put you on the spot right here and tell us very briefly what the future UCSC itself has been doing in that space? Sorry, Pa., You put me on the spot. I was just answering a question on CO2 pipelines in the Q&A. Thanks for that. I know you can discuss it.
I was really focussed on the CO2 pipelines, I guess, not specifically focussed on on some of the consumer experiences that Pauline was talking about before. But we have doing research more on understanding perceptions of the public and towards hydrogen in particular, also about methane and other future fuels to support mainly communications and messaging. And we work with our industry partners who actually have done community outreach programmes around the hydrogen projects to support the development of their materials and also to take the learnings from those what type of communication materials we're working all that well received. Or what type of questions were not answered to improve that the next set of projects. So supporting them in their, I guess, community engagement activities around the hydrogen projects. Thanks, ask questions in the Q&A, but I've seen that my colleagues on the panel of a prompt at answering them so I won't get to all of them. May I come back to you, Kylie, and
I want you to take your crystal ball now and take us into 2030 in Port Kembla. The hydrogen hub is there to reality. What can you see? I would like to say that in 2030, Illawarra is a beacon for that global capital and new investment that the minister was talking about, that it's a thriving hub of net zero industrial activity, ideally producing more than half a million tons of green hydrogen a day and gearing up for even more. Ty, what's your take on it? My future vision, I see hydrogen being produced, used and exported from Port Kembla and that acting is the foundation of an environmentally sustainable local economy, rich with employment opportunities. The people today,
highly skilled workers who are in manufacturing and mining transitioned to this clean energy production and clean energy export hub established here in the port of Port Kembla, delivering all the sorts of positive outcomes that can for our country, for our region and for our local communities in terms of the lifestyle benefits that will deliver. Klaas, you've got 30 seconds. I agree with what the previous speaker said, but what I really would like to see is the really close collaboration with the research partners in the region and really see that underpinning those industry developments in the region and making sure that connection is there and also building out hopefully new technology companies, new service providers that spin out of the university that can support this thriving industry they were looking to build here in the region. Already building it, thank you. Plus, I think it's time we are perfectly on time. Congratulations to all the
panellists. Please don't be to think the three of them and I think it's time for me to give the floor to a Vice-Chancellor. Well, thanks so much, Pascal. And what an amazing panel and really stocktake of the amazing expertise in our university and the wider community. I think one thing I reflect on, when I
came to Wollongong in the 70s, the steelworks was the biggest employer that was really the lifeblood of the city. Now, the University of Wollongong and the health services are the greatest employers. So I think at the University of Wollongong, it's an anchor institution in the region, has not just a commitment to science and innovation and teaching and learning, but to the success of our local community. I think today has given us a roadmap forward. I've learnt a lot some of the comments and the questions in the queue, and I identified a huge interest in this area. I think if you want to just Google Dr Paul tomorrow, he will be a good entre into the university to create opportunities for collaboration and engagement. But importantly,
I think we've realised that this energy discussion debate is much more than just technology. It's about social issues. It's about community, it's about politics, and it's about the economy. So I think the University of Wollongong is well poised to lead in this area. And all that is left now for me to do is to thank the panellists and to also thank my colleagues for putting together this panel. And I can't think of a better way to end the Vice-Chancellors day
than looking at the amazing talent and opportunities we have here at the University of Wollongong. So thanks so much, everybody, and I look forward to the next conversation. Thank you.