Energy @ UOW Virtual Event

Energy @ UOW Virtual Event

Show Video

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.

2021-09-26 12:27

Show Video

Other news