IMER is creating pathways for companies and industries to transform their energy sources and use, and transition to a low carbon, sustainable future now, as well as developing new clean technology that will add value to the country over the longer term.
The consensus reached in December 2015 at the Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris is the strongest signal yet that the international community is facing up to the threat of climate change.
The world needs to move towards a low carbon sustainable future to address climate change and unsustainable energy and resource consumption. Within Australia, our primary energy needs are split roughly into four categories of equal size: electricity, transport, industrial heat (including mineral and chemical processing) and other energy used in buildings, homes and some applications outside of the grid.
Fuels used for transport and to generate industrial heat make up half of our primary energy needs, and IMER sees research in this area as crucial to accelerating our path to a low carbon future, along with renewable electricity generation and storage.
IMER is addressing this challenge with national and international interdisciplinary research teams that are investigating:
- new ways to deliver heat to industrial processes, aside from burning fossil fuels, and increasing the efficiency of existing systems;
- recycling carbon dioxide back into fuel, through waste to energy conversion processes, and fuel storage systems;
- efficient energy storage systems, so that we can take advantage of renewable energy sources like wind and solar 24-hours a day;
- new battery technologies and their compatibility with existing electricity networks;
- sustainable energy networks, including microgrids, and the effect of energy storage devices on them
Our Interdisciplinary Teams
IMER’s Centre for Energy Technology is a world leader in these fields and is informing the transition to this ‘New Energy Ecosystem’ through research and development resulting in cost-effective clean energy technologies. The Centre brings together laser diagnosticians, technical economists, process engineers, numerical modellers, and chemical and mechanical engineers to create robust pathways to our clean energy future.
The ESKB project is accelerating investment in reliable battery energy storage technologies, providing a central place for the collection and storage of data, reports and case studies. A mobile energy storage test facility is also being developed (AusStoragePlatform).
ASTRI is an $87 million, eight-year international collaboration with leading research institutions, industry bodies and universities that will position Australia in concentrating solar thermal (CST) power technologies.