Industry and researchers aim to solve energy challenges

Thursday, 14 July 2016

An industry and government Forum being hosted tomorrow (Friday 15 July) by the University of Adelaide aims to change the course of energy technology for the State.

In a first for the region, the University has initiated a consortium between industry, government and researchers to bring the best and most influential minds to the same table to help solve the State’s current and future energy challenges.

The closed forum, involving representatives of State and Federal government and over 20 energy companies will hear from BHP Billiton and HATCH Engineering and discuss how they see the transition to a low carbon energy future being delivered in practice.

"The State has committed to reach 50% renewable energy by 2025 and, with the recent closure of the Port Augusta power station, this will have a significant impact on how the network operates," says the University's Professor Gus Nathan, a leading expert in cutting-edge renewable energy technology.

"The challenges we are facing are not ones that can be solved by any one party or delivered overnight. We need government, industry and researchers sitting around the same table to determine high-value pathways for the State," Professor Nathan says.

The Forum is one of the first steps in a plan to establish an international centre of global leaders – the Energy Innovation Consortium (EIC) – to solve complex regional and/or cross-industry energy challenges. An initiative of the University of Adelaide, the EIC will be formally launched later in the year but is already starting to deliver benefits to the community and the State.

"We have had incredible interest from industry in engaging with trusted partners to develop solutions to a range of challenges. This involves multiple stakeholders, spanning heavy industry to SMEs, working to deliver jobs and economic growth while reducing emissions," Professor Nathan says.

"If we do this well, this is going to create incredible opportunities for the State and beyond."

The EIC also plans to work with communities and provide energy technology assessments to governments, enabling policy and regulatory barriers to be overcome.

"We want this initiative to be open to the best researchers, progressive industries and investment enterprises across the State and the world who are looking to deliver the sustainable energy solutions," Professor Nathan says.

"South Australia is at the forefront globally of transitioning its energy systems towards a carbon neutral economy, so there is no better place to create a global centre that leads in energy innovation."


Contact Details

Professor Gus Nathan
Director, Centre for Energy Technology
and Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5822
Mobile: +61 410 477 411

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084