A powerhouse of knowledge driving the transition to a clean energy future

13 Nov 2019
Clean Energy Future panelists

“Magic happens when we combine know-how with foresight, with capital, with channels to customers, with supportive policy and with amazing people who want – and can – make a difference.”

Transitioning to a Clean Energy Future, the last in this year’s series of Knowledge Exchange Research Showcases, saw an expert panel share their knowledge of the energy value chain among academics, industry and government.

The UNSW panel included:

  • Scientia Professor Martin Green, Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics
  • Emeritus Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos, School of Chemical Engineering
  • Professor Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou, Head of Material Energy Research Laboratory in nanoscale (MERLin) lab
  • Professor John Fletcher, Head Energy Systems Research Group

The academics discussed the impact their research has had within the sector and society. They explored the capabilities required, and the opportunities that should be seized, to further accelerate innovation in the transition to a clean energy future. From solar energy, energy storage and hydrogen technology to electronics and micro technologies, each plays a role in the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner renewable sources. 

The audience was urged to keep exploring opportunities in cost efficiency, production and scalability to allow new technologies to be scaled effectively. Whether it’s developing new designs that can be assembled by an automated assembly line or finding an increasingly cost-efficient method of installing solar panels, there are efficiencies waiting to be discovered, the panel said.

Vision, determination and persistence were highlighted as “must haves” on the path to commercialisation, as well as finding the real need, real application and the complementary skills to create a clean energy future. This combination can be the catalyst across the sector that transforms research into social, environmental and commercial impact.

“Magic happens when we combine know-how with foresight, with capital, with channels to customers, with supportive policy and with amazing people who want – and can – make a difference,” said Justine Jarvinen, CEO of the UNSW Energy Institute.

As one of the world’s leading research and technology hubs for clean energy innovation, the showcase also saw the launch of the Clean Energy Capability Portfolio. In this document UNSW’s world-class academics provide insight into expertise and opportunities across the five major transformational energy areas. These are decarbonising the grid with renewables; energy storage; electrifying industries and transport; clean fuels in addition to energy policy; and markets and consumers.

Download the capability portfolio here.  

If you are interested in working with external partners to solve real-world challenges through translation and application of your expertise and new technologies, please contact the Knowledge Exchange team at knowledge.exchange@unsw.edu.au.

Advice is also available on contract research, consulting, collaborative research leveraging third-party and government funding, Startups and Short Courses.