Purpose of this consultation paper:
To test initial energy research priorities for the Australian Energy Transition Research Plan (Research Plan) following the first round of consultations and early analysis.
Do the three themes of research priorities, and underpinning eight streams, provide an appropriate framework for the Research Plan, and are there areas for improvement?
Do the indicative research questions identify the most critical research gaps (are some already being adequately addressed; have any been missed)?
Submissions on this consultation paper closed Friday 26 February 2021.
Australia is a major energy powerhouse that exports energy to the rest of the world, yet we have a difficult energy transition to net zero emissions ahead of us, given our unique geography, climate, widely dispersed populations and federal political structure.
While the energy transition to non-fossil and renewable sources is already occurring across Australia, there is currently no coordinated and holistic picture of the research underway to support a successful energy transition. Nor is there an independent and authoritative statement of current research gaps and priorities. In addition, while international energy transition research is progressing strongly, Australia cannot rely solely on this international research to support its own transition. Australia must continue to build its own research capabilities to find local solutions and strategies to solve local problems. Our unique energy environment will give rise to distinct energy transition research considerations over the coming decade.
As a response to these issues, in late 2019, ACOLA commenced discussions with the Australian energy sector on the need for an Australian Energy Transition Research Plan (the Research Plan). In mid-2020, this work officially commenced following strong stakeholder support, and in late 2020 ACOLA secured several funding partners to support the delivery of this project.
This paper provides a progress update on the project and seeks to test the initial research priorities proposed.
What do you mean by energy?
For this project, ‘energy’ encompasses electricity (all sources), natural gas, liquid fuels, coal and hydrogen, and as used in stationary energy, transport and industry sectors. This includes the generation, transport, storage, use and export of energy, and includes energy efficiency and productivity.
Acknowledgement of Country
ACOLA acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters on which we live and work across Australia; and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders both past and present.