Thu. Oct 5th, 2023
    The Australian Energy Market Operator Spearheads Research Centre for Renewable Energy Grid

    The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has partnered with the CSIRO and two Australian universities to establish the Electric Power Innovation for a Carbon-Free Society (EPICS) Centre. The multinational program, which involves the US and the UK, will focus on fast-tracking the development of a completely renewable energy power grid.

    In Australia, the EPICS Centre holds significant importance as the country is poised to become the first major economy to achieve a renewable grid comprising primarily of wind and solar energy. The University of Melbourne and Monash University also participate in this initiative, alongside the AEMO and CSIRO.

    The EPICS Centre will be led by Professor Pierluigi Mancarella and his team from the University of Melbourne. This program aims to address the challenges of scaling up renewable energy power grids, as the global electric power sector is responsible for a substantial 42% of global carbon emissions.

    One of the main challenges that the EPICS Centre will address is ensuring stable and secure system operation with high levels of renewables and distributed energy resources. The EPICS program forms part of a series of joint initiatives that will also involve research on green hydrogen.

    Australia has set a target of sourcing 82% of its power from renewables by 2030 and reaching a full 100% by 2035. Achieving this goal is crucial for decarbonizing other sectors and supporting broader net-zero targets. AEMO has outlined a detailed engineering plan to address storage, system security, and the integration of inverter-based technologies into the distributed grid.

    The EPICS program is one of six programs announced as part of the National Science Foundation Global Centers in Climate Change and Clean Energy (NSF Global Centers) program. In addition to EPICS, Australia is also involved in the creation of the Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre, focusing on innovative hydrogen production methods.

    This collaboration between AEMO, the CSIRO, and universities will play a crucial role in facilitating the rapid transition to a renewable energy power grid, thus enabling significant reductions in carbon emissions and supporting global decarbonization efforts.

    – Australian Energy Market Operator
    – The University of Melbourne
    – Monash University