The CSIRO has announced two multilateral international research programs as it collaborates with global researchers to tackle challenges in clean energy production and storage. 

In a joint effort between Australia, the US, Canada, and the UK, two multilateral research projects have been announced today as part of the National Science Foundation Global Centers in Climate Change and Clean Energy (NSF Global Centers) program. 

The NSF Global Centers in Climate Change and Clean Energy involve the United States (NSF); Canada (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada); the United Kingdom (UK Research and Innovation); and Australia (CSIRO).

The NSF Global Centres is committing $US76.4 million (more than AU$118 million) over five years across the four partner countries and are supporting international, interdisciplinary collaborative research centres to bring together the brightest minds from across the globe to address challenges the world faces today.

Two projects earmarked by the multi-national collaboration are being steered by Australian innovations. 

The Electric Power Innovation for a Carbon-free Society (EPICS) Centre will be a global scientific leader in developing transformative computing, economic strategies, engineering solutions, and forward-thinking policy to enable a completely renewable energy power grid. 

This joint project involves the US, UK, and Australia and is led by CSIRO and AEMO, the University of Melbourne, and Monash University in Australia

The other innovation includes the Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre, which is pioneering large-scale net zero hydrogen production methods. It explores three innovative technologies: renewable energy-integrated water electrolysis, methane pyrolysis with valuable solid carbon co-products, and solar-driven water splitting.

The University of Adelaide, Flinders University, and Curtin University represent Australia in this international collaboration, working with partners from the US, Canada, the UK, Egypt, and Germany. 

The institutions will pool resources and expertise to confront the challenges of a changing climate and continue the charge towards net zero emissions.

University of Melbourne Chair of Electrical Power Systems and Australian EPICS Centre Principal Investigator, Professor Pierluigi Mancarella, said, “This Global Centre (EPICS Centre) is an unprecedented opportunity to partner with major international institutes in the US and UK, and harness world-leading research to address some of the most pressing scientific challenges that Australia and other jurisdictions worldwide are facing during the energy transition towards net zero.

“These challenges range from guaranteeing stable and secure system operation in the presence of ultra-high penetration of variable energy sources and distributed energy resources, most of which are based on power electronic interfaces, to identifying reliable and resilient investment paths across the whole energy system in the presence of deep, long-term planning uncertainty,” Professor Mancarella said.

University of Adelaide Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Anton Middelberg, said that the institution is delighted to be working with other researchers such as CSIRO on the HyPT Centre and to advance the commercialisation of technology that has the potential to be game-changing for hydrogen production

“Our world-class researchers will be collaborating on finding solutions that will help create a more sustainable future for society,” Professor Middelberg said.

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