UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute

UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute

 

 

"Future-proofing global energy systems to ensure reliable, secure, affordable, sustainable energy"

 

The world is in the throes of an energy transformation, driven by the need to transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy. Electricity systems of the future will be vastly different from the past, dominated by new technologies and business models, increasingly digital and highly complex. Market design, policy, regulations, legal processes, cyber security, and politics are barely keeping up with advances in technologies, and energy technology choices have multi-generational implications for people and economies.

The consequences of fragile electricity systems are high: soaring prices, rolling blackouts, security issues, and delays to emissions reductions. These technologies and issues are global, and solutions could benefit remote communities as well as urban areas, particularly the 1.3 billion people currently living without access to electricity.

The UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute will future-proof global energy systems, to ensure reliable, secure, affordable, sustainable energy for economic advancement and transport.

 

New website in development – please visit again soon for more information about our research!

OUR AIMS
Provide a framework for true systems thinking, informed by cutting-edge research at UNSW to solve the challenges of our digital grid future
Deliver technical, market, and legal expertise to inform the current reform processes that were raised by the Finkel Review and recommended by COAG for review
By 2025, demonstrate translation into market frameworks and legislation
By 2025, provide technical solutions for future-proofing the digital grid
RESEARCH THEMES
Integrating energy storage

We will research ways of storing energy and, in doing so, smooth the intermittency of renewable energy, balance out supply and demand, allow the use of excess renewable energy, and connect primary and secondary energy sources.

Electrifying transportation

We will find ways of joining up the silos between energy and transport so that the grid can cope with a very large fleet of electric vehicles, and so that both transport infrastructure and charging infrastructure can be built efficiently.

Robust physical interconnections

We will create robust physical interconnections for the digital grid, so Australia can cope with the closure of 50-year old coal-fired power stations, and to enable high penetration of intermittent renewable energy and distributed energy resources, while maintaining system security and reliability.

Secure cyber infrastructure

We will design open yet secure cyber systems across the grid for intelligent energy monitoring, control, trading, and stakeholder engagement, to manage cyber security and disaster risk.

Supportive socio-political-economic, regulatory and legal frameworks

We will build a socio-political-economic framework that supports complexity, renewable uptake, and consumer choices, as well as a supportive regulatory and legal framework to accelerate and sustain the transition.

COLLABORATIONS

The Institute will bring together researchers from different disciplines at UNSW to tackle from multiple perspectives the complicated issues related to our digital grid future.

UNSW's collaborating faculties:

 

Engineering         Science             Law

Business             Arts & Social Sciences

If you would like to get involved in the research of the UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute, please contact us.

Find out more information about the UNSW Futures program here