The ECI continues to engage in the development of public policy through its extensive relationships with government departments and agencies.
This year’s public policy highlights included:
- Dr Igor Skyrabin convened a one-day session on energy sources as part of the Australia Awards South and West Asia funded program ‘Strengthening Energy Security, South Asia’. The session for middle-level and senior public servants from South Asia was held at ANU, and included presentations by Dr Matt Stocks and Prof Ken Baldwin.
- ECI is a co-lead organisation of the Energy Cluster of the Australia-Indonesia Centre. Dr Igor Skyrabin, on behalf of the ECI, contributed to the Australia-Indonesia future leaders program, delivering sessions on renewable electricity and energy public policy from a state and territorylevel perspective.
- Dr Igor Skyrabin, through the APEC Energy Working Group, supported a successful APEC project application - “Integrated energy system planning for equitable access to sustainable energy for remote communities in the APEC regions using North Sulawesi as a pilot project/test bed”. The Australian-Indonesia Centre’s Energy Cluster is expected to commence this project in 2018.
- Senate Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World – February 2017. Submissions by:
- Prof Ken Baldwin and Dr Evan Franklin
- Prof Andrew Blakers, Dr Matthew Stocks and Mr Bin Lu on Pumped Hydro Energy Storage to support a 50 – 100% renewable electricity grid.
- The ANU Solar Thermal Group (Dr John Pye, Dr Joe Coventry and Prof Wojciech Lipinski).
- Professor Ken Baldwin and Dr Evan Franklin provided a submission to the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market - March 2017.
- The ECI provided a submission to the Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy Inquiry into Modernising Australia’s Electricity Grid – April 2017.
- The ECI supported by Engineers Australia, the Australian Academy of Sciences and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering held a Nuclear Fuel Cycle Symposium to discuss and analyse the South Australian Royal Commission in to the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. Following the Symposium a Communique was released in April 2017.
- The ECI in conjunction with the Climate Change Institute provided a submission to the 2017 Review of Climate Change Policies Discussion Paper. Prof Andrew Blakers and Dr Matthew Stocks provided a joint submission and Dr Paul Burke provided an individual submission to this review, May 2017.
- The ECI was part of a broader ANU submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Implications of Climate Change for Australia’s National Security – August 2017
Energy Research Institutes Council for Australia (ERICA)
This year ECI Director Ken Baldwin played a pivotal role in establishing the Energy Research Institutes Council for Australia (ERICA) – a peak body representing energy research in this country.
Motivated by a perceived lack of research-led vision in the energy sector that is needed to prevent ‘surprises’ in energy foresighting, ERICA was formed in August this year to provide:
- Collective national capacity across a broad spectrum of cutting-edge energy research, in both specialised and inter-disciplinary fields
- High-level advice to government based on energy policy research
- An over-the-horizon perspective on future energy opportunities and challenges that can only be informed by cutting-edge research
- A research touch point for industry and government on energy issues of national and international significance.
ERICA combines energy research from The Australian National University Energy Change Institute, the University of Queensland Energy Initiative, the University of Sydney Centre for Sustainable Energy Development, the University of New South Wales Future Energy Institute, the Monash University Energy Materials and Systems Institute, the University of Melbourne Energy Institute, and the University of Adelaide Centre for Energy Technology.
Its first role was to present evidence at the Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy Inquiry into Modernising Australia’s Electricity Grid, and one of its members sits on the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) Advisory Board. But ERICA’s key role is to advise the Mission Innovation program in the Department of Environment and Energy on doubling Australian investment in renewable energy research.
ECI researchers contribute to public policy development through their individual research expertise as part of their everyday activities – particularly in the disciplines of economics, law, sociology and policy. Amongst many individual achievements throughout the year, ECI researchers contributed to the following areas of public policy:
The role of storage in Australia’s Future Energy Supply Mix
Professor Quentin Grafton was part of an Expert Group that authored a study on the Role of Storage in Australia’s Future Energy Supply Mix. The study was produced by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA), October 2017.
The Role of Energy in Foreign Policy
Dr Christian Downie provided a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Foreign Policy White Paper on the Role of Energy, Australian Government, February 2017.
A/Prof Matthew Hole and the Australian ITER Forum provided a submission to the Draft 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, January 2017.
A/Prof Matthew Hole and the Australian ITER Forum provided a submission to the Climate Change Policies Review - Discussion Paper, May 2017.
Carbon Farming and Emissions Reduction
Dr Paul Burke provided a submission to the Review of the Carbon Farming Initiative and the Emissions Reduction Fund, September 2017.