Energy efficiency and demand management strategies are central to reducing energy demand growth. This is important because, if energy demand growth continues as per business as usual, an additional AUD$42 Billion will need to be spent on Australian energy supply infrastructure in the next 5 years1. Investing in energy efficiency and demand management is also the lowest cost strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, between now and 2030, 55% of the greenhouse gas mitigation potential lies in identifying and implementing energy efficiency opportunities. To assist in this regard, an ANU-led consortium recently delivered the core “Business Sector” and “Technology” content for the Coalition of Australian, State and Territory Government’s (COAG’s) Energy Efficiency Exchange Web Portal (www.eex.gov.au).
Energy efficiency, design and business competitive advantage
Improving the energy efficiency in the design of buildings, industrial processes and equipment, manufactured products, and transportation vehicles is critical to helping business remain competitive by reducing operational costs and strategically positioning them for growing global markets for energy efficient products. ANU staff have contributed to a range of research projects over the last decade to better understand how to improve the energy efficiency of the design of engineered systems. For instance ANU’s Research School of Engineering is a partner of the AutoCRC, which is researching how to achieve a step change in the fuel efficiency of transportation vehicles. The ANU Business School, through its Undergraduate Corporate Sustainability major, teaches the next generation of business leaders the potential of energy efficiency strategies to improve business competitive advantage.
IT and energy efficiency
IT products and services represent one of the fastest areas of energy demand and greenhouse gas emission growth, of any sector, nationally and internationally. ANU offers research opportunities and undergraduate and postgraduate courses in ICT and Sustainability which focus on energy efficiency. ANU work in this area shows how, through energy efficiency, energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions can be significantly reduced over time.
Energy management systems
ANU also has expertise in research, design and implementation of effective energy management systems. For instance, ANU has implemented and managed its own energy management system and energy efficiency strategy for close to a decade now. This has resulted in ANU achieving significant reductions in energy usage.
1 Summary of determinations published by the Australian Energy Regulator, quoted by The Hon Martin Ferguson, AM, MP, ‘Energy prices will keep rising’, The Australian, 22 March 2010.