Talk title: Some lessons from Australia and the Asia Pacific on sustainable electricity industry transition – energy services, technologies, markets, policies and governance
Venue: 310 Barrows Hall
Prof Iain MacGill
Joint Director (Engineering), Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets
Associate Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications
NSW 2052 Australia
Abstract: Australia and the Asia Pacific provides an interesting context for low carbon electricity industry transition. The Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) is one of the physically largest interconnected grids in the world. In the South Australian region of the NEM wind and PV generation is now contributing over 45% of electricity demand. Australia also has the world’s highest residential penetration of PV – almost 25% of households now have a PV system on their roof. At the same time, Australia also has a large number of mini-grids serving remote communities across the country. As seen elsewhere, there is growing deployment of PV into these grids. Finally, Australia also has strong regional links and Aid programs with the Asia Pacific region, with all of its energy access challenges and opportunities. This seminar will cover some of the work being undertaken by the University of NSW into the opportunities yet also challenges associated with sustainable electricity industry transition across the NEM, its mini-grids and the wider region. Technical, yet also economic, commercial, regulatory and policy perspectives will be considered.
Dr Iain MacGill
is an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications at the University of New South Wales, and Joint Director (Engineering) for the University’s Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets (CEEM). He leads work in two of CEEM’s three research areas - Sustainable Energy Transformation
including energy technology assessment and renewable energy integration, and Distributed energy systems
including ‘smart grids’ and ‘smart’ homes, distributed generation and demand-side participation. He also has research interests in energy and climate policy. He has run industry short courses and consulted to industry and government clients in these areas here in Australia and internationally. He is the Responsible Australian Expert on the International Energy Agency’s PV Power Systems Task 14 on high PV penetrations in the electricity grid and an invited expert for the technical reference groups of the Federal Government’s Australian Energy Technology Assessment, the Australian Energy Market Operator’s future energy scenarios planning process and, previously, the Australian Energy Market Commission’s Demand-Side Participation Review. Iain has a PhD (Electrical Engineering) from UNSW, and a M.Eng.Sc. (Biomedical) and B.E. from the University of Melbourne. Former roles include ‘smart control systems’ consulting in the Australian Mining and Mineral Processing industry, and several years in Washington DC as a senior policy analyst in the environmental NGO sector. CEEM itself undertakes interdisciplinary research in the analysis and design of energy and environmental markets and their associated policy frameworks. It brings together researchers from five UNSW Faculties with project funding from partners including the Australian Federal Government, CSIRO, State Governments and industry.