Media Release

Academy of Technology and Engineering Report calls for rapid deployment of renewable technology

11 July 2022

Several prominent Fellows of the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) have stated that Australia must capitalise on its renewable technology advantage and invest in rapid deployment to decarbonise energy systems.

In a news briefing on Monday responding to the current energy crises, the experts said Australia will need a portfolio of low emissions technologies which act in concert, supported by a clear research agenda and policy framework to provide an environment for industry to act with confidence.

The briefing launched a new short report by ATSE: Here & Now – the state of low emissions technology in Australia.

Katherine Woodthorpe AO FTSE, former Chair of Natural Hazards Research Australia and former Director, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Vast Solar said:

“Australia is the envy of the world in per capita deployment of solar and wind power. Solar is by far the leading contender to decarbonise global energy systems.

The critical technology mix for Australia includes solar power, wind, pumped hydro and batteries, electricity transmission infrastructure, and electrification of transport and heating.”

Alex Wonhas FTSE, Advisory Board Member NSW Energy Corporation and Former Head of Engineering and System Design, Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said:

“Australia has the technologies to avoid a future crisis, but we must act now to lay the foundation of a truly modern energy system.

Immediate investment in the deployment of mature technologies, demonstration of emerging technologies and development of grid infrastructure capable of running a renewable energy system is necessary to ensure Australia can meet its unique challenges.”

George Maltabarow FAICD HonFIEAus FTSE, Former Managing Director of Ausgrid said:

“The transition away from fossil fuels will require electrifying everything. The good news is we have all the technologies available. We now need the frameworks to manage the investment”

Professor Renate Egan FTSE, CEO UNSW Energy Institute (Interim) and UNSW Lead of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics said:

“Australia-wide, we already get 32% of our energy from renewable electricity from renewables. It has doubled in five years, and we need to double it again.

“last year, we turned on on 3 gigawatts of rooftop solar – about $3 billion of investment by consumers, and we switched on additional 3 gigawatts of centralized wind and solar – another $3 billion.”

Professor Lachlan Blackhall FTSE, Head of the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at The Australian National University said:

“Between now and 2050, there will be 30-fold increase in the amount of energy storage. The other trend will be the uptake of distributed energy resources or consumer or customer energy resources given it’s households that are investing in these assets.

“It’s important to recognise that the energy transition is actually a socio-techno-economic challenge. It’s time to actually go out and understand householder and community expectations, and ensure that we have social license for the very significant energy transition that we’re seeing”.

Read the report: Here and now: The state of low emissions technology in Australia | ATSE

Watch the news briefing here: Recording Registration – Zoom

Media contact: Edwyn Shiell, Director, Strategic Communications | 0402 254 968