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The Smart Energy Mission’s goal is to enable Australia’s next generation of integrated and customer-centric energy systems.

The Smart Energy Mission incorporates the work of teams from CSIRO Energy, Data61, Environment, and Mineral Resources to build more holistic systems intelligence into Australia’s energy transformation. This mission in development is in the concept/planning stage.


The energy transformation is an integrated systems problem.

The energy transformation is the single largest economic opportunity facing any advanced economy.

To realise Australia’s net zero emissions future, we must significantly transform our energy system. The system is being transformed in the midst of a changing climate, shifting markets, and competition for critical skills and resources.

By switching to alternative fuels and electrification, and implementing industry-wide emission reduction technologies, our energy infrastructure is becoming more decentralised, interconnected and dynamic.

New standards, businesses and ways of life are inevitable in this journey and present numerous opportunities for people, organisations and nations who become early adaptors.

What is needed in this increasingly complex energy landscape is significant investments in integrated systems analysis, system digitalisation, and social science to ensure affordability, reliability, sustainability, fairness, and economic opportunity. The transformation needs to be supported by access to key data, a multi-layered modelling framework integrating different domains, and modern socio-technical strategies.

Australia is at the forefront of global energy system transformation challenges and opportunities due to the characteristics of our networks, the central role of the energy sector in our economy, and the ongoing rapid adoption of renewables.


As Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO is well positioned to support governments, industries and communities through the energy transition.

Science and innovation will be critical in supporting Australia’s transition, which is being driven by new technologies, changing consumer preferences, and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As we move towards a net zero emissions future, the four key components of the energy sector — electricity, industry, transport, and exports — are evolving rapidly. In this dynamic landscape, CSIRO provides reliable, actionable, evidence-based research.

Our approach

To achieve our target of net zero emissions by 2050, we need to recognise that the energy transformation is an integrated systems problem encapsulating engineering, economics, environmental, social, regulatory, and digital questions. All these aspects need to be addressed in an integrated systems solution.

No single energy technology will achieve this transformation. Rather it will require the application of a combination of existing and emerging technologies that will change in time as these technologies evolve in the context of market demand and government policy.

Contemporary methodologies such as Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) are key to managing the complexities of our evolving energy systems.

The level of MBSE maturity in the Australian energy sector is low, unlike in other sectors such as Defence and Aerospace, where it is more advanced. An objective of the Smart Energy Mission is to build integrated systems intelligence into Australia’s energy transformation with MBSE principles as a foundation.

Potential impact

Increasing efficiency, optimising investment and creating new services

  • Help guide investment and establish new opportunities for innovation
  • Improve energy system flexibility, fairness and resilience
  • Improve capacity for renewable technologies, faster decarbonisation


The Smart Energy Mission has three main focus areas

  • Empowering society to shape the future energy system for the benefit of all Australians.
  • Transformation capability and planning to help guide us through the complexities and challenges of energy system transformation through holistic systems analysis.
  • Digitalisation of the future energy systems' operation to enhance visibility, efficiency and equity through data and digital intelligence.

Current projects

Some of the latest projects of the Smart Energy Mission include

X (a division of Google LLC)

A co-investment project to directly support the integrated system intelligence objectives of the mission. The project will demonstrate the role of inverter-based renewable energy resources in providing both better utilisation of electricity networks and wider system grid services.

Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW)

The Energy Climate Resilience Project draws on multiple Programs across the Environment and CSIRO’s Energy Business Units to investigate the vulnerability profile of the 2030 energy system under the ISP step change scenario, examining how this will influence future risks for critical energy infrastructure, and assessing the opportunities for investment in climate adaptation, disaster risk reduction and resilience.

Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW)

A co-investment project between DCCEEW and CSIRO encompassing public perception about the energy transformation. The surveys will be uploaded to a public-facing dashboard, allowing people to interrogate the results.

Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Mission

Australia is becoming a global leader in consumer-owned PVs and batteries, which are also known as network-connected customer energy resources (CERs). CERs are becoming an increasingly important part of Australia’s energy infrastructure, which creates the challenge of determining how to secure a large and growing number of distributed assets. The Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Mission and the Smart Energy Mission have joined efforts, with funding support from the Mission’s Program Co-investment Fund, to identify and address increasing cyber security risks from the increased connection of consumer energy resources (CER) to our energy networks.

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