A new agreement between Australia and the United States will see greater international research collaboration in areas related to renewable energy, electricity grids, hydrogen and plastic waste.
Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a leader in clean energy research, development, and deployment.
The agreement was signed at the Sydney Energy Forum today by CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall and NREL Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer Dr Peter Green.
Dr Marshall said: “This partnership represents a shared commitment from two leading energy research bodies to work together to help drive scientific and technical innovation across nationwide energy systems.
“It builds on the existing collaboration between our two organisations in solar, energy resilience, the Global Power System Transformation Alliance and plastics research. It aligns closely to Australia’s national interests, including in hydrogen and grid resilience as well as CSIRO’s major research missions to help end plastic waste and build Australia’s clean hydrogen industry.
“Importantly, through CSIRO’s shared national labs, it paves the way for new opportunities for Australian science institutions to partner with US national labs and industry to lead on cutting-edge research that will lower the cost of net zero energy technologies at a global scale," he said.
NREL’s Dr Peter Green said: “We are excited about this MoU, which will facilitate expanded collaboration between our two research institutions.
“Together we will leverage the significant intellectual, research, and infrastructure capabilities of both institutions to address some of the most pressing challenges associated with achieving the global energy transition.
”Under the agreement, CSIRO and NREL will initially focus on four areas of strategic importance to Australia: hydrogen, global power system transformation (G-PST), plastics, and an accelerator/incubator program for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that has the potential to transform our global energy future," he said.
The agreement transforms the agencies’ existing relationship from one based on individual projects to a comprehensive program of solution-driven science, research and innovation.