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Our global energy transition

The world is undergoing a clean energy transition at unprecedented speed, scope and scale. Making the transition requires collective problem solving across the value chain – from academia, to industry experts, to global system operators. Overcoming the challenges involved is urgent and vitally important for Australia, and the world.

Our major challenge is no longer the cost of renewable energy, instead, it is how to integrate this energy into our electricity systems. With increasing plans for scaling back fossil fuel-based power over the next decade, the pressure is on to ensure the security, reliability and stability of Australia's future power systems with a high penetration of inverter-based resources. The hurdles involved range from solving technical issues, through to workforce training and developing new real-time operational tools. By tackling these challenges –in a collaborative way and sharing outcomes widely, Australian scientists and researchers have an opportunity to lead the way. Working together, we can ensure energy security for Australia during the energy transition while creating jobs, investment, export opportunities, earning global recognition and, most importantly, massively accelerating the transition to a low emissions electricity sector.

The G-PST Consortium and Australia's leadership

The Global Power System Transformation (G-PST) Consortium was officially announced on April 21, 2021 with the visionary goal to "Dramatically accelerate the transition to low emission and low cost, secure, and reliable power systems, contributing to less than 50 per cent emission reductions over the next 10 years, with $2 billion of government and donor support for technical, market, and workforce solutions that unlock $10 trillion+ of private sector investment". The Consortium is led by the US and UK and will focus on solving the most pressing challenges to accelerate the decarbonisation of our electricity system.

CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) are Australian representatives in the Consortium. Working together, we have invited and been driving Australian universities and research institutions, and international research institutes to solve the most pressing challenges in order to accelerate the decarbonisation of our electricity system. These challenges informed the identification of nine research topics:

CSIRO and AEMO worked with Australian and international research organisations to deliver the G-PST Research Roadmap.

  1. Inverter Design – Development of capabilities, services, design methodologies and standards for Inverter-Based Resources (IBRs) to ensure power system reliability.
  2. Stability Tools and Methods – New tools and methods are required to ensure reliability, security and stability in power systems with more IBRs and traditional synchronous machines being phased out in the future.
  3. Control Room of the Future – Development of new technologies and approaches for enhanced real-time visibility and analysis in power system operator control rooms.
  4. Planning – New planning metrics, methods, and tools to capture the characteristics and influence of a changing resource mix.
  5. Restoration and Black Start – Creating new procedures for black starting and restoring a power system with high or 100% IBR penetration.
  6. Services – Quantifying the technical service requirements of future power systems to maintain the supply-demand balance reliably and at least cost with higher penetration of renewables.
  7. Architecture – Identifying appropriate future power system architectures for coordinating new technology capability, regulatory approaches, market design, and the distribution/transmission interface in a highly distributed, variable renewable energy-based system to support an orderly power system transition.
  8. Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) – Investigating the challenges and opportunities from very high levels of DERs to make power system control and operation more effective.
  9. DERs and Stability – Modelling and analysis of DER responses to ensure system operators can maintain power system security under very high DER penetration.

Australia's Global Power System Transformation Research Roadmap

Working with leading Australian and international engineering, academic and research partners, CSIRO and AEMO have produced a Research Roadmap that incorporates research plans for the nine most pressing research topics. The Roadmap shows how Australia could lead the way in solving the global challenge of integrating renewable energy into electricity networks and accelerating the decarbonisation of the energy sector.

Specifically, the whole Research Roadmap provides both high-level and detailed descriptions of the purpose and objectives of each of the nine research plans, including the high priority tasks proposed to be delivered in the short term. The nine research plans and the accompanying documents also outline  why the research specified in the Roadmap is critical to Australia, how the outcomes apply to Australia, and how Australian research can contribute to the meeting the Consortium’s goals in. In addition, the expected timeline and associated risks to deliver the Research Roadmap are also provided.

Australia's G-PST Research Roadmap

What’s next?

There is a huge body of work needed across the industry over the next 10 years. This will require a significant increase in the depth and breadth of power system engineering expertise both in academia and industry. Our work is helping build the foundation for this. The Research Roadmap has been put into action, helping to facilitate Australia’s transition to a stable, secure and affordable power system.

Stage One of the work can be accessed by downloading Australia's G-PST Research Roadmap and accompanying Stage One research plans listed below.

Download Australia's G-PST Research Roadmap and accompanying documents.

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