Decarbonising Australian Electricity: Policy and Technology Options
Professor Michael Brear, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Refreshments 6.00–6.30pm, Lecture 6.30–7.30pm
The debate on how we might decarbonise Australian electricity continues to be charged and confusing. On policy, whilst we currently have Direct Action and a Renewable Energy Target (RET), others advocate a carbon price or other approaches. On technology, some support only renewables, whilst others think that we must embrace nuclear or carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Professor Michael Brear, a specialist in transport and power generation, will present recent University of Melbourne analysis that examines different decarbonisation options for the electricity system connecting Victoria to New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania — Australia’s so-called ‘National Energy Market’. This analysis is intended to be technology and policy neutral. Renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels are compared in a system level study that considers how we might meet different 2050 decarbonisation targets at the lowest total cost to consumers.
Michael Brear is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Prior to taking up his position at the University of Melbourne, he worked for ICI Australia (now Orica), then undertook graduate studies at the University of Cambridge and post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Michael works in transport and power generation, with a particular focus on low emission technologies and alternative fuels. This involves close collaboration with the Ford Motor Company through ACART, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Princeton University, the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and others.
This work is supported in part by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Melbourne Energy Institute.