Australia, US, Canada, UK commit $76 million to clean energy research

Work at the Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre. (Image by John Nguyen Photography, CSIRO).

Australia, the US, Canada, and the UK have pledged more than $76.4 million in investments in the National Science Foundation Global Centers in Climate Change and Clean Energy over five years to tackle challenges posed by global warming as the world moves towards net zero.

Among the projects being developed is the Electric Power Innovation for a Carbon-free Society (EPICS) Centre, which aims to be a global scientific leader in developing transformative computing, economic strategies, engineering solutions, and forward-thinking policies to enable a completely renewable energy power grid.

The other project in the works is the Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre, which is pioneering large-scale net-zero hydrogen production methods.

HyPT explores three innovative technologies: renewable energy-integrated water electrolysis, methane pyrolysis with valuable solid carbon co-products, and solar-driven water splitting.

In a media statement, the participant institutions – the US National Science Foundation; the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; the United Kingdom’s Research and Innovation; and Australia’s CSIRO – said the plan is to pool resources and expertise to confront the challenges of a changing climate and continue the charge towards net zero emissions.

“These challenges range from guaranteeing stable and secure system operation in the presence of ultra-high penetration of variable energy sources and distributed energy resources, most of which are based on power electronic interfaces, to identifying reliable and resilient investment paths across the whole energy system in the presence of deep, long-term planning uncertainty,” Pierluigi Mancarella, the Australian EPICS Centre principal investigator, said.