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Australia plans for future energy grid


10:58, May 31, 2013

SYDNEY, May 31 (Xinhua) -- A 13 million AUD (12.57 million U.S. dollars) research collaboration has been announced to develop Australia's capacity to plan and design the most efficient, low emission and de-carbonised electricity grid for the nation.

The announcement was made on Thursday.

The CSIRO and four Australian universities, namely the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, the University of Newcastle and the University of Queensland, will prepare the electricity sector for a clean energy transformation.

The CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, predicts that Australian homes and businesses could be powered by as many as 20 different energy sources and technologies by 2050.

The changes will be the largest since the industrial revolution, said Tom Hatton, CSIRO Energy Group Executive.

"We are facing unprecedented change in the electricity system over the next 20 to 30 years. We're talking about change to a system that has seen stability for decades and has used technologies and energy sources that are predictable and controllable. Moving away from that is going to require a great deal of effort and capacity building," Hatton said.

"The Future Grid Cluster brings together Australia's best research capabilities and provides a framework the electricity sector needs to make $240 billion (232 billion dollars) worth of decisions in the next two decades," he added.

The research will cover the impacts of different loads, generation sources and energy storage on system security; better electricity and gas networks; the economics of alternative network development paths; and policies and regulations to smooth the transition.

The university partners will contribute 10 million AUD (9.67 million dollars), as well as a 3.2 million AUD (3.09 million dollars) grant from the CSIRO Flagship Collaboration Fund.

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