Energy Future Conference 2016
You’re invited to help determine the world’s future energy mix
Endowed with endless sunshine, rich natural resources and some of the world’s finest energy researchers, Australia has the potential to be a leading actor in determining what the world’s future energy mix looks like, says Professor Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou from the School of Chemical Engineering.
To that end, he has established what he hopes will become a global conference in the energy space: the Energy Future Conference and Exhibition. The conference will take place at UNSW on 4-6 July 2016, and provide a unique platform for academics, policy makers, investors and industry to meet, connect and generate ideas.
Aguey-Zinsou believes that fostering these connections will enable Australia to untap its potential. “We need to encourage people from across the board to speak to each other. If government agencies deeply understand the potential in this space they can design appropriate policies and regulations that can boost industry output using the best Australian research,” he says. “It’s win-win-win.
“It’s inevitable that the world must go through an energy transition towards clean energy, but we don’t yet know what that energy future looks like. It could be creating hydrogen from coal, with carbon dioxide capture and storage, so Australia can still benefit from our natural resources. Or it could be with solar or natural gas.”
Aguey-Zinsou thinks there are any number of collaborations that could flourish as a result of people getting out of their energy silos to “make connections and merge technologies”.
The main theme of the conference is energy storage – from generation to distribution and the three-day, non-profit event has been designed to encourage wide participation.
The first day of the conference is driven towards the interaction between research, academy and government. Delegates can get the latest information on future energy developments, opportunities and solutions through plenary talks from influential speakers, and forum discussions. “There will also be plenty of opportunity to network with peers and colleagues,” says Aguey-Zinsou. The latest technologies and scientific advances will be discussed in more depth over the following days."
Aguey-Zinsou is an expert in one of energy’s emerging and most exciting fields – the use of hydrogen as a clean energy vector. He heads up UNSW’s Material Energy Research Laboratory in nanoscale (MERLin), an energy research group which has already had a number of major successes in hydrogen technology, such as Australia’s first fuel cell bike - the Hycycle - a bicycle powered by hydrogen.
“We are trying to develop solutions so that hydrogen can be implemented as a clean fuel. That’s one main application, but it could also be used for stationary application,” explains Aguey-Zinsou.
“Our neighbouring countries – China, India, Japan are already looking for solutions for their energy supply, and Australia could be their main energy provider in whatever form – coal, natural gas, or in the form of renewable energy by converting that renewable energy in a chemical, such as ammonia or hydrogen. This conference is really interested in exploring all the potential energy possibilities that Australia has, as well as the great work that researchers are doing across the globe.”