Today the Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Senator the Hon Zed Seselja announced that the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program will be co-funding Future Fuels CRC with $26.25m over its proposed seven year research program. The combined investment from the Commonwealth, Australia’s Energy Industry and Universities (cash and in-kind support) will total over $90m over the life of the program.
The Future Fuels CRC will undertake research and development to transition Australia’s energy infrastructure to a low-carbon economy using fuels such as hydrogen and biogas. Collaborating with over 60 companies, 6 universities, the energy market operator and 2 regulators the CRC will develop solutions for current infrastructure and equipment to use these new fuels today and well into the future. Future low-carbon fuels offer the potential to store and deliver reliable, clean, and affordable energy through both new and repurposed equipment.
Future Fuels CRC CEO David Norman thanked all those who had participated in the workshops, planning and project development to bring the organisation to this position. ‘This has only been achieved through the cooperation of a large number of parties working towards a single goal. The CRC will enable industry to leverage Australia’s competitive advantages in renewable resources and its existing world-class gas industry and become a world innovator in low-carbon energy production, transportation and use.’
The CRC will be researching across three integrated programs.
The first program will look into the future fuels technologies, systems and markets. It will address technical, policy and commercial barriers to the increased utilisation of future fuels and aims to accelerate development of production technologies and end-use applications.
The second program will address the issues around safety and social acceptance of new and changed fuels, so industry can more effectively design, build and operate projects needed to deliver Australia’s energy needs now and in the future.
The final program focuses on the infrastructure itself. It studies the effect that future fuels introduction will have on existing and new infrastructure. Research will address novel materials, design, installation, operations and maintenance, and re-purposing or decommissioning requirements.
These programs are all supported by an extensive education and training program. In addition to training up to 50 industry-ready PhD’s, the CRC will deliver seminars, conferences and training for industry and the wider community. The Future Fuels CRC aspires to be at the centre of training up for a whole new industry.
Over the next six months the Future Fuels CRC will establish the new entity and begin work on the first round of projects across its three programs of research.