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Designing smart electrical grids for sustainability

3 September 2016
Powering the world through sustainable development

Researchers from Sydney and Hong Kong are partners in an international project that aims to design the next generation of smart, sustainable electrical grids.

University of Sydney and University of Hong Kong researchers are working together to tackle the question of how to deliver reliable energy and power that has been generated by renewable – but sometimes erratic – sources, from domestic solar panels to large-scale wind and solar farms.

The Sustainable Power Delivery project includes researchers from Sydney, HKU, Imperial College London, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The five-year project has received about HK$50 million in funding from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council.

Professor David Hill, Chair of Electrical Engineering at HKU, said many countries and electrical companies are committed to increasing renewable electrical energy generation to 20 per cent by 2020, and some have even more ambitious targets.

“But it is now clear that energy sustainability refers to the complete network or grid which delivers the power as much as the sources of energy,” he said.

Professor Hill also holds a part-time appointment at Sydney and is a former chair of electrical engineering at the University. He is working in collaboration with the current Head of School, Professor Joe Dong, and Dr Gregor Verbic, from the University’s Centre for Future Energy Networks.

Dr Verbic said: “In many respects, solving the sustainable energy supply puzzle holds the key to the prosperity of humankind. Our ultimate goal is to deliver zero-carbon grids with minimal impact on society.”