Research, technology and innovation

A premier research hub

New South Wales is a leader in renewable energy and sustainability. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s foremost science and research institution, has established an Energy Transformed Flagship. This facility, in Newcastle, north of Sydney, showcases ecological design that minimises destruction of the environment by reducing energy consumption.

The centre plays a pivotal role in Australia's energy research landscape as a centre for excellence in energy modelling, large-scale solar and carbon capture technologies, renewable energy integration and energy efficiency.

In addition, the NSW Government has invested in pioneering Australia's first solar thermal cooling technology in a high-demand retail environment. Led by GPT Group and supported by the CSIRO, Bovis Lend Lease and New Energy Partners designed and installed a solar thermal cooling plant to air-condition the Charleston Square shopping centre near Newcastle.

Innovating for a renewable future

NSW is developing and commercialising groundbreaking technologies for a world increasingly interested in moving away from non-renewable energy sources towards renewable sources. The state is at the forefront of solar power research and development (R&D).

Several pre-commercial advanced biofuel facilities are also operating in NSW. At Somersby, on the Central Coast, a demonstration plant operated by Licella converts woody materials and other biomass into liquid bio-crude oil that has the potential to be refined for use as petrol.

NSW has excellent hydropower R&D capacity at facilities such as the Water Research Laboratory at the University of New South Wales. There is strong potential to export the state’s knowledge to assist in the development of substantial hydropower resources in nearby nations in South-East Asia.

NSW researchers are also examining ways to streamline processes and remove barriers to enable wood waste from appropriate sources to be used to fuel existing power stations. The state is also researching invasive native scrub as a source of bioenergy.