Australia’s CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) has been allocated A$59.6 million (US$49 million) over four years to increase research into renewable and non-renewable natural resources which can produce low emission transport fuels.
Under the Energy Transformed National Research Flagship, work will be expanded to include research related to the conversion of coal to liquids, gas to liquids, solar gas to liquids, bio-fuels and storage of high density natural gas for transport.
The work is designed to help secure Australia’s transport fuel future, which is coming under increasing pressure. It is predicted that by 2030, Australia will self-supply only 49% of its required petroleum.
The opportunity for Australia, and CSIRO, is to reduce the likelihood of an economic and social shock of a major disruption to oil supplies and to minimize the cost of implementing change in the transport sector. We have to do this while at the same time reducing the transport sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.—Dr. Geoff Garrett, CSIRO Chief Executive
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are 43% above the International Energy Agency average for developed countries per unit of GDP; 68% of the country’s greenhouse gases are related to stationary energy and transport.
CSIRO’s National Research Flagships were launched in 2003 to address major national challenges in areas such as energy, water and health and also opportunities for industry development and job creation.
The fuels research is part of an A$2.8 billion (US$2.3 billion), four-year funding package awarded to CSIRO. Other transportation-related research projects include a focus on lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors.
Another new Flagship funded under the new budget is the Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship, to be formed in collaboration with partners such as the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Greenhouse Office. It will receive A$43.6 over the next four years.