Energy for the Future

Sun, 2017-04-23 21:35 -- 104096
Monday, May 22, 2017 - 17:30
Dr Richard Manasseh, Mr Graham Palmer and Mr Martin Hablutzel
Engineers Australia, level 31, 600 Bourke Street Melbourne
Event Details: 

Ocean power opportunities for Australia - Dr Richard Manasseh

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Increasing developments in Australian ocean-wave and tidal power have occurred over the past five years. Wave power presents the largest opportunity, offering an immense supply of low-variability, continuous energy to Australia's predominantly coastal population. However, to date there have only been temporary trials, and this talk explains why.

The background to wave power is outlined, explaining the physics, and the engineering and commercial reasons why developments worldwide have been both
promising and problematic. Past and recent wave-power developments in Australia are described. The levelised cost of wave-power electricity may be reduced by also serving coastal-protection needs. Australian tidal energy and other ocean renewables are briefly outlined.

Richard Manasseh is a mechanical engineer with a PhD in applied mathematics, specialising in fluid dynamics. He is a Professor at Swinburne University of Technology and earlier worked for CSIRO on R&D and technology commercialisation. His research over the past 25 years has focused on wave modes and oscillators in fluids and their interactions. He has applied this fundamental research to diverse industries in Australia and abroad, and has studied ocean wave power since 2010. Together with colleagues in other research organisations and Australian wave-power companies, he has been working on arrays of ocean wave-energy converters since 2014.

Energy Return on Investment (EROI) - Graham Palmer

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Energy Return on Investment (EROI) is the ratio of how much energy is gained from an energy production process compared to how much of that energy is required to extract and process a new unit of the energy. It differs from a conventional monetary investment ratio in being a physical metric governed by immutable physical laws. For energy sources that possess a high EROI, the EROI is much less important than other factors in determining the value of a project. However, at a low or declining EROI, the EROI metric signals an underlying constraint that may not be obvious from a conventional monetary analysis. Energy extraction has conformed to the ‘best first’ principle, meaning that the easiest resources to extract tend to be the first. In the competitive struggle between resource depletion and technology, EROI may provide guidance to the trade-offs between competing factors. This presentation introduces the EROI concept and briefly discusses its application to energy policy.

Graham Palmer  is an electronic and industrial engineer with a technical, R&D, and management career in small business. His experience covers analog electronics, industrial automation, energy e ciency, and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Following the completion of a Masters in Sustainable Energy at RMIT in 2008, he has made contributions to the energy and climate areas. His research aims to develop an improved systems-based methodology for EROI (energy return on investment) for fossil and non-fossil electricity generation. The research will draw on the eld of Biophysical Economics, the history of energy transitions, markets, renewables integration, and engineering. The aim is to provide a more comprehensive metric for energy supply technologies that better captures “societal value”, to inform energy and climate policy.

Renewable Energy Opportunities

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The declining costs of renewable energy creates opportunities for additional energy export, with particular reference to hydrogen. Opportunities also exist in the provision of hydrogen as a fuel source for sectors such as heavy transport.

Martin Hablutzel 
 is Head of Strategy at Siemens Ltd. Martin  works across all Siemens divisions along the electrification value chain that extends from generation, transmission, distribution and smart grid to the efficient application of electrical energy through automation and digitisation.He began his career at the (then) Hydro Electric Commission in Tasmania, joining Siemens in 1997 as a protection and control engineer. Subsequent roles in project engineering, project management, asset management, sales, marketing and executive management have given Martin broad exposure to the deployment of electrification, automation and digitalisation in diverse industries including utilities, resources, infrastructure, transportation and manufacturing. Martin holds a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tasmania and an MBA from Deakin University.