The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, is working in partnership with the Global Power System Transformation Consortium (G-PST) and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on a comprehensive “Research Roadmap” that identifies and explores the research required to continue Australia’s transition to a more secure, affordable, and decarbonized electricity system.

Australia, like many countries around the world, is undergoing a power system transformation to adapt to renewable energy integration and combat the effects of climate change. The country has pursued a particularly aggressive strategy that has made it a model for one of the fastest transformations around the world. The Roadmap shows how Australia could lead the way in solving the global challenge of integrating renewable energy into electricity networks and accelerating the decarbonisation of the energy sector.

The Research Roadmap is a collaborative effort and based on input from leading Australian and international system operators, as well as research agencies from G-PST.

Stage 1

Launched in 2022, Stage 1 of the Research Roadmap identifies and summarizes the intended outcomes of nine individual research topics:

  • Inverter Design – Development of capabilities, services, design methodologies and standards for Inverter-Based Resources (IBRs) to ensure power system reliability.
  • Stability Tools and Methods – New tools and methods are required to ensure reliability, security and stability in power systems with more IBRs and traditional synchronous machines being phased out in the future.
  • Control Room of the Future – Development of new technologies and approaches for enhanced real-time visibility and analysis in power system operator control rooms.
  • Planning – New planning metrics, methods, and tools to capture the characteristics and influence of a changing resource mix.
  • Restoration and Black Start – Creating new procedures for black starting and restoring a power system with high or 100% IBR penetration.
  • Services – Quantifying the technical service requirements of future power systems to maintain the supply-demand balance reliably and at least cost with higher penetration of renewables.
  • Architecture – Identifying appropriate future power system architectures for coordinating new technology capability, regulatory approaches, market design, and the distribution/transmission interface in a highly distributed, variable renewable energy-based system to support an orderly power system transition.
  • Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) – Investigating the challenges and opportunities from very high levels of DERs to make power system control and operation more effective.
  • DERs and Stability – Modelling and analysis of DER responses to ensure system operators can maintain power system security under very high DER penetration.

Specifically, the Research Roadmap provides both high-level and detailed descriptions of the purpose and objectives of each of the nine research plans and outlines why the research specified in the Roadmap is critical to Australia, how the outcomes apply to Australia, and how Australian research can contribute to the meeting G-PST’s broader goals.

Stage 2

Released in 2023, the Stage 2 summary reports encompass key findings and progress updates from the research programs. Individual reports from each of the project partners, outlining the work completed to date, the remaining knowledge gaps, and the high priority tasks to be delivered in the short term, have also been published. Six of the project themes are common to G-PST, while three (Reports 7, 8 and 9) have been designed specifically for the Australian energy context.

This research program is anticipated to take three to five years to complete. Stage 3 is targeted to be completed in 2024.