Matthew Priestley | Why a smarter grid is key to a renewable future
The government needs to commit serious investment to addressing the challenges of using renewables now, or we may encounter serious problems.
Australia doesn’t have a problem with generating renewable energy... but it turns out we do have a problem with using it. Our vast country has an almost infinite capacity for solar, wind and hydro energy, but converting those forms of energy to function correctly within our existing electricity grids is going to be the real challenge. Switching to renewables is fundamental to combat climate change, so how do we overcome the technical challenges of integrating clean energy generation into our electricity grid and start utilising our country's wealth of clean energy?
A UNSW Centre for Ideas project, with illustrations designed by Juune Lee and footage filmed at the EPICentre – a UNSW research centre located at the Art & Design campus. Videos filmed and edited by Paper Moose, and podcast editing and music composition by Bryce Halliday.
Matthew Priestley is an Associate Lecturer in the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications in the Faculty of Engineering at UNSW Sydney. He received the Dean’s Award for outstanding PhD thesis and won acceptance to the Founders 10x Accelerator program in 2019. Through this program, he founded a technology start-up company called Motorica that was looking to commercialise specialised electric motor designs for safety-critical applications. Priestley has been working in the research areas of safety-critical motor drive systems and converter grid synchronisation systems. He is passionate about developing robust synchronisation of high amounts of renewable energy sources to the electricity distribution network.