The goal of the CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL), which is in its final year of funding, is to achieve 10 megatonnes cumulative reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. This will provide a projected economic benefit to Australia of $684 million by 2027.
Speaking at its Annual Forum – From Research to Reality – in Adelaide, CRCLCL CEO Scientia Professor Deo Prasad AO said the past six years of low carbon research will significantly help reduce carbon emissions in Australia’s built environment now and into the future, through new technology and changes to policy and human behaviour.
“Our research collaborations with industry and government have proved that a low to zero carbon future is not pie in the sky as our research now becomes a reality and makes a real impact, which is the focus of this Forum,” he said.
“Over 120 projects have produced excellent results, such as the Built to Perform report which proves that changes to the National Construction Code could improve energy efficiency in Australian Buildings by up to 56 per cent and cut household energy bills by $200-900 per year; and a low carbon schools education pilot program, which saved 266 tonnes of carbon emissions in Western Australia, is now a viable ongoing national program called ClimateClever,” said Professor Prasad.
“The Low Carbon Living Australia program, a pilot which helped 80 tourism businesses in the Blue Mountains lower their carbon emissions by 15 per cent, has now been rolled out nationally with partner Eco Tourism Australia; and our Urban Heat Mitigation projects have provided an authoritative new body of Australian research critical to how we keep our cities cool, now and into the future.”
Blockchain technology research for solar energy sharing and pricing which was conducted at one of the CRCLCL’s 16 Living Laboratories – White Gum Valley in Perth – was the foundation of a new business calledPowerLedger, co-founded by the CRCLCL researcher, Dr Jemma Green. PowerLedger recently won Sir Richard Branson’s Extreme Technology Challenge which provides entrepreneurs an opportunity to “break out of the pack” plus unprecedented access to key investors, innovators and high-profile entrepreneurs.
“Our research has also revealed that 81 per cent of a home’s electricity supply can be met by a combination of solar 3kW PV and a 10KWh battery, and that owner occupiers of net zero energy homes will save $24,935 over their home’s lifetime,” Professor Prasad said.
International keynote speaker, UK policy expert Professor Brian Collins, Professor of Engineering Policy at University College London and Director of the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures, said he was impressed with the CRCLCL’s achievements.
“I’m highly impressed by the work of the CRC, which is crucial for Australia to ensure it has strong, sustainable and liveable cities as it has provided concrete evidence that can help influence change in building codes and government and city policy,” he said.
“Changing how we do things is always a challenge, and it is my experience with policy implementation that sustained research is fundamental to providing evidence and ideas for policy and process changes. Educating future experts and leaders in low carbon living is critical to ensure that rapid take-up of knowledge and innovation takes place resulting in low carbon services. More investment in this form of education is overdue,” he said.
“This is a challenge that is being met all around the world and Australia is showing true leadership in this area through the work of the CRCLCL and its partners. We in the UK look forward to greater collaboration in this area of research,” said Professor Collins.
Originally published by the CRC for Low Carbon Living.