Partnering to maximise co-benefits of new hydrogen energy projects

In February 2020, Dr Kathy Witt of the University of Queensland was awarded a prestigious Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship. These fellowships drive collaboration and innovation in novel industries that build Queensland’s global reputation in science and research capability.

Shelley Rodriguez

Dr Kathy Witt (centre), at the Fellowship announcement event held at Parliament House on 19 February 2020. Pictured here being congratulated, from left to right, by UQ Vice-Chancellor, Peter Høj, Arrow Media and Communication Manager, Liz Edwards, Kate Jones MP, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and the Minister for the Commonwealth Games, and Dr Justine Lacey, Director, Responsible Innovation Future Science Platform, CSIRO.

In February 2020, Dr Kathy Witt of the University of Queensland was awarded a prestigious Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship. These fellowships drive collaboration and innovation in novel industries that build Queensland’s global reputation in science and research capability.

CSIRO is proud to be among the industry partners including Arrow Energy, APLNG, Santos, the Queensland Farmers’ Federation, Southern Queensland Landscapes, and Comet Ridge, supporting Dr Witt’s research, which is focused on leveraging the lessons learned from the development of the CSG industry for new energy futures. The focus of her Fellowship is on how communities adapt to, while managing the disadvantages and maximising the advantages of, large-scale regional energy development, including large-scale wind, solar and hydrogen energy developments. These are critical inputs for developing responsible new energy industries for Queensland and Australia.

As technical lead for Queensland’s hydrogen industry, CSIRO is well placed to provide an in-depth understanding of the hydrogen industry’s many requirements and limitations. Knowledge critical for understanding the opportunities and challenges regional communities face in the development of energy projects, such as those associated with regional hydrogen projects, and for supporting the development of emerging social science capability in the field.

Dr Justine Lacey, Director of CSIRO’s Responsible Innovation Future Science Platform says that supporting Dr Witt’s research ensures that her work can help inform the development of a responsible hydrogen industry for Australia. “We are delighted the Fellowship affords Dr Witt the opportunity to spend some time at CSIRO collaborating with our energy researchers on these critically important issues.”

Dr Witt says that the backing by the broad and diverse collaboration that have come together for the first time to support this work, was key to being awarded the Fellowship. “The strength of this project is the level of engagement and collaboration across such a range of organisations,” she says.

The Queensland Government Advance Queensland Fellowship was awarded at a ceremony at Parliament House on 19 February 2020.

For more information see UQ’s press release: https://natural-gas.centre.uq.edu.au/article/2020/02/prestigious-fellowship-awarded-researcher-looking-maximising-co-benefits-new-energy-projects