UNSW Energy Institute

Over the last 30 years, UNSW has carved a formidable reputation as one of the world's leading research and technology hubs for energy innovation.

The UNSW Energy Institute accelerates the role that energy plays in supporting a growing, zero-carbon economy.

Energy affects every major aspect of almost every human life, from healthcare to food production to transportation. The growing economic and social costs of a changing environment are fuelling the urgency for widespread transition from finite fossil fuel-based energy to cleaner and renewable resources that are readily available for all.

Australia has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape its energy system for the future and embrace the wave of technological change that will accompany this transition. UNSW’s vast and varied expertise addresses the global energy trilemma of reliability, affordability and sustainability, and accelerates the global uptake of new energy technologies.

Tap into the largest and most diverse grouping of energy experts in Australia. The Energy Institute can match your organisation with UNSW’s energy capabilities including solar photovoltaics, energy storage, hydrogen, electricity grid transformation and more.

Monique Alfris

Our vision and impact

By connecting community and commercial stakeholders with energy research and delivery solutions, The UNSW Energy Institute helps:

  • Accelerate the uptake of new energy technologies:
    • by supporting the technology development that occurs in UNSW's faculties and schools, and 
    • by facilitating external partnerships and funding
  • Advocate for appropriate policies and regulations
  • Share evidence and know-how upon which to build the energy future, in Australia and internationally

Our vision is for Australia’s global university to be a global leader for energy transition. UNSW’s activity is focused on achieving impact in three main areas:

  • Energy that is affordable, reliable and sustainable
  • Energy underpinning a growing economy, and prosperity for all Australians
  • Energy contributing to solving many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

By taking an active role in Australian energy technology development, market analysis and policy design, the UNSW Energy Institute creates direct global impact. We do this through our:

  • Global IP partnerships, including our leading solar PV technologies
  • Collaborative research with other universities
  • Knowledge exchange with international industry partners Leading entrepreneur alumni group, including Dr. Zhengrong Shi, the world’s first solar billionaire
  • Leading social entrepreneur alumni group, including Monique Alfris, co-founder of Pollinate Group, a social enterprise in India and Nepal; and
  • On-the-ground international energy development projects
Windmill

Our competitive advantage

The Energy Institute unites energy activities across UNSW with industry, government, community stakeholders and other research institutions.

As intermediaries, our role helps ensure relevancy and impact, and enhances knowledge sharing and increased funding.

UNSW provides an independent, evidence-based, system-wide understanding of energy’s contribution to the economy. 

  • Independent: The Energy Institute’s perspective is free from conflicted funding and advice.  
  • Evidence-based: UNSW undertakes rigorous, peer-reviewed research using scientific methods.  
  • System-wide: UNSW’s perspective spans the energy value chain, from energy production and generation, distribution, end use, energy markets and economics. 

Our capabilities

UNSW has world-class research facilities and hundreds of energy experts with a strong reputation for excellence, rigour  and relevance.

We ask and answer “big questions”, and seek to achieve tangible, long term impact. The Institute provides credible advocacy in the public domain, supported by modelling and research. 

The Institute is informed by a strong legacy of deep research capabilities across the entire energy value chain 

  • Science and technology: traditional and renewable energy, energy storage, energy systems and integration, power-to-gas and gas-to-power, digital grids, energy efficiency and productivity, energy-smart precincts and buildings, energy access and affordability. 
  • Public policy, economics and market design, laws, standards and regulation, social acceptance and energy equity. 

Operating across Faculty and School boundaries, the Energy Institute magnifies and accelerates UNSW’s impact so that the “whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. We collaborate with renowned UNSW centres and institutes in energy-adjacent domains

  • Energy-transport nexus: UNSW Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation; 
  • Energy-water nexus: UNSW Global Water Institute;  
  • Energy-climate nexus: UNSW Climate Change Research Centre.
wind farm

Breadth of expertise

The UNSW Energy Institute recognises the ubiquity of current energy technologies and fuels, and the need to transition to cleaner, more efficient and productive energy solutions.  

The global energy transition will involve a portfolio of responses, and UNSW is uniquely positioned, with experts in a range of relevant research areas, including:

Expertise in relevant research

Breadth of our energy storage expertise 

Addressing energy storage solutions is now critical and at the forefront of world economic policy and corporate investment.UNSW has both broad and deep expertise in energy storage solutions, with more than 50 storage capabilities,  including battery storage (development, characterisation and manufacturing), mechanical storage, thermal storage, bioreactor storage, hydrogen, storage for vehicles, and integrating and optimising storage.

For more information and research highlights, download our Energy Storage Capability Portfolio.

Tyree building

Working with UNSW

The UNSW Energy Institute connects people with opportunities.  

We have decades of experience partnering with small and large organisations to deliver:  

  • Multidisciplinary expertise at the centre of leading and emerging research  
  • Access to world class technologies and infrastructure  
  • Dedicated industry-facing and government-facing organisational units, including UNSW Knowledge Exchange and UNSW Division of Enterprise  
  • Highly effective partnership models including research strategy advice and support  
  • Collaborative research leveraging third party and government funding  
  • Access to our national and global research partners  
  • Access to students through professional development programs, projects and our industry placement program  

Need energy experts but not sure where to start? 

We can connect you with UNSW’s energy experts. We also regularly host companies, and hold workshops to explore how to best collaborate. 

Contact us if you need an academic partner to support your funding applications to ARENA, the CEFC, CRCs, NERA, ARC Linkage and other opportunities. 

Justine Jarvine

Our executive

Justine Jarvinen (JJ)
GAICD, FFin, BE(Chem) 
Chief Executive Officer, UNSW Energy Institute 

Ms Justine Jarvinen (JJ) has a wealth of experience across the energy sector having worked in operational, investment analyst, strategy and advisory roles in Australia and the UK for organisations such as Exxon, Shell, Caltex, JBWere and AGL Energy.  

JJ is Chairman of energy technology startup Wattwatchers, non-executive director of ASX-listed Milton Corporation (ASX:MLT), and non-executive director of international social enterprise Pollinate Group. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) with First Class Honours, and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia. 
 

Email: j.jarvinen@unsw.edu.au 
LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/justinejarvinen 

solar

Our governance

Cross Faculty steering committee 

The Energy Institute takes a multi-disciplinary approach to energy challenges and opportunities, across a range of faculties and schools at UNSW, which participate in the Institute’s Steering Committee.  

Industry Advisory Board  

The UNSW Energy Institute partners with industry to solve current energy challenges, create future opportunities and lead the global energy transformation. We are grateful to a range of companies and individuals for their partnership and guidance.  

Members of the Industry Advisory Board:  

  • Grant King: President of the Business Council of Australia; former Managing Director of Origin Energy
  • George Maltabarow: Former Managing Director Energy Australia; Corporate Adviser and Consultant
  • John Pickhaver: Co-Head of Macquarie Capital, Australia and New Zealand  
  • Peter Tyree: Chairman of the Tyree Foundation 
tyree building

Get in touch

Phone and email

For general enquiries, please call the Faculty of Engineering reception on (+61 2) 9385 5000 or email Energy.Institute@unsw.edu.au

Visit

  • UNSW Energy Institute (by appointment only): Level 3, Tyree Energy Technologies Building (H6) at the Kensington Campus (on Anzac Parade), UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052 Australia.
  • Engineering Faculty office: Level 6 of the Computer Science & Engineering Building (K17) at the Kensington Campus (near the Barker St Gate 14), UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052 Australia.
  • Campus map