Energy Cluster receives APEC grant for Remote Community pilot project

The Australia-Indonesia Centre Energy Cluster has received Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation funding for a remote community energy systems planning pilot project in Indonesia.

The project, titled ‘Integrated Energy System Planning for Equitable Access to Sustainable Energy for Remote Communities in the APEC Regions using North Sulawesi as a Pilot Project/Test Bed’, has received a US$149,000 grant.

It will utilise the city of Bitung in North Sulawesi as a testing ground for creating sustainable energy policy. The researchers aim to develop a framework for integrated, low-cost low-emissions energy system planning for remote communities, attract new local and foreign investment, and build local capacity by engaging university staff and students, city officials, and the community.

“The Bitung and North Sulawesi region is experiencing the same rapid growth in energy consumption as many APEC economies,” says Dr Ariel Liebman, Deputy Director of the Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute and Co-Lead of the Australia-Indonesia Energy Cluster.

“The local government is committed to clean, efficient and sustainable energy and this project will develop a low-carbon energy roadmap to help government and business with decision-making on policy and investment. The project will also serve as a case study to empower similar communities in Indonesia and across the Asia-Pacific region to move towards sustainable development across food production, energy generation and water management. This project will further progress the AIC’s vision of collaborative research by bringing Australian and Indonesian researchers together to work on grand societal challenges”.

Researchers from Monash University will partner with researchers from Institut Pertanian Bogor, Institut Teknologi Bandung, and Universitas Sam Ratulangi in Manado, with more to be confirmed.

“The contribution of APEC is a testament to the Centre’s work in bringing together researchers from leading universities in Indonesia and Australia to address shared challenges, such as in the provision of affordable, sustainable energy” says Dr Eugene Sebastian, Director of The Australia-Indonesia Centre.

“The Centre will continue to leverage its network of over 300 researchers to scale the impact of research-driven innovation that would benefit the region.”

The project will begin shortly and is expected to be complete by November 2018.