Faculty of Engineering

Renewable Energy and Green Growth

Recently there has been a large focus on shifting generation of energy to renewable resources and expanding the economy in a green and sustainable fashion.

New Zealand has been a world leader in the clean green space as networks adapt to enable this transition by continuing to meet the demands of energy consumers, both securely and economically.

Recently we showcased our research activities in this area through the 2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series in four particular areas of strength.


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Empowering Electricity Network Consumers through Smart Grid Technologies

Presenters: Dr Nirmal Nair and Ryno Verster

Vice-Chancellor's Lecture Series #1
Monday 13 October 2014

Smart Grid investments are being made by electricity network utilities to enable economic and efficient delivery of energy. With the potential for electrification in transportation, multi-utility providers who can provide comprehensive solutions to customers for all their energy needs are likely to emerge and distribution utilities will need to develop new business models.

Energy consumers will have a multiplicity of choices such as installing solar PVs, storage batteries, home energy management, switching to electric vehicles, hot water and thermal management options and grid friendly device control.


Creation and Utilisation of Demand Response in Energy Markets

Presenters: Professor Mark Taylor and Dr Golbon Zakeri

Vice-Chancellor's Lecture Series #2
Tuesday 14 October 2014

The fundamental difficulty of electricity markets is obtaining demand response, as much of the demand for electricity is inelastic. In the New Zealand electricity market, scarcity is signalled through price.

This lecture focuses on leading-edge Shell Heat Exchanger technology from the University of Auckland that could enable order-of-magnitude increases in consumption flexibility, and large savings on electricity consumption for large industrial users, with particular application to New Zealand aluminium smelter.


Geothermal Energy

Presenters: Professor Rosalind Archer and Dr John O'Sullivan

Vice-Chancellor's Lecture Series #3
Monday 20 October 2014

An important challenge in exploration for new geothermal fields is that of drilling and producing geothermal fluid from deeper below the earth’s surface, where the fluids will have much greater energy content. These “deep” geothermal resources could potentially provide all the electricity the country needs.

Reservoir management tools include sophisticated 3D computer models that provide representations of where and how fluids are moving. Geothermal developers now often re-inject cooler fluid back into the earth in a closed system approach.


Green Growth – New Zealand’s Future?

Presenters: Dr Stephen Poletti and Rod Oram

Vice-Chancellor's Lecture Series #4
Tuesday 21 October 2014

New Zealand can benefit from global green investment patterns by exporting to nations investing in green assets and technology, and by importing new technologies and ideas to enhance capabilities in domestic markets and craft more world-leading policies at home.

Importing technology and ideas helps to enhance resource efficiency, capabilities and production in non-traded sectors and international experience in policy development can help improve domestic environmental policies. This protects or enhances our reputation as a nation with high standards of overall environmental quality - our “green” brand.