CRE News and events

PhD Confirmation of Candidature Seminar

Ms. Shokhida Safarova will be giving her PhD Confirmation of Candidature Seminar, entitled "Energy Efficiency of Houses and Best Practice Urban Design in the Top End".

Location: Red 1.3.01
Date/Time: Thursday 30 April 2015, 2pm-3pm
Abstract: This PhD research is aimed to develop criteria and assessment framework for urban design energy efficiency in the tropical humid climate. An increase in energy demand is correlated with population growth and an increase in number of residential detached dwellings in urban areas.  The space cooling appliances are considered the main electricity consumers in the hot and humid tropical climate. The majority of studies showed that passive design techniques allow to minimise solar radiation heat gain and maximise access to prevailing breezes, aim to improve the thermal performance, and reduce energy consumption for space cooling. Therefore the subdivision design is identified as a major factor in improving the thermal performance of houses in modern urban developments.

A number of researches carried out on energy efficiency of residential subdivisions showed that microclimate and topography should be considered for every place individually. The literature research showed that the need for energy efficiency assessment of urban design in the tropical hot and humid climate is apparent. The major aim of this project is to analyse the energy efficiency of the residential subdivisions designed to optimise cooling effects of prevailing breezes in the hot and humid tropics.  This planned to be achieved through the analysis of the actual energy consumed by households to run mechanical cooling appliances and survey of household members on thermal sensation. The recommendations for further improvement of energy efficiency of the residential subdivisions will be developed based on the results of this study.

Everyone is invited to join this enthralling seminar.

Low Income Energy Efficiency Project (LIEEP) Forum

On 29th-30th October 2014, Dr Edward Halawa, Dr Jeremy Trombley and Mr Mirza Baig attended a LIEEP project forum in Canberra, organized by the Department of Industry and Science. This was a gathering of all the LIEEP project partners from across the country to come together and discuss their progress and challenges on their respective projects to date. Dr Trombley co-presented with Jessica Steinborner, project manager and COOLmob manager. The forum has led to ongoing collaboration of researchers from the different projects involved in this program.

Science Meets Parliament 2014

On the 17th-18th or March 2014, Dr Wai Kean Yap was chosen, along with four other researchers from CDU, to attend the 14th Science Meets Parliament Conference in Canberra. This forum brings together 200 of Australia's top scientists and provided the opportunity to have a discussion with decision makers at the Parliament House in Canberra. Each delegate will have the opportunity to have a discussion with a MP to present them their current research and opportunities. In addition, this conference also provides stimualting professional development opportunities in particular with politicians, policymakers and the media.

Some highlights of this Conference include a face-to-face meeting with Ministers, Shadow Ministers, Members and Senaors, an address by Prof. Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist of Australia, at the National Press Club and a Gala dinner with Ministers providing an informal discussion in the areas of science and research.

Seminar Series: East Arnhem Land Energy and Water Efficiency Project

Dr Julie Ballweg will be giving a talk on the East Arnhem Land Energy and Water Efficiencty Project. Staffs and students are invited.

Location: RIEL Meeting Room at Red 1.2
Date/Time: Tuesday 18-Mar, 11am-12pm
Abstract: CDU is involved in a project through the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP), funded by the Australian Carbon Tax. The three year project will identify barriers to energy efficiency in households in Galiwin'ku, Gapuwiyak, Milingimbi, Yirrkala and Gunynagara. It is delivered by a consortium of five partners: Power and Water, Bushlight, Department of Housing, East Arnhem Shire Council and Charles Darwin University. The projects goals include developing and trialling best-practice engagement and technology approaches to address identified barriers to energy efficiency. The project will involve household data loggers to record daily electricity usage, interviews to collect energy stories, retrofitting homes with more energy efficient appliances and employment of local community members to deliver household and community education. In this talk I will provide an overview of the project, results from the pilot survey and future challenges.

Hydro-electric power is now being generated in the NT

Read about Power and Water Corporation, in collaboration with the CRE, launch of the NT's first micro-hydro system at Manton Dam: Power and Water marks renewable energy milestone.

Seminar Series: Dr Francis Clark on Renewable Energy to 2020 and Beyond in the Darwin Grid

Dr Francis Clark, Research Fellow with the Centre, will be presenting his work tomorrow. Staffs and students are invited to attend. Below are the information:

Date/Time: Friday 07-Mar, 10am (seminar) then morning tea til 11.30am
Location : Red 1.3.01
Title: Renewable Energy to 2020 and beyond in the Darwin Grid
Abstract: In Northern Australia electricity from solar-PV has passed through retail parity; payback can now be around five years. From a low base, solar-PV is expected to grow rapidly as a source of lower-cost electricity. I will show that in the Darwin-Katherine grid context this solar-PV electricity is overall beneficial at low levels of penetration. Without other changes solar-PV becomes problematic at around 10% penetration, which we may reach before 2020. As most of our electricity supply is used to cool, I argue that the storage and management of 'coolth' is a key strategic issue for Renewable Energy. CDU has been successfully operating a large chilled water storage tank for many years. District cooling systems can bring enormous benefits, but require long term planning to bring into effect. I argue that electricity systems in tropical climates globally can produce lower cost electricity through the judicious combination of conventional generation and network infrastructure, solar-PV installations associated with day-time loads, and a more structured approach to the provision of cooling.

Solar technology under spotlight

Read the CDU news story about PhD candidate Monishka Narayan's work on organic solar cells.

Workshop - Scoping Australia - Asia Grid Connection To Grow Regional Renewable Energy And Energy Security, 29-30 July, CDU, Darwin

The RIEL-CRE, in partnership with the Environment Centre NT and other research, consulting, power distribution and renewable energy organisations in Australia and Indonesia will host a workshop to scope connecting the electricity grids in Northern Australia and Southeast Asia to catalyse the generation and distribution of renewable energy across the region. The Workshop will be held at CDU Casuarina Campus, Darwin, on 29 – 30 July 2013.  For further information please contact: Dr Stuart Blanch, Director, Environment Centre NT, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, on, or Professor Andrew Campbell at:

Dr. Julie Ballweg joins the Centre for Renewable Energy

Dr. Julie Ballweg joined the Centre for Renewable Energy in June 2013. Dr. Julie Ballweg is an environmental economist with a background in modelling ecological decision-making, quantifying the amenity value of environmental resources, econometrics of international supply and demand of forest products and international forest carbon trading.

Prior to joining Charles Darwin University as an environmental economics research fellow, Dr. Ballweg researched the effect of New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme on landowner decisions to convert agricultural land to forest plantations at the University of Canterbury, worked as a forest economist/environmental planner with the State of Wisconsin and the United States Forest Service in the Western US, received a Smithsonian Fellowship at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and researched the rates of return to timberland investments in the Northeast US at the University of Maine.

She is currently working on a Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP) project funded by Clean Energy Futures. The Manymak Power Use project will enable low-income households in East Arnhem Indigenous communities to achieve gains in energy efficiency for social, economic and environmental benefit. The project aims to evaluate the barriers to efficient use of energy and trial best practice engagement and technology approaches to address identified barriers.

Dr. Ballweg has a BSc in Forest Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MSc in Forest Economics from the University of Maine and a PhD in Forest Economics from University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

World-first research centre to be based in Darwin

A ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding to create the world's first tropical environment-focused tidal energy research centre in Darwin has been signed by Tenax Energy Pty Ltd ("Tenax Energy") and Charles Darwin University (CDU). The Testing Centre (and associated Pilot Plant), is the first step towards delivering affordable tidal energy to Darwin by the end of the decade.

CDU-CRE's Postdoctoral Fellow winner of ASI's 3 minute Solar Thesis Challenge

Read about Dr. Kean Yap from the Centre for Renewable Energy - Charles Darwin University being named Postdoctoral Fellow winner for his presentation on ways to optimise hybrid solar-diesel systems in remote areas using smart grids.

Research to help power remote communities

Read the CDU news story about the research project aiming to reduce diesel fuel consumption in the Territory's remote area hybrid power stations. The project will not only reduce costs but also may help to improve the energy security for remote communities and reduce carbon emissions.

Centre for Renewable Energy launched at CDU

Read the CDU news story about the launch of the Northern Territory Centre for Renewable Energy.