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Advancing clean energy technology

Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years have been announced.

The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund.

Researchers from Victoria University of Wellington’s high power electric motors for large-scale transport project will help position New Zealand at the leading edge of superconductor engineering and power electronics to support the development of future electric aircraft.

University of Canterbury researchers will look at how high levels of direct current from renewable electricity technologies like solar and wind power, electric vehicles, and battery storage can be integrated into the alternating current electricity grid.

The project, Ahuora: Delivering sustainable industry through smart process heat decarbonisation being led by researchers from Waikato University, will engineer an enabling digital technology, critical for decarbonising our process heat sector by 2050. This sector currently releases about 28 percent of energy-related emissions in New Zealand and is a challenging issue globally.

The investment comes through the Strategic Science Investment Fund (SSIF). The SSIF’s purpose is to establish and support longer-term research programmes of mission-led science critical to the future of New Zealand’s economy, environment, and wellbeing. This is the first SSIF investment in a fund dedicated to advanced energy technology research.