The Transforming Energy Markets Research Centre promotes world-leading interdisciplinary research that facilitates the smooth transition of existing, emerging and new energy markets to a decarbonised future.
For energy market stakeholders and decision-makers, this involves changes to the current structure of wholesale electricity markets; the creation and design of new markets such as carbon credit units; and the integration of new energy sources and technologies, such as hydrogen or the use of smart meters and distributed energy systems. The long-term vision is to establish the Centre as an internationally leading institution for interdisciplinary research on energy market design, analytics, regulation and innovation.
Transforming Energy Markets brings together more than 30 researchers from Macquarie Business School, the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Through collaborative research across several disciplines, the Centre will create a knowledge brokerage to improve the functioning of energy markets in Australia and around the world, make the supply of energy more cost-effective and reliable and reduce carbon emissions.
The Centre’s expertise includes energy economics, business analytics, econometrics of financial markets, energy law, regulation and policy, socio-legal perspectives, statistical modelling, clean energy technologies, energy systems analysis and engineering.
The Centre will be led by a cross-faculty team including the Centre Director Professor Stefan Trueck, Department of Actuarial Studies and Business Analytics with Co-Directors Professor Sean Foley, Department of Applied Finance; Professor Vito Mollica, Department of Applied Finance; Professor Tina Soliman Hunter, Macquarie Law School; Dr Madeline Taylor, Macquarie Law School; Professor Vladimir Strezov, School of Natural Sciences; and Associate Professor Yijiao Jiang, School of Engineering.
The Transforming Energy Markets Research Centre will place Macquarie at the forefront of addressing one of the greatest societal challenges of our time: redesigning energy markets to transform and decarbonise the economy. To achieve this vision, the Centre focuses on new research methods and discoveries facing transitioning energy markets in three core areas of expertise:
- Research Stream 1 focuses on the design, economic and econometric analysis of energy markets.
- Research Stream 2 examines regulation, social acceptability and impacts of the energy transition, as well as market-based mechanisms for decarbonisation.
- Research Stream 3 probes the inclusion of technological innovation and transformative energy technologies in energy markets to actuate change.
Current projects include:
Understanding Australia’s energy crisis and market suspension
In 2022, the National Energy Market (NEM) in Australia was suspended in an unprecedented move, after wholesale power prices had skyrocketed to over $10,000/MWh for sustained periods. This mandated the capping of electricity prices at $300, causing many participants (particularly gas-fired power plants) to withdraw from the market. Electricity supply was only maintained through the direct intervention of energy market regulators, obliging existing generators to contribute electricity to the grid. Research by the Centre documents the regulatory framework, rules and generator behaviour responsible for the crisis, and analyses the different impacts on regional markets in the NEM based on their generation mix.
Community acceptability and the energy transition: developing renewable energy sentiment index for Australia
Understanding public sentiment towards the transition of energy markets is important because public perception influences policy and investment decisions in the sector. This project applies analytical techniques to develop a renewable energy sentiment index for Australia. The index is derived by examining and measuring the sentiment of tweets by the Australian public, using lexicon-based methods as well as artificial intelligence. The research employs business analytics techniques such as web crawling, text mining and data mining to measure and analyse opinions, emotions and sentiments in written documents. The study aims to develop the first Australian Renewable Energy Sentiment Index as well as key insights into the dynamics of public perception on the energy transition in the Australian community. It also aims to identify key factors that shape attitudes towards renewable energy, while offering valuable information for policymakers and stakeholders in the energy sector.
Leading practice regulatory framework for hydrogen
This research project examines the requirements for establishing a legal framework to support a hydrogen framework. Utilising a holistic approach, the project examines not only the generation of hydrogen, but also the development of a hydrogen market in the future. This is a scoping project that will examine requirements from a big-picture perspective.
Biofuel production from co-processing of biomass and plastic wastes
This project assesses opportunities for co-processing plastic wastes with biomass to improve the quality of bio-fuel production. Two different co-processing technologies are being investigated, including pyrolysis and gasification. Different types of plastics are processed to optimise the processing parameters and maximise bio-oil production quality. The work aims to design sustainable solutions to plastic waste management issues.
How to engage with the Transforming Energy Markets Research Centre
Staff interested in contributing to the work of the Centre are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Upcoming Centre events
Lectures and seminars
Together with the University’s Smart Green Cities Research Centre, the Centre will host University of Oxford Professor Myles Allen on 26 July. Professor Allen is the Director of the Oxford Net Zero initiative and will present ‘Geological Net Zero: How we will stop fossil fuels from causing global warming’, followed by a panel discussion with leading energy experts on ‘What does Net Zero mean for Australian energy markets?’
A seminar series is already underway with strong interest from industry and regulatory participants. The first event of the Transforming Energy Markets Event Series was held in early May, with speaker Professor Thierry Bros from Sciences Po Paris. The leading European energy expert presented ‘Back to security of supply or fast-track energy transition’.
The Centre will host the 5th Australasian Commodity Markets Conference in September, and the 11th Financial Risk Day in October, with the theme The Energy Transition: Risks and Opportunities, jointly with the Centre for Risk Analytics. Register your interest in attending these events here by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.