Melbourne Climate Futures (MCF) Academy and doctoral program
Climate change is a complex challenge and solutions cannot be found just in one or two disciplines. The MCF Academy will form a diverse intellectual and interdisciplinary community, drawing from all areas across the University to promote and innovate a rich exchange of ideas.
The MCF Academy offers strategic scholarships for MCF-supported PhD students recruited in priority areas.
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MCFA Seminar Series
Scaling up green hydrogen supply
Green hydrogen from renewable electricity and derived electrofuels can replace fossil fuels in applications where direct electrification is infeasible. While this makes them crucial for climate neutrality, rapidly scaling up supply is critical and challenging. Here we analyse potential expansion pathways of electrolysers, using a probabilistic model of S-shaped technology diffusion. We find that even if electrolysis capacity grows as fast as wind and solar power (the growth-rate champions) green hydrogen supply will remain scarce in the short term and uncertain in the long term. Despite initial exponential growth, green hydrogen likely (≥75%) supplies <1% of final energy through 2030 (2035) in the EU (globally). By 2040, a breakthrough to higher shares is more likely, but large uncertainties prevail with an interquartile range of 3.2-11.2% (EU) and 0.7-3.3% (globally). Both short-term scarcity and long-term uncertainty impede investment in hydrogen end-uses and infrastructure, reducing green hydrogen’s potential and jeopardising climate targets. However, historic analogues suggest that emergency-like policy measures could foster substantially higher growth rates. This would be required to keep the ambitious 2030 EU hydrogen target within reach and increase the likelihood of future hydrogen availability in the EU and globally.
Speaker: Adrian Odenweller
Adrian Odenweller is a doctoral researcher in the Energy Systems Group at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and a PhD candidate at the Technical University of Berlin. His research focuses on the role of hydrogen and electrification in climate change mitigation scenarios. Adrian holds degrees in Climate Science (M.Sc), Physics (B.Sc.) and Economics (B.Sc.) from the Universities of Hamburg and Cologne. Previously, he was a research assistant at the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, a visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge, and a trainee at the European Central Bank.
Members of the MCF Academy
Alister's research focus is on the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC and how this has evolved over time. Through close study of climate negotiations his PhD develops a historical account of how and why change has occurred in this institution. Climate negotiations Climate finance Institutional change
Ceren's research focuses on the role of resource-based conflicts in spurring a just transition away from coal. Just transition Coal transition
Chang specialises in large-scale energy system transition optimisation, and renewable electricity export modelling in the forms of direct electricity, hydrogen and energy-embodied products such as green steel. Electricity markets Renewable exports
Clare's research focuses on closing the gap between research and policy related to the health and environmental impacts of air pollution in Australia. She is currently investigating the implications of continued car-centric city design and urban design practices to children's respiratory health (asthma) and examining policy responses. Air pollution Children's health Policy impact
Felix is passionate about all things energy and ensuring the energy transition is equitable. His work encompasses the household-level changes we're seeing with the installation of solar PV and battery energy storage systems, and transport electrification across public and private fleets. Electrification Transport Distributed energy resources
Kelvin researches the decarbonisation and operational opportunities for end-users in a transitioning electricity market. He evaluates the potential of decentralised energy resources to create new market segments, operational roles, and business models. Energy transitions Energy policy Rooftop PV and batteries
Lena´s research is situated at the interface of global environmental governance, societal transformation and environmental ethics. In her PhD she explores the connections between human-nature relations and climate response, focussing on bushfire-affected communities in Victoria. Global Environmental governance Societal transformation Environmental ethics
Professor Malte Meinshausen's research works on climate change scenarios, remaining carbon budgets, NDCs and the reduced-complexity climate model, MAGICC. He is a lead author on the IPCC Working Group I and Synthesis reports. Carbon budgets NDCs MAGICC
Prof Rayner's main research activities focus on the estimation of surface sources and sinks of CO2. He uses satellite and in-situ measurements with models to quantify and understand the patterns and mechanisms of CO2 release and uptake with a focus on the tropics and Southern Hemisphere. Meteorology and atmospheric sciences Inverse problems CO2 surface sources and sinks
Pia’s PhD research focuses on international climate finance for adaptation via the Green Climate Fund and the justice implications therein. Pia’s teaching and research activities focus on adaptation in practice, climate justice, and how to ensure the inclusion of the most vulnerable. Climate finance Adaptation Climate justice
Win's research conducts scenario analysis of demand response (DR) to the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM). With the increase of flexible demand, his simulation will provide for better-informed decisions by policy makers and indicate whether the integration of demand-response programs is more economical than the addition of new generation and network capacity builds, as well as whether the scheme can complement existing energy storage systems to some degree. Renewable energy modelling Energy modelling Demand response (DR)
Xinyang's research focuses on quantifying the impact of climate change and variability on the groundwater in Australia and Germany. Groundwater level and recharge Climate change Conceptual modeling
Zeb's research focuses on the global warming implications of past and future emissions. Alongside Malte Meinshausen and Jared Lewis he developed the MAGICC reduced complexity climate model. MAGICC is a world-leading tool for determining whether changes in emissions of different species (including CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and aerosol precursors) are sufficient to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement or not. Carbon budgets NDCs MAGICC
Dr. Elisabeth Vogel is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the UNSW Water Research Centre and an Honorary Research Fellow at Melbourne Climate Futures. Her research focuses on past and future changes in climate and hydrological extremes and downstream impacts, such as on food production and water resources, with a particular focus on the impacts of compound events. In her research, Elisabeth uses novel statistical and machine learning techniques to translate hydro-climate data into impacts information. Previously, Elisabeth was a Research Hydrologist at the Bureau of Meteorology where she lead the development of seasonal hydrological forecasts for Australia and hydrological simulations for the Bureau’s National Hydrological Projections that form part of the new Australian Water Outlook. Water hydrological extremes hydro-climate data
Phoebe Quinn began her PhD in May 2022, exploring possibilities for scaling up deliberative processes in community decision-making around climate change, disaster risk reduction and recovery. Specifically, her research is focusing on the use of Polis, a digital crowdsourcing platform designed to enable large groups of people to discuss contentious issues, identifying points of consensus and mapping the ‘opinion landscape’ in real time. Through mixed methods action research, Phoebe is investigating the integration of Polis within community decision making processes in Australia relating to climate change and/or disasters. The PhD is funded by Melbourne Climate Futures, the Faculty of MDHS and Natural Hazards Research Australia, with supervision from Prof Lisa Gibbs, Prof Kathryn Bowen and Prof Nicole Curato. Phoebe is also a Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, where her work includes research into disaster resilience, community wellbeing and social justice, and knowledge translation activities including the development of strengths-based resources relating to disasters and climate change. democratic innovations civic technology climate and disaster resilience
Theo researches the impacts of clean energy transitions and climate change on international relations. His PhD project utilises Game theory and non-traditional security concepts to analyse the impacts of clean hydrogen and critical minerals on the future of the Australia-South Korea relationship. Energy Transitions Non-Traditional Security Game Theory
Nabreesa is passionate about addressing inequities at the intersections of gender, health, and human rights. Her PhD explores how the increasingly complex disaster landscape of the Pacific affects the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of Pacific youth. Nabreesa hopes to highlight the impacts of disasters on existing SRHR inequities, and the importance of applying a justice lens to disaster risk reduction and governance. Through the PhD she aims to identify opportunities for meaningful youth engagement in disaster risk reduction, to strengthen youth leadership and inform inclusive strategies that address the needs of young people. sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in disasters youth engagement in disaster risk reduction (DRR) inclusive DRR
Ryan’s research aims to advance methods in conservation and spatial planning to account for processes that connect terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the context of climate change. His PhD project in the Burdekin region promotes the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef by integrating multiple objectives (water quality, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration) into a spatial optimization framework. The collaborative nature of his research links efforts from a variety of stakeholders to identify how climate change influences planning objectives and the cross-realm implications - guiding management actions that maximize mutual benefit across land and sea realms. Conservation marine ecosystems Great Barrier Reef
Sophie’s research sits at the interface of climate change, health, social-ecological systems and governance. Her PhD explores the role of governance in the climate-resilient development of healthcare systems and seeks to identify particular governance structures, mechanisms and attributes that enhance adaptive and transformative capacities of healthcare systems and enables climate-resilient development. Healthcare systems Governance Climate-resilient Development
Bek researches the intersections between financial, corporate and climate law, as well as the role of climate litigation. Specifically, her PhD examines the regulation of climate change impacts to banks’ mortgage portfolios. Financial/climate law climate litigation
Steven’s research surrounds the spread and management of an invasive grass species under climate change on pastoral properties across the Northern Australian savannas. Modelling incorporates interaction with fire regime, and impacts on carbon storage, biodiversity and landholder income are being assessed. invasive species global change governance