UNSW Energy Institute

The need for reliable, affordable, clean energy is ubiquitous. From healthcare to food production to transportation, energy affects every major aspect of almost every human life.

The world is in the throes of an energy transition, driven by the imperative for decarbonisation, the ageing of existing energy facilities, the commercialisation of new energy technologies and the emergence of new business models. Australia is now faced with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape its electricity system for the future and embrace the wave of technological change that will accompany this transition. 

Monique Alfris

Our vision and impact

Our vision is for UNSW to be a global leader for the energy transition. Our activity is focussed on achieving impact in three main areas:

  1. Energy is affordable, reliable and sustainable
  2. Energy underpins a growing economy and prosperity for all Australians
  3. Energy contributes to solving many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

UNSW is Australia’s global university. By taking an active role in Australian energy technology, markets and policy, we create global impact. We do this directly, such as:

  • Through global IP partnerships, such as our leading solar PV technologies
  • Through collaborative research with other universities
  • Through knowledge exchange with international industry partners
  • Through our leading entrepreneur alumni group, such as Dr. Zhengrong Shi, the world’s first solar billionaire
  • Through our leading social entrepreneur alumni group, such as Monique Alfris, co-founder of Pollinate Energy, a social enterprise in India
  • And through on-the-ground international energy development projects

The purpose of the UNSW Energy Institute is to accelerate the role that energy plays in supporting a growing, zero-carbon economy.

The UNSW Energy Institute:

  • Accelerates the uptake of new energy technologies:
    • supports the technology development that occurs in UNSW’s faculties and schools, and
    • facilitates external partnerships and funding.
  • Advocates for appropriate policies and regulations.
  • Shares evidence and know-how upon which to build the energy future, in Australia and internationally.

The Institute unites energy activities across UNSW with industry, government, community stakeholders and other research institutions. We support knowledge sharing and connect research to community issues and to commercial solutions.


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Our competitive advantage

UNSW provides an independent, evidence-based, system-wide understanding of energy’s contribution to the economy. 

  • Independent: The Energy Institute’s perspective is free from conflicted funding and advice.  

  • Evidence-based: UNSW undertakes rigorous, peer-reviewed research using scientific methods.  

  • System-wide: UNSW’s perspective spans the energy value chain, from energy production and generation, distribution, end use, energy markets and economics. 

Our capabilities

UNSW has hundreds of energy experts with a strong reputation for excellence, rigour and relevance, and world-class research facilities.

The Institute is informed by a strong legacy of deep research capabilities across the entire energy value chain 

  • Science and technology: traditional and renewable energy, energy storage, energy systems and integration, power-to-gas and gas-to-power, digital grids, energy efficiency and productivity, energy-smart precincts and buildings, energy access and affordability. 

  • Public policy, economics and market design, laws, standards and regulation, social acceptance and energy equity. 

UNSW’s experts have a strong reputation for excellence, combining rigour with relevance, and they work in world-class research facilities

The Institute magnifies and accelerates UNSW’s impact, by operating across Faculty and School boundaries, so that the “whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. The Energy Institute collaborates with renowned UNSW centres and institutes in energy-adjacent domains

  • Energy-transport nexus: UNSW Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation; 

  • Energy-water nexus: UNSW Global Water Institute;  

  • Energy-climate nexus: UNSW Climate Change Research Centre. 

The Institute intermediates between external stakeholders and UNSW’s capabilities, ensuring relevance and timeliness, enhancing knowledge sharing and increasing funding 

The Institute asks and answers ”big questions”  

The Institute provides credible advocacy in the public domain, supported by modelling and research. 

Our intention is to achieve tangible, long term impact.  

wind farm

Breadth of expertise

The UNSW Energy Institute recognises the ubiquity of current energy technologies and fuels, and the need to transition to cleaner, more efficient and productive energy solutions.  

The global energy transition will involve a portfolio of responses, and UNSW is uniquely positioned, with experts in a range of relevant research areas, including:  



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With its reputation for excellence, UNSW is backed by our extensive expertise spanning across the energy storage sector. We are committed to fostering an innovative and entrepreneurial environment. Addressing energy storage solutions is now critical and at the forefront of world economic policy and corporate investment.  

It is of interest to governments at all levels, and consumers are demanding more – from electric vehicles to small scale energy storage solutions for homes and business. Together we have an opportunity to make this happen.  

For more information and research highlights, download our Energy Storage Capability Portfolio.

Tyree building

Working with UNSW

The UNSW Energy Institute connects people with opportunities.  

By partnering with UNSW, your organisation will gain opportunities to access innovative research, ground-breaking discoveries and the very best students – the next generation of leaders in the energy sector.  

We offer a broad range of engagement models and have decades of experience partnering with small and large organisations to deliver:  

  • Multidisciplinary expertise at the centre of leading and emerging research  
  • Access to world class technologies and infrastructure  
  • Dedicated industry-facing and government-facing organisational units, including UNSW Knowledge Exchange and UNSW Division of Enterprise  
  • Highly effective partnership models including research strategy advice and support  
  • Collaborative research leveraging third party and government funding  
  • Access to our national and global research partners  
  • Access to students through professional development programs, projects and our industry placement program  
  • Customised and bespoke initiatives  

Need energy experts but not sure where to start? 

We can connect you with UNSW’s energy experts. We also regularly host companies, and hold workshops to explore how to best collaborate to create impact. 

Contact us if you need an academic partner to support your funding applications to ARENA, the CEFC, CRCs, NERA, ARC Linkage and other opportunities. 

Justine Jarvine

Our executive

Justine Jarvinen (JJ)
GAICD, FFin, BE(Chem) 
Chief Executive Officer, UNSW Energy Institute 

Ms Justine Jarvinen (JJ) has a wealth of experience across the energy sector having worked in operational, investment analyst, strategy and advisory roles in Australia and the UK for organisations such as Exxon, Shell, Caltex, JBWere and AGL Energy.  

JJ is Chairman of energy technology startup Wattwatchers, non-executive director of ASX-listed Milton Corporation (ASX:MLT), and non-executive director of international social enterprise Pollinate Group. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) with First Class Honours, and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia. 

Email: j.jarvinen@unsw.edu.au 
LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/in/justinejarvinen 


Our governance

Cross Faculty steering committee 

The Energy Institute takes a multi-disciplinary approach to energy challenges and opportunities, across a range of faculties and schools at UNSW, which participate in the Institute’s Steering Committee.  

Industry Advisory Board  

The UNSW Energy Institute partners with industry to solve current energy challenges, create future opportunities and lead the global energy transformation. We are grateful to a range of companies and individuals for their partnership and guidance.  

Members of the Industry Advisory Board:  

  • Grant King: President of the Business Council of Australia, prior CEO of Origin Energy 
  • George Maltabarow: Consultant, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, prior Managing Director of Ausgrid 
  • John Pickhaver: Co-Head of Macquarie Capital, Macquarie Bank  
  • Peter Tyree: Chairman of the Tyree Foundation 
tyree building

Get in touch

Phone and email

For general enquiries, please call the Faculty of Engineering reception on (+61 2) 9385 5000 or email Energy.Institute@unsw.edu.au


  • UNSW Energy Institute (by appointment only): Level 3, Tyree Energy Technologies Building (H6) at the Kensington Campus (on Anzac Parade), UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052 Australia.
  • Engineering Faculty office: Level 6 of the Computer Science & Engineering Building (K17) at the Kensington Campus (near the Barker St Gate 14), UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052 Australia.
  • Campus map