Third Lateral Learning Program on Smart Grid Technologies and Implications for Inclusive Development

Fifty participants attended the Third Lateral Learning Program on Smart Grid Technologies and Implications for Inclusive Development from 14-17 October 2019 at the University of Melbourne.


The workshop was conducted by the Melbourne Energy Institute for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) South Asia Department. This program followed on from previous lateral learning programs that the University has conducted for the ADB. The participants consisted of senior government representatives from the ministries of power in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, as well as ADB energy and social development specialists.

The focus was on community-based clean energy solutions in developing Asia, including smart grid technologies and systems, such as distributed energy resources, micro-grids, battery storage, smart meters, electric vehicles and integrated solutions combining the energy, water, agricultural production and environmental sustainability nexus, within an inclusive development framework, with a focus on gender equality and social inclusion (GESI). Community resilience to extreme weather incorporating power system reliability was discussed.  Information on international experience was shared, through examples and case studies, along with implementation roadmaps, frameworks and strategies. The policy and regulatory environment required to foster the low-carbon energy transition, to leapfrog both technology and social equity gaps, was also discussed.

The field trip to the 30MW battery system in Ballarat and a VPP test facility demonstrating the relevant software platform with presentations of learnings to date in Beaconsfield was organised by MONDO and was a highlight of the program. A tour of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Smart Grid, Drones, Imaging and Optical Communications labs was also enthusiastically received.

The workshop included three Feature Talks as well as interactive lectures, all of which have been made available via the conference webpage.

Feature Talks:

Priyantha Wijayatunga, Director South Asia Energy Division (SAEN), Asia Development Bank
- Smart Grid development in South Asia – policies, plans and implications for poverty reduction and social inclusion

Prof. Michael Brear, Director, Melbourne Energy Institute, and Professor of Engineering, The University of Melbourne
– Hydrogen: has its time come and what are the socio-economic implications?

Prof. Rob Evans, Laureate Professor, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Melbourne
– Engineering in the 21st Century

Interactive Lectures:

Pierluigi Mancarella, Chair Professor of Electrical Power Systems at The University of Melbourne
- Power System resilience to extreme events – a stronger, bigger, or a smarter grid?

Dr Reihana Mohideen, Senior Research Fellow, and Antonin DeMazy, Research Assistant and PhD Candidate, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Melbourne
- Community energy resilience in Bangladesh – presentation of University of Melbourne study

Dr Sangeetha Chandra-Shekeran, Lecturer, School of Geography, Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne
- Social Equity Challenges in Australia’s Energy Transition

Robyn Schofield, Director, Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne
- Climate Change Modelling: How it informs community resilience analysis​

More Information

Debbie Mussett

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