Industry' environment' community and youth leaders have gathered to learn and look to a greener future' at the recent Energy' Environment and Our Sustainable Future CQ Showcase at CQUniversity Gladstone.
Held on Saturday 8 October 2022' the event welcomed nearly 100 participants to explore the latest in science and technology driving renewable energy.
Launched by Queensland Assistant Minister for Hydrogen Lance McCallum MP' it also attracted a wide variety of renewables industry changemakers' and was held a week after the Queensland Government announced its renewable energy target of 70 per cent by 2032 and 80 per cent by 2035.
Organiser and CQUniversity Partner Up Queensland Regional Hub Coordinator Dr Cal Devney said the Showcase was an important step for Gladstone as a leader in the emerging renewable energy sector' and featured a range of highlights.
"The keynote address by Peter Goggin from Stanwell outlined very comprehensive plans for how the energy corporation will achieve a sustainable energy future and benefit the Gladstone region' including harnessing green solar energy for their operations at their Aldoga site northwest of Gladstone'" she explained.
"Participants were excited about the opportunities' and even suggested that we hold the event annually!" she said.
"Our goal was to provide the Central Queensland community with an opportunity to learn about hydrogen and understand the current and planned activities' as well as the opportunities that are coming to the Gladstone region.
"We also hosted youth innovators' presentations to an expert panel' and participating students gained valuable experience presenting to a large audience and received valuable feedback from the expert panel.
"Our region's youth are well on their way to innovating for a more sustainable future."
The Showcase also featured a Science and Innovation Industry Luncheon' with a welcome from Gladstone Regional Councillor Chris Cameron' and a community Q&A session with Mr Goggin' CQUniversity Chair of Hydrogen and Renewable Energies Professor Murray Shearer' Queensland Chief Entrepreneur's Innovation Advisory Council Dr Christine Williams' and Garry Mewett from Fortescue Metals.
Exhibits also featured CQUniversity Engineering research projects' including an initiative to process landfill such as tyres into commercial-grade biofuel.
"The community members appreciated the opportunity to interact with these representatives and asked exceptionally thoughtful questions about the process of hydrogen production and the opportunities available for the community'" Dr Deveny said.
Dr Deveny thanked program sponsors including Inspiring Australia' Partner Up Queensland and Gladstone Engineering Alliance.
Prof Shearer said the Showcase was vital for the region's green energy future.
"This was a fantastic event that involved industry' business' researchers and the community and we need to have more like them to educate the community and make those important linkages'" he said.
"CQUniversity is the perfect place for conversations about hydrogen' sustainability and renewable energy.
"Gladstone is sitting at the frontier and the changes that are coming because of hydrogen are similar to when the world went from riding a horse to driving a car. The changes won't be small changes' there are going to be big changes to our lives as a result of the hydrogen industry."
Prof Shearer is working to establishment a Hydrogen and Renewable Energies Centre of Excellence for Central
"The Centre of Excellence is vital for how industry' research and community collaborate to drive the adoption of green hydrogen for export in Gladstone' and to develop the zero emissions technologies required by industry'" Prof Shearer said.
"With a dual focus on research and training' this Centre will complement existing infrastructure on the Gladstone Marina campus and allow us to increase our research and training outputs including foundation skills' electrolyser operation' instrumentation and process control and advanced manufacturing."