Monash University's Passive House certified Woodside Building for Technology and Design. Image supplied by APHA.

In news that will buoy the no-time-for-gas aficionados Monash University has teamed up with energy company ENGIE in a what the pair describe as a “long-term alliance until 2030”   to advance Monash’s now quite well known and “UN award-winning Net Zero Initiative”.

Among the goals is optimising the university’s off-site supply of renewable energy generation, upgrading existing buildings for energy efficiency and developing all-electric district heating and cooling systems, Monash’s chief operating officer and senior vice president Peter Marshall said.

For its part, ENGIE Australia & New Zealand chief executive officer Augustin Honorat said it was a chance for his company to demonstrate what an “integrated net zero precinct looks like in Australia and the chance to co-develop solutions of the future with Monash” which he described as a leading organisation both in the research and education of the net zero ambition. After the university’s work with Passive House, we’re inclined to agree.

The collaboration includes the Net Zero Solutions Fund designed to tackle the range of technological, economic, policy and social barriers to achieving net zero emissions at the city scale, such as the Net Zero Precinct ARC Linkage project.

The university’s new strategic plan Impact 2030 aims for development of a new real-time net zero approach to support the decarbonisation of cities and the energy grid.

“The adoption of a real-time net zero approach that looks at aligning renewable energy generation and consumption will help eliminate carbon from the grid and take advantage of the near-zero generating variable cost of wind and solar,” the alliance said in a media statement. 

What this will mean is no gas for according ENGIE’s net zero energy solutions chief development officer, Anna Quillinan.

“Our proposed solution for Monash’s Clayton campus removes the need to use natural gas for heating and when complemented with thermal energy storage facilities, heating and cooling can be provided to multiple buildings with much greater efficiency and flexibility.”

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