Call for proposals –

Decarbonising Heat Research Opportunity –

RACE for 2030 CRC


This project is to progress research following the Opportunity Assessment report into Electrification and renewables to displace fossil fuel process heating. It aims to assist Australian businesses to decarbonise heat in a way that reduces costs,  greenhouse emissions and improves demand flexibility. The opportunity assessment identified that the hierarchy of lowest cost heat delivery is renewable energy and energy efficiency, followed by thermal storage, then green fuels. Renewable energy includes solar PV with heat pumps/mechanical vapour recompression or electric boilers, solar thermal, biogas, biomass combustion, coupled with thermal storage. However, there are substantial barriers to the accelerated uptake of these technologies, covering technical, non-technical, regulatory and commercial issues. Research is needed to overcome these barriers.

Expected outputs include:

1.                     Technology status for decarbonising process heating across industry (extension of existing assessment undertaken in the opportunity assessment)

a.                   Case study(ies) or feasibility study(ies) of existing successful examples of businesses engaging with heat decarbonisation programs (this pilot and others) across a range of sectors to reduce perceived risks to wider adoption i.e. suitable to support internal decision-making processes. These could include elements such as:

  •      A clear assessment of customer benefit, how key barriers were addressed, lessons learnt for future program development and implementation
  •     Clear definitions of key terms e.g. a glossary for heat decarbonisation
  •     Insights on interoperability of enabling technology(ies) e.g. Industry 4.0
  •     Financial models for commercial and industrial (C&I) heat decarbonisation segments


2.                    Pilot of heat decarbonisation in commercial and/or industrial setting

a.                   Pilot(s) of C&I successfully addressing the issue of heat decarbonisation for technical readiness level 5 or above

b.                   A report (for utilities, policy makers and regulators) on product development for widespread deployment of heat decarbonisation

c.                   A roadmap to help C&I customers develop internal strategies (technical, market, economic) with milestones towards investment in heat decarbonisation

d.                   Our definition of ‘pilot’ includes activities that progress technology maturity from technology readiness level (TRL) 5 and beyond. TRL5 is defined by ARENA as “validation in relevant environment” or “thorough testing of prototyping in a representative environment” (ARENA, 2014). In practice, this may not necessarily require capital investment by RACE for 2030, rather the requirement is the validation of that pilot equipment.


3.                    Development of enhanced models

a.                Develop guidance on data capture, storage and analysis methodology including baseline data 

b.                Identify opportunity to enhance or complement existing tools e.g. the A2EP heat pump estimator

c.                Develop detailed modelling tools that have been identified through the gap analysis at (b) e.g. process integration tool to incorporate multiple technologies including thermal storage, improved unsteady state modelling, model(s) to calculating the financial metrics of projects more accurately, tool(s) for better identification of risks and uncertainties for decarbonising projects

d.                Develop a framework for integrating existing and new modelling tools


4.                    Shortlisting refrigerants

a.                Global scan of available sustainable refrigerants against a rubric heat decarbonisation in the Australian context

b.                Shortlist prospective refrigerants for future Australian projects


The detailed Call for Proposal Guidelines are below and also available on the My Community Portal.

To submit your proposal for this theme, please go to our Community portal and login.

If you require a login to the portal, please email


The submission deadline is 7pm (AEST) Tuesday, 2nd May 2023.

Please contact Tracey Colley at with any enquiries.