Increasing DER hosting capacity while reducing costs and enhancing energy system resilience


Prof Peter Newman and Dr Charlie Hargroves (Curtin)

Richard Romanowski (Planet Ark Power)

The project

The successful PhD scholarship applicant will investigate how new customer transaction and business models can be used to accelerate the uptake of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in order to cost effectively assist in stabilising the grid during the transition to decentralised energy generation and storage. The pace of the shift to DERs has been underestimated and this is now causing service issues with the current electricity grid (regarding electricity cost and quality), while also suppressing a range of new business opportunities. The effective management of this transition stands to provide significant opportunity to both incumbent entities and new entrants to the energy sector, while supporting Net Zero emissions outcomes. The future electricity grid will likely incorporate a combination of both grid and local scale renewable energy generation and storage, with the emphasis likely on local scale, with risks for all stakeholders in the transition from central systems.

The focus of the PhD project will be on ways to harness the value of DERs through new ways to transact energy services in a way that creates multiple benefits for existing and new stakeholders. The research will learn from and build on current academic and industrial projects to explore tangible ways to underpin a safe and rapid transition to a clean, affordable, and reliable grid based around the appropriate rollout of DERs.

The successful applicant will work closely with the research partner on the PhD project and will undergo a 2 day commercialisation training



  • For students with a strong engineering related undergraduate degree and at least 3 years of industry experience in the energy sector, including some level of industry research and publication
  • Applicants should have a first-class honours or Masters degree or equivalent in a related discipline, OR a combination of an upper second-class honour’s degree or equivalent in a related discipline together with a minimum of three to five years equivalent full-time professional work experience in renewable energy and energy storage installations.
  • Applicants must be eligible for enrolment in their chosen course at a participating RACE for 2030 university partner.
  • Applicants must be studying full time.



Planet Ark Power



$38,000 + $3,000 pa expenses







Page last updated 11 June 2023