The Institute is known internationally for its uniquely transdisciplinary research that supports cost-effective, sustainable and adaptive solutions, especially the provision of energy and water cycle management options for the challenges presented by rising urban populations, climate change and environmental flow demands. Our work in the energy field focuses on the application of Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) principles to the engineering, economics and policy of decarbonising electricity supply. Central to this approach is the consideration of demand- and supply-side options on a level footing to achieve lowest cost, lowest carbon outcomes. Our experience in influencing the Australian debate on alternative approaches to meeting energy society’s energy needs is demonstrated through our role as cluster leader of the CSIRO’s Intelligent Grid research program, focussing on the application of decentralised energy technologies and services; and our role advising the Prime Minster’s Task Group on Energy Efficiency of policy reforms to remove barriers to the uptake of low cost emissions reduction opportunities.
ISF’s research team also has a wealth of on-the-ground experience in applying these approaches within the diverse socio-cultural settings of the Asia-Pacific region. Our experience covers collaborative development of national energy policy, energy security aspects of livelihoods projects, assessment of local renewable energy and energy efficiency options to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, and analysis of a wide range of social dimensions of energy policy and planning challenges including land use and tenure. ISF’s experience in applying these principles to human development challenges in the region is complemented by our strong record in communicating complex issues in an accessible and engaging way to developing country government and community counterparts. Our team consider this element as core to the capacity building processes undertaken as part of all of our work.
An example of innovative research in the sector includes applying integrated resource planning principles to rural and regional tourism development context, see the Clean Technology in Tourist Accommodation: A Best Practice Manual ,a manual that ISF produced for the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre under the APEC Tourism Working Group.
Clean technology applications in tourism accommodation
Client: Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre
The Institute’s expertise in clean energy systems and the principles of sustainable tourism led to the development of a framework for understanding the key issues and barriers to the introduction of clean energy in tourist accommodation following a review of relevant international literature. This framework was then used to collect information on best practice examples of the use and management of clean energy technologies in hotels and small scale rural and remote accommodation establishments. The resulting manual will assist decision makers to choose locally appropriate options on sourcing energy from either renewable (geo-thermal, solar, wind etc) or low impact forms of generation. The manual also outlines the energy savings that can be achieved from using appliances that are energy efficient and engaging people to use energy more wisely by, for example, turning lights off when not in the room. The research found that by being more energy and water wise, operators of small to medium accommodation establishments in rural and remote areas such as hostels, small hotels, and guest houses can achieve cost savings. The manual will be used as a tool for APEC economies to provide training and engage with their local communities. The project was undertaken as a partnership with the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) and AICST (the APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism).
Daly, J., Glassmire, Jo., Langham, E. and Paddon, M. 2010 Clean technology in tourist accommodation: a best practice manual [prepared for APEC Tourism Working Group], Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, Gold Coast, Australia. Download/view