Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

The University of Wollongong is committed to working towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its governance, teaching and learning, community engagement, partnerships and research. The following initiatives are by UOW staff and students working towards SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.



reduction in energy consumption#



reduction in greenhouse gas emissions#



of Solar PV systems at Wollongong and Innovation Campus

Teaching, learning and outreach


Students studying subjects about this goal



Media stories about this goal



These stories reached an audience of 8K on social media in 2020



Publications with international collaboration



of the international collaboration publications are with developing countries



Citations per publication (global average 5.4)


Publications in top 10% journals (11.4% in the top 1%)


Policy documents related to SDG 7





2020 figures used unless otherwise specified. #2017-2020 period data used. 2020 data is not necessarily representative of a normal year due to the COVID 19 pandemic and reduced staff and student numbers on campus. It should also be noted that water consumption figures were impacted by drought conditions and water restrictions in 2019.


Energy system overhaul 

UOW is on track to meet its target to reduce energy consumption by 20 per cent before 2035. The Energy and Carbon Management Action Plan and an Environmental Management Plan addresses planned building refurbishments to be rolled out over a three-year period and completed in 2020. Before the work started, there were solar panels already installed on six buildings. Under this program, solar panels have been installed on 17 additional buildings. Plans are also being developed to install more energy-efficient air-conditioning systems in buildings more than 10 years old. 

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Sustainable Building Research Centre

The Sustainable Building Research Centre (SBRC) is a haven for research and industry collaborations with the goal to make all buildings sustainable. The SBRC building itself has 6-Star Green Star certification and the building includes 468 solar panels to support net zero energy, an onsite rainwater system to enable net zero water performance, and use of environmentally safe and reused building materials. SBRC has achieved full marks under the Living Building Challenge and has set a new benchmark as arguably the most sustainable building in Australia. SBRC also provides short courses on energy efficiency, community information events, public exhibitions and conferences on improving residential energy efficiency. It hosted the National Forum on Low Carbon Housing for Low Income Households, bringing together representatives from the not-for-profit sector, community housing, government, industry, energy providers, researchers and tenant advocacy groups to unpack barriers to delivering housing that is both affordable and sustainable.

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Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials

The Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) is a world-class collaborative team conducting research in superconducting and electronic materials science and technology. ISEM seeks to stimulate the technological and commercial development to advance technologies including batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage; applied superconductivity for electrical and medical devices; energy conversion and transmission; spintronic and electronic materials for applications; terahertz science; and nano structured materials.

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Sodium-sulfur batteries

Researchers from the UOW have manufactured a nanomaterial that acts as a superior cathode for room-temperature sodium-sulfur batteries, making them a more attractive option for large-scale energy storage. Room-temperature sodium-sulfur batteries are an attractive proposition for next generation energy storage, which will be required to meet increasing energy demands. A superior room-temperature sodium-sulfur battery with high energy density and long cycling life would provide a low-cost and competitive technology for large-scale stationary storage, thus promoting the shift towards renewable energy.  

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Evaluation of fringe of grid

UOW researchers are working with our regional communities to examine the social, technical and economic possibilities and benefits of deploying alternative electricity supply technologies in fringe of grid applications.

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Energy Efficient Art

This interdisciplinary research team has produced artworks that incorporate energy-efficient elements and slow textile methods to communicate the need to adopt effective sustainable energy strategies in gallery and museum contexts.

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Solar Decathlon and Desert Rose

Team UOW Australia-Dubai was awarded second place in the Solar Decathlon Middle East competition in 2018. The team comprised of more than 40 students from UOW and TAFE NSW, who spent two years designing, prototyping and building. Their design caters for the needs of an ageing population, supporting people living with dementia and other age-related disabilities. Teams from 11 countries competed to create sustainable and accessible homes, with the added challenge of ensuring it functioned in desert temperatures. The house takes its name ‘Desert Rose’ from the flower that flourishes in challenging environments. Desert Rose is considered one of the world’s best examples of sustainability and design innovation.    

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Sustainability in STEM

This project is working alongside the Department of Education, Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and a local pilot study school based on the potential to integrate the energy use and energy efficiency initiatives of the school as an asset, with sustainability as a cross-curriculum priority.

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Subjects and courses for SDG 7

Subject description

This capstone subject will provide students with an opportunity to consolidate their knowledge, skills and attributes required for safe, competent practice as beginning registered nurses. Students will explore global issues in healthcare and how they can impact local change as registered nurses. Students will propose and complete a capstone learning project through which they demonstrate their abilities to integrate, analyse, synthesise and apply knowledge and skills relevant to their professional interests. The project will focus on a relevant scholarly, professional or practice issue \that impacts their local community utilising the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework. Students will complete a critical reflection of the work undertaken during their degree that includes their state of readiness to undertake the role of a registered nurse within the workplace and how they may impact local and global challenges within this role. Find out more.

This subject is working towards:

All 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.



Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health


Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing (Conversion)

Subject description

This subject will examine the drivers, feedbacks and responses to global change over the past c. 2 million years. It will examine major drivers of global climate change/variability and feedbacks between these drivers and other components of Earth’s systems (e.g. climatic/atmospheric, oceanic hydrologic and biologic). It will also examine recent changes to Earth’s systems and put them in context on long term variability. In addition, the subject will examine the methods by which past climates/earth surface processes reconstructed and in doing so will identify key knowledge and data gaps. Find out more.

This subject is working towards:

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing    Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation    Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy  

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production    Goal 15: Life on Land  



Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health


Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours), Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Marine Science, Bachelor of Marine Science (Honours) (Dean's Scholar), Bachelor of Science


Subject description

Should we cycle to uni instead of driving because of climate change? Why are some people concerned about the health risks of mobile phones whilst others see them as a safe and essential way of communicating? What are the issues with using genetic testing to select for particular traits in future children? Science and Technology Studies (STS) provides you with the tools to answer some of these questions and many more. In STS you can study everything from Galileo's conflict with the Church over his sun-centred theory of the cosmos to international law relating to biotechnology regulation and policy responses to climate change. Find out more.

This subject is working towards:

UN SDG 3 Good health and wellbeing   UN SDG 7 Affordable and clean energy    UN SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure    UN SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities    UN SDG 13 Climate Action       



Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Subject description

This subject examines the complex topic of climate change. It explores the basis for current and potential future climate change within the context of the historical and pre-historical records of climate change. The principal drivers (forcing functions) of climate change and their responses are examined critically. After surveying some fundamental concepts in climate science and the Earth’s climate system today, the subject briefly reviews ‘deep time’ perspectives of climate change to assess the magnitude of responses to climate change in Earth surface environments. It is shown that subtle changes in temperature can have profound environmental responses. The ramifications of climate change are also discussed in terms of physical landscape responses and the human dimension of climate change as shown by archaeological records. The role of the four main ‘greenhouse gases’, water vapor, carbon dioxide methane and nitrous oxide are examined in the context of anthropogenically-enhanced greenhouse warming. The major sources and sinks of these gases are described. Past interactions between CO2 and climate, and how projections of future change are developed are also considered. Global warming may induce a variety environmental changes that will confront future societies such as the impacts of sea-level rise and coastal landscape change, general climate state, agriculture and food security. Find out more.

This subject is working towards:

Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy    Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production    Goal 13: Climate action    

Goal 15: Life on Land



Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health


Bachelor of Conservation Biology (Honours), achelor of Conservation Biology (Honours) (Dean's Scholar)

Latest news for SDG 7

Dr Paul Barrett, Chief Executive Officer and Dr Gerry Swiegers, Chief Technical Officer, at Hysata’s Wollongong Facility
Australian Power Quality Research Centre (APQRC) Research Coordinator Sean Elphick