Australia’s chief scientist calls for increased investment in renewable energy

By on 05/02/2016
Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist

Australia’s new chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel has called for greater investment in the research and development of technology for renewable energy.

Finkel, who has been in his role for just over a week, said that instead of focusing on closing down fossil fuels, efforts should be made to make renewable energy into a “really attractive” alternative.

The founder of a Silicon Valley robotic instruments company said these efforts will take between 20 and 30 years, but warned that “the slower we start, the longer it will take.”

Finkel added: “We have started, but it needs to be done even more effectively. To do that, we need to develop more cost-effective, highly efficient technology and develop storage that goes with solar and wind.”

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The best thing for Australia to do, he said, “is to develop zero emission technologies that are reliable, abudant and affordable,” according to SBS news.

Finkel, who in 1983 established Axon Instruments, a California-based, supplier of electronic and robotic instruments used in neuroscience research and pharmaceutical drug development, was previously chancellor of Monash University, which has campuses in Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, India and China.

He replaced Professor Ian Chubb, who had been in post since May 2011, to become the country’s eighth chief scientist.

He is the chairman of the Australian Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics and the Executive Chairman of Stile Education – an education technology company based in Melbourne.

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Finkel established the Australian Course in Advanced Neuroscience to provide advanced training to early career neuroscientists.

He also leads a secondary school science programme named STELR, administered by ATSE, which is currently running in nearly 450 secondary schools around Australia.

Finkel received his bachelor of engineering in 1976 and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Monash University in 1981, following which he served two years as a neuroscience research fellow at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, located at the Australian National University.

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About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World – the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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