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Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG)

20 February 2024
Our research

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐄𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩 (SERG) is dedicated to advancing sustainable energy solutions. The team includes over 10 postgraduate researchers focusing on energy systems modelling, including:

  • Renewable energy integration
  • Power-to-X systems (including multi-energy and green hydrogen)
  • Energy transitions modelling 
  • System resilience
  • Solar engineering
  • Energy storage
  • Carbon-negative systems

Explore our research initiatives and get to know our team members. Looking to do a PhD or a research project with us? Get in touch and let's shape the future of sustainable energy together!

Our team

Leads: Rebecca Peer and Jannik Haas


  • Francisco Astorga (PhD researcher): social and environmental impacts of energy futures
  • Sameen Bushra (PhD researcher): co-optimization of water-energy infrastructures
  • Rafaella Canessa (PhD researcher): energy transitions for New Zealand including green hydrogen applications
  • Akash Handique (PhD researcher): energy transitions for the Pacific Islands
  • Stella Steidl (PhD researcher): urban energy hubs with green hydrogen
  • Karan Titus (PhD researcher): carbon-negative geothermal energy
  • Hadi Vatankhah (PhD researcher): sustainable energy hubs 
  • Madison Zegeer (PhD researcher): robust decision-making for energy futures
  • Francisco Flores (international PhD researcher from Uni. Catolica Valparaiso): energy transitions for South America including international trade
  • Patrick Martin (international PhD researcher from Uni. Stuttgart): smart water-energy systems
  • Matias Paredes (international PhD researcher from Uni. Chile): deep uncertainty decision-making for energy transitions

Collaborating staff:

  • David Dempsey, Carbon Systems, Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, UC
  • Mehdi Ekbatani, Transportation Systems, Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, UC
  • Markus Pahlow, Water Systems, Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, UC
  • Grant Read, Power Economics, Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering, UC
  • Alaa Alhamwi, Energy Systems Analysis, German Aerospace Centre, Germany
  • Christian Breyer, Solar Economy, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, Finland
  • Felipe Feijoo, Electrical Power Systems, Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, Chile
  • Hans Christian Gils, Energy Systems Analysis, German Aerospace Centre, Germany
  • Pierluigi Mancarella, Chair Of Electrical Power Systems, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Wided Medjroubi, Energy Systems Analysis, German Aerospace Centre, Germany
  • Rodrigo Moreno, Institute of Complex Engineering Systems, University of Chile, Chile
  • Wolfgang Nowak, Stochastic Simulation and Safety Research for Hydrosystems, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Rodrigo Palma, Energy Center, University of Chile, Chile
  • Rachel Wagner, Saint Francis University, U.S.
  • Manuel Wetzel, Energy Systems Analysis, German Aerospace Centre, Germany

Visiting researchers (sorted by date):

  • Juan Carlos Osorio-Aravena (visiting senior researcher from the Solar Energy Research Center Chile): future energy sector demands for New Zealand.
  • Leon Schumm (visiting researcher from University of Regensburg, Germany, 2024): PyPSA for New Zealand
  • Ali Torkayesh (visiting researcher from RWTH Aachen University, Germany, 2024): social preferences on future energy systems
  • Manuel Wetzel (visiting researcher from German Aerospace Centre, Germany, 2024): hydrogen infrastructure planning for NZ and Germany
  • Patrick Martin (visiting researcher from University of Stuttgart, Germany, 2024): smart water-energy systems
  • Neven Duić (visiting professor from University of Zagreb): how to build 100% RES energy systems
  • Melissa Ale (visiting researcher from University of Chile, Chile, 2023): resilient planning for NZ's energy system 
  • Ashish Gulagi (visiting senior researcher from Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, Finland, 2023): multi-sector planning for NZ
  • Will McNeil (visiting researcher from University of California Berkeley, U.S., 2023): sustainable heavy-truck transport
  • Rachel Wagner (visiting professor from Saint Francis University, U.S., 2023): co-impacts of energy transitions
  • Christina Benighaus (visiting senior researcher from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, 2023): social risk communications of energy transitions 
  • Carlos Alvear (visiting researcher from University of Chile, Chile, 2022): strategic hydrogen reserves for NZ and Chile

Our projects

  • 2024-2027 Comprehensive zero-carbon strategy for South America: Advancing energy equity and green hydrogen. Haas J, Peer R. UC’s SDG projects
  • 2023-2026 Adaptive decision-making tool for multi-source water and energy infrastructure optimisation. Pahlow M, Haas J. UC’s SDG projects
  • 2022-2025 New Zealand-German platform for green hydrogen integration (HINT). Haas J, Peer R et al. German BMBF and NZ MBIE
  • 2022-2025 Methods for the coordinated optimization of water supply systems with evolving energy systems under deep climatic uncertainty. Nowak W, Haas J [international collaboration with the University of Stuttgart]. German DFG
  • 2022-2027 Pūhiko Nukutū: a green hydrogen geostorage battery in Taranaki. Nicol A, Dempsey D, Adams M et al. (with Peer R). MBIE Endeavour 
  • 2022-2025 Enhancing risk assessment by understanding cascading failures. Logan T, Peer R, Zorn C. Te Hiranga Rū QuakeCoRE 
  • 2022-2025 Pathways to net-zero carbon buildings and communities. Bellamy L, Peer R, McNabb S. BRANZ
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