Research Support

Developing a Novel Methodology for evaluating the Energy-X-Nexus

Project Gist

Energy systems interact with resource, environment and social systems in interesting ways that this project aims to investigate.


energy, resources, nexus, equity

Background and Purpose

The project aimed to develop a methodology to evaluate the synergies and trade-offs that arise when we consider changes in the energy system and the systems interconnected with it. For example, when we try to make energy more efficiently or more cleanly, it might lead to the use of more resources or more water, and when we want to purify water, we need energy. These connected systems (the nexus) need to be considered together, or the most ideal option cannot be found. Moreover, the reconfiguration of such systems can lead to a disproportionate impact on some parts of society – so the equitable balance of impacts also needs consideration.

Project Achievements

The project began by identifying the key types of nexus study and what aspects need to be included in a methodology that can evaluate various interconnected systems. Two main examples were examined – water-energy systems in which water produced from desalination is used to reduce energy loss and improve the uptake of renewable energy; and minerals-energy systems in which the need for minerals to make clean energy technologies are considered. The impacts on society and equitable distribution of impacts and benefits was considered.

Future Prospects

Based on this project, we will further investigate the future requirement and risk for minerals in energy technologies and the just transition to carbon neutrality. We aim to cover more new technologies and more resource systems, and to quantitatively identify the equitability of different future scenarios.


Hydrogen in the energy-X-nexus

Principal Investigator

Benjamin C. McLellan

Benjamin C. McLellan
Graduate School of Energy Science
Ben is originally from Australia and has interests in various research fields – energy, resources, sustainability and coffee. His hobby is watching and playing soccer.

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