A2EP launched ‘The Next Wave’ project to explore opportunities for major improvements in energy productivity through the deployment of innovative technologies and business models. This work complements the roadmaps developed for specific sectors of the economy. ‘Innovation’ as canvassed by this project includes existing commercial technologies with less than ten per cent market penetration in Australia.

The project utilises an innovative methodology developed to assess energy use in a holistic way. It applies a ‘value chain’ methodology that examines all the steps involved in the delivery of end use products and services, working back to the original raw materials. It seeks out energy productivity opportunities through an integrated, circular economy approach to energy and material flows. To understand the optimal application of energy to achieve the desired end service, we identified key common core processes used across the chain. We were not locked into assumptions about where these processes should best be undertaken. Our aim is to optimise these processes and related energy use across the value chain and to maximise the value created (e.g. through improved product quality).


To constrain the scope to a manageable scale we’ve begun with two value chains– food (farm to plate/export) and shelter (focusing on construction materials because this is the part of the chain less thoroughly explored but with some limited coverage of energy innovation in building operations as well).

The first stage of work on the two value chains – the scan of technologies and the prioritisation of these using a systematic scoring system – is reported in the attachments linked below.


The research team collected information about innovations in these value chains through interactions with the relevant 2xEP sector working groups and the innovation working group, extensive research, an email survey of research institutions, and workshops of stakeholders.

Following the food value chain assessment, in which high temperature heat pumps were identified as a measure with significant potential for improving energy productivity, the following assessment of high temperature heat pumps in the Australian food industry has been completed. The opportunities for saving energy and costs are many and varied.


We are seeking input from our collaborators to refine this work, to identify major opportunities we may have inadequately prioritised, and including better quantifying some opportunities. Contact us at 2xEP@A2EP.org.au.