Niraj Lal

Renewable Energy, Politics, and Science Education.

Research Background: PhD in physics, Gates Scholar, University of Cambridge, 2012 | BSc Hons, Angus Nicholson Scholar, Australian National University 2007

Current gigs: Visiting Fellow, ANU Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems | Principal, Australian Energy Market Operator | Project Lead, Essential System Services Workstream of the Energy Security Board Post-2025 Market Design Program | TV Presenter and Public Speaker | International Energy Agency PVPS Task 14 Australian Expert | Host, ABC Imagine This | Author, Henry the Flying Emu

Previous gigs: Long-line tuna fishing boat deckhand out of Coffs Harbour| Bicycle courier in Perth | Science Outreach Officer, Scitech, WA | Presenter ABC Sciencey | Principal Advisor, Victorian Dept. Premier and Cabinet | ANU Renewable Energy Lecturer

Selected Awards: Royal Societies of Australia and New Zealand Piasecki Prize for Outstanding Writing on Social Change | Australian Museum Celestino Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science | ABC Top 5 Scientist Under 40 | Australian Institute of Policy and Science ACT Young Tall Poppy of the Year

Broadcasts: ABC Catalyst | Ithaka - A Fight to Free Julian Assange | ABC Kids Listen Imagine This | Todd Sampson's Life on the Line | Dr Karl's Outrageous Acts of Science | TEDxSydney | ABC Radio National | YouTube Channel | More things below..

Henry the Flying Emu🔗


My publications span the fields of physics, politics, renewable energy and education.


I'm a previous lecturer of the Renewable Energy course at the ANU. My favourite exam (with solutions) is here .

Thinking critically and quantitatively about just pathways towards 100% renewable energy.


I'm passionate about Science Education.
On radio, including as host of ABC Kids Listen's Imagine This, on telly, in print, and through public lectures and science shows. More info here.

Other things

Children's books

I've written two children's stories - one about chaos theory and another about an emu that learns how to fly by going into gravitational orbit.
Recently broadcast on the ABC RN Science Show, available through this site, and at all good bookstores.

"...a gifted writer of children's stories" - Sir Richard Friend, Cavendish Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge

Political things

I'm Founder of the, a current member of the Australian Greens, a National Committee member of Australians for War Powers Reform, and previous Founding National Council Member of the Australian Wikileaks Party. More political things at my blog here. twitter @NirajNLal

“a brilliant piece of writing” – Scott Ludlam | “beautifully written” – Mary Kostakidis | “An incredibly important piece” – Giordano Nanni

Playing music

I'm founding director of the Raio de Sol Canberra Community Samba Drumming Band, former saxophonist with The Valence Band and cajon-player with the roograss band The Lazy Harrys. EP here,

External links

Critical Mass

Last friday of every month.