UK – China renewables experts plan sustainable energy future

University of Birmingham scientists joined their Chinese counterparts at the 2019 UK-China Future Energy System Development Forum to explore new and innovative ways of accelerating the adoption of renewable energy.

Over 100 energy experts and researchers gathered at the University to discuss the major challenges facing future energy systems using sustainable energy sources, as well as creating new partnerships between UK and Chinese industrial and academic communities.

Working with the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering (CSEE), UK-China University Consortium on Engineering Education and Research (UCEER) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), CSEE UK Chapter, CSEE Europe Chapter and CSEE North America Chapter, University of Birmingham researchers organised the Forum.

Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang, Director of Smart Grid, Birmingham Energy Institute at the University of Birmingham, commented:

“Decarbonising the power sector by ramping up the adoption of renewable energy is essential to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. We can only accelerate the global shift to low carbon through a combination of renewable energy, modernised power grid connections, intelligent demand management and market reforms.

“Our forum at the University of Birmingham provides a timely and comprehensive review of progress, applications, and challenges spurred by large scale renewable energy generation. It is a great opportunity to create exciting partnerships between researchers and technology manufacturers in this vital field.”

The event was attended by key figures in the Chinese renewable energy sector including: Baosen Zheng, President of CSEE; Sunan Jiang, Science and Technology Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy London; Dr Xiaoliang Chen, Deputy Secretary General of CSEE,  Haibo Chen, Vice President of Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute, State Grid Corporation of China and President of GEIRIEU (Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute Europe), State Grid Corporation of China, and Zhiwei Wang, Vice President of Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute (in Beijing), State Grid Corporation of China and President of GEIRINA (Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute North America), State Grid Corporation of China.

Guests were welcomed by University of Birmingham Provost Professor Tim Jones, who commented:

“It is tremendously exciting to welcome such renowned experts to the University of Birmingham and testament to the strength of our growing reputation in China as our researchers establish innovative collaborations around the globe.”

President of CSEE, Mr Baosen Zheng commented:

“The Challenges and Solutions of Power Grids with High Penetration of Renewable Energy, this forum fits well with the current situations facing the development of renewable energy.

“China boasts the fastest development of wind and photovoltaic power generation in the world. Especially in recent years, the renewable energies, mainly consisting of wind power and photovoltaic power, have been soaring, with the installed capacities of wind power and photovoltaic power generation reaching 184 GW and 174 GW respectively in 2018.

“By 2030, China’s renewable energy power generation will represent more than 30% of the total, which will pose challenges to the planning and operation of power system. Some European and American countries have plenty of proven experiences in planning, joint dispatching, power market operation, inter-regional trade and so forth of renewable energy.

“It is heartening to join you in this forum to exchange experiences and insights on renewable energy development, to analyze the problems faced by high penetration renewable energy in power systems and identify solutions, and advance the development of renewable energy technologies.”

UK sector leaders attending included Professor Sir Michael Sterling, FREng, former Chair of STFC; Professor Yulong Ding, Director of Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage; Ms. Nicola Hewitt, Commercial Director, West Midlands Growth Company; Prof. Goran Strbac, Imperial College London; John Scott, from the IET Energy Policy Panel; Professor James Yu, Innovation Manager, Scottish Power Energy Networks and Dr Xiaoyao Zhou, Technical Policy Manager, National Grid.

The Forum follows Professor Zhang’s recent keynote speech at the 2019 UNESCO International Water Conference, in Paris, where he set out University of Birmingham proposals to use smart energy control technology to combine wind and wave power –potentially providing all the world’s electricity needs.

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