Can China Unlock the Grid For Renewables?

Opening ceremony for Clean Energy Expo

Guest blogger Dr Ian Chilvers, technical director of Optimised Energy Solutions In the UK shares some thoughts after attending  the Clean Energy Expo in Beijing, July 2011.

 “It was a great pleasure to meet the team of Accessible Clean Energy during the Expo.  I quickly saw the team’s knowledge of clean energy technologies and also their desire to gain more knowledge and insight into technical areas.

 I was impressed by the strength of the Chinese manufacturing industry and its magnitude and diversity of product development.  The extensive range of renewable energy-based products, coupled with the manufacture of the latest technologies for use in smart grid applications, puts China in an enviable position in the global clean energy product field.

 My expertise and that of my company, Optimised Energy Solutions, is in electrical power system analysis and smart grid product development.  We also produce innovative products for the Energy Management sector.

What I was struck by, and perhaps was new to many participants at the exhibition, was the number of technical and commercial issues with electricity networks which are minimising the use of the installed capacity of renewables in China’s electricity networks.

However, China is not alone in this as it is a global problem.  Problems with the electricity grid will be a major factor in determining whether global carbon reductions can meet predicted targets.  We must adopt a system-based approach to our thinking.  China boasts an impressive manufacturing base, but the overall electricity system must be assessed, and innovation added to products, in an attempt to overcome the problems involved in grid connection of renewables.

 We need intelligent power systems to support the renewables infrastructure being connected to our electricity networks.  The smart grid can overcome the problems with existing electricity networks and enable us to meet our carbon reduction targets.

 Much debate has occurred on the definition of the Smart Grid — quite rightly so, as it differs from country to country.  It is not something I would choose to answer here. What we are doing at Optimised Energy Solutions is to use our expertise in electrical power systems to develop products for Smart Grid monitoring and control systems. These systems are being designed with the electricity network’s technical issues in mind. Our products facilitate an increase in installed capacity of renewables and transformation of our existing electricity networks into smart grids.  Without such technology, electricity networks will become the “Achilles heel” of the low carbon markets around the world.

 The enthusiastic and diligent approach in which the Accessible Clean Energy team obtained information about the Chinese clean energy market and its technologies suggested to me that the Accessible Clean Energy team are making, and will in the future make,  a positive contribution to global carbon reduction and energy security.”

 Dr Ian Chilvers, Technical Director of Optimised Energy Solutions.

Categories: Smart Grid, Uncategorized

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