Leading figures across industry, science and government are convening at the University of Birmingham this week to further UK-China partnerships in sustainable energy and smart grid technologies.

The University of Birmingham is at the forefront of developments between the UK and China in driving the low carbon transition. Smart grids have emerged as an important platform for China to realise its demanding energy targets, and research and development in this area is a national priority. China’s 12th five-year plan expresses its aim to invest $45 billion dollars in smart grids over five years as part of the wider $250 billion dollar investment in its power grid.

The 2013 UK-China strategic workshop on smart grids is organised by the University of Birmingham, in conjunction with UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering. The workshop builds upon the success of the 2010 meeting which led to three significant joint UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSPRC) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) research calls.

In addition to smart grids, the workshop will cover topics from wind energy generation and energy storage to energy markets and smart information systems. Speakers include Honorary Presidents of State Grid China Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI, SGCC) Professor Xiao-Xin Zhou and Professor Yusheng Xue, Chair of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Professor Sir Michael Sterling, and Executive Director of UKERC Professor John Loughhead, as well as senior figures from Alstom, E.ON UK, Chiltern Power and the National Grid.   

Workshop co-chair Professor Richard Williams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, said:

“As global demand for power continues to soar, the need for international collaboration to pave the way for the low carbon economy has never been greater. Research expertise at Birmingham complements China’s robust commitment to developing its smart grid capacity. This influential workshop will, unquestionably, deliver meaningful UK-China partnerships in sustainable energy and smart grids to address the energy challenges of the future, and we are proud to play a leading role.”

Sponsored by the University of Birmingham’s China Institute and UKERC, the workshop is taking place from 17-18 July 2013.

A leading UK research-intensive university, the University of Birmingham is a vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution, in the top 100 globally. With approximately 28,000 students and 6,000 members of staff, its work brings people from more than 150 countries to Birmingham.  The University has a bold strategy to develop its global reputation by enhancing its international presence and collaborations. In addition to China, Birmingham has strategic partnerships in the USA, India, and Brazil.

The University of Birmingham’s China Institute has been created to reflect the University’s extensive academic activities colleagues undertake in China. The Institute provides an umbrella structure for the numerous China interests on the Edgbaston campus including coordinating an annual lecture and seminar series, hosting incoming visits from our Chinese partners and encouraging inter-disciplinary research across campus that focuses on China.

For media enquiries, please contact: Catherine Byerley, International Media Relations Manager at the University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254.