The University of Birmingham has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Smart Grid Research Institute (SGRI) of State Grid Corporation of China to develop a joint laboratory in energy storage.

The signing, witnessed by Mr Liu Zhenya, the Chairman of State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), marks the start of an important partnership between SGCC, the largest electric power transmission and distribution company in the world, and the University of Birmingham, a world leader in thermal energy storage technologies. Under the MoU the two sides will further strengthen the already existing strong research collaboration, working closely together to build a joint laboratory in grid scale novel energy storage technologies. 

Smart Grid Research Institute Group

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield, University of Birmingham, commented: 

“The University of Birmingham is delighted to be entering into an agreement on building a joint laboratory in novel energy storage with SGRI that draws on the pioneering research expertise of the University in this important area and its long association with China.  

“Through the agreement and the joint lab, the University and SGRI will work in close partnership to contribute to the development of more efficient, clean and low carbon energy systems in the UK and China. This important link with SGRI, and through it with SGCC, will further strengthen our existing strong relationships with China in the energy sector.”

“Energy storage represents one of the most effective and efficient solutions to meeting the challenges of establishing our future low carbon energy systems. Such energy systems need to deal with reduced base load generation, high renewable penetrations and electrification of transport and heat. Energy storage is also a highly effective method for the reduction of energy use and the improvement of energy efficiency. As an internationally recognised centre, our focus at Birmingham has been on thermal and cryogenic energy storage research, covering novel storage materials, components, devices, system integration and optimisation, and policy aspects. The signing of the MoU is an indication of the impact of our research in the area.” 

“Complementary and mutually beneficial international collaboration in energy research is absolutely essential for the UK’s energy development. The strong and highly productive relationship Professor Yulong Ding and his team have established with SGRI is a flagship example of this. We look forward to working more closely with SGRI in research and education, building on the University’s long-standing support of the UK energy development.”