Prof Zhang and Professor David Eastwood

The University of Birmingham hosted the 2015 UK-China-US Smart Grid Workshop (Tuesday 22 September 2015), organised by the China Institute, to strengthen partnerships between academia and industry for collaborative opportunities in smart grid innovations.

Birmingham hosted the fifth China Institute collaborative workshop, which focused on exploring innovative energy systems with Smart System Integration, Energy Storage, and Smart Consumers in the contexts of energy industrial revolution.

The workshop brought together UK and international leading experts from research and industry of UK, China and US and aimed to:

Strengthen partnerships between academia and industry

  • Identify new collaborative opportunities in smart grid and energy storage innovations
  • Promote knowledge transfer to power & energy industry between the UK, China and US
  • Explore demonstration opportunities of emerging smart grid and energy storage technologies

The workshop was chaired and organised by Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang, Director of Smart Grids at the Birmingham Energy Institute, University of Birmingham, and hosted by Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Birmingham.

China Institute

Keynote and distinguished speakers included: Mr Jiuling Wang, Vice President of China Southern Power Grid (CSG), China, Mr Su-nan Jiang, Minister Counsellor of Science and Technology Section, Chinese Embassy London,  Professor Ron Harley, Life Fellow of the IEEE, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, Mr Andrew Taylor, Senior Expert, National Grid, Dr Joachim Brandt, E.ON, UK, Dr Chong Ng, Research and Development Manager, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, UK and Ms Emma Gibson, Operations Director, Highview Power Storage, UK.

Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang said:

"We proposed the concept of ‘Global Power & Energy Internet’ in June 2011; the concept has now been well accepted by global power companies. We also pioneered the concept of ‘Energy Union’ and UK’s ‘energy valley’. We were thrilled that the first Energy Union was established in European Union on 25 February 2015, which will facilitate the connectivity of power grids and hence help implement the concept of ‘Global Power & Energy Internet’ in Europe and beyond. The workshop provides the excellent opportunities to discuss the smart grid & energy storage technologies, innovative energy services and vision of global power & energy internet as well as collaborative opportunities to take the ideas forward."


  • The history of collaboration between China and the University of Birmingham dates back almost to the foundation of the University. The China Institute has been created to reflect the University’s extensive academic activities our colleagues undertake in China. The Institute will provide an umbrella structure for the numerous China interests on the Edgbaston campus