Experts in energy storage research at the University of Birmingham welcomed representatives from businesses and universities across Brazil to explore future partnerships that could see Brazilian cities testing innovative technology.
Organised by the British Embassy, in Brasilia, the visit was lined up because of the University’s research strength - especially its role in the Research Councils-funded Energy Storage Supergen Hub. This draws experts from universities, industry and government to tackle energy storage challenges.
The 21-strong delegation met University experts and learned more about Birmingham Energy Institute and Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage. They also visited laboratories in Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
Andréa-Claire Edwards, Director of International Development and Mobility at the University of Birmingham, said: “Genuine partnerships with Brazilian organisations will enable us to enhance the University of Birmingham’s research power by developing mutually beneficial research collaborations. These will lead to enhanced joint publications, increased grant capture and raise our profile as a leading global institution.”
Delegates met a range of research experts, led by Dr Jonathan Radcliffe, Senior Research Fellow, Energy Storage, who specialises in the development of policy and regulation in this area.
Dr Radcliffe gave an overview of the Institute’s work and introduced the delegates to a range of colleagues including Professor Yulong Ding, Director of the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage, School of Chemical Engineering; Dr Karl Dearn, Lecturer, Director of Industrial Liaison, Department of Mechanical Engineering; and Professor Xiao-Ping Zhang, Director of Smart Grid, Department of Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering.
Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute, said: “The University of Birmingham is extremely strong in energy research – an area of great importance to Brazil, which is the third-largest energy consumer in the western hemisphere, behind the US and Canada.
“We have more than 140 academics engaged in energy and energy-related research and development, with some £75 million awarded from external project funding related to energy.”
The visit included representatives from the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL), Brazilian universities UFSC and UNICAMP, the Energy Quality and Storage Brazilian Association (ABAQUE) and the LACTEC Institute.
There were also delegates from electric energy generation and distribution company CPFL Energia, Itaipu Binacional - owner of the world’s largest generator of renewable energy - the Itaipu Dam, AES Brasil, ENEL Green Power, battery supplier Baterias Moura and Itaipu Technological Park.
The University is investing £2 million into strengthening its relationships with Brazil, which is one of its four key strategic regions, alongside China, India and the United States. It aims to be a UK higher education partner of choice with Brazilian government agencies, research foundations, leading higher education institutions, and industry partners.
The University’s approach to Brazil has attracted praise from UK and Brazilian governmental organisations. Its achievements in Brazil have been recognized within the sector with the Times Higher Award for international leadership for its Brazil strategy.
Notes to Editors
- The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 countries.
Further information about Brazilian organisations visiting the University of Birmingham:
- ANEEL, the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency, provides favourable conditions for the electricity market to develop in a balanced environment for the benefit of society.
- UFSC is a federal university based in Santa Catarina state, UFSC is the University of Birmingham’s oldest academic exchange partner.
- UNICAMP is ranked number five amongst Brazilian universities and is the second highest ranked in the State of Sao Paulo. It has the highest research output per member of staff of all universities in South America and is responsible for about 15% of all Brazilian research.
- CPFL Energia is the largest non-state-owned group of electric energy generation and distribution in Brazil and the third biggest Brazilian electric utility company.
- Itaipu Binacional is the owner of the world’s largest generator of renewable energy: the Itaipu Dam, a hydroelectric located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.
- AES Brasil operates in the Brazilian electricity sector with generation companies, commercialization and distribution of energy..
- ENEL Green Power develops and manages energy generation from renewable sources and is a major global operator with an annual production of 32 TW/h.
- ABAQUE – The Energy Quality and Storage Brazilian Association (ABAQUE) is responsible for delivering energy storage in the Brazilian Electric System.
- LACTEC Institute is one of Brazil’s largest centres of science and technology focussed on industry and electricity utilities. Based in Curitiba, it conducts research into improving energy efficiency.
- Baterias Moura is one of the biggest suppliers of batteries for vehicles in South America.
- Itaipu Technological Park is a science and technology hub in Brazil and Paraguay, participating in the regional development as well as acting in the modernization process of Itaipu Power Plant.
- Brazilian delegates will be accompanied by staff from the British Embassy, in Brasilia, and will also visit the Universities of Manchester, Oxford, Warwick and Imperial.
For more information or photographs, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312